Wednesday, January 31, 2007

soul mate, sole mate

i have to admit that i used to believe in soul mates.

but, thinking back i realize now that for me there isn't a "one who got away". there's a "first love", a "wrong lust", a "love that moved to LA" and a bunch of assorted likes and loves inbetween. in fact, i can imagine myself living content alternative lives with all of them.

after dating the thin man though, i saw a life that i really wanted and thought i could make a reality. it kinda scared the sh*t out of me. sometimes it still does.

so, i think i mentioned this already... but in case i haven't, my sister asked me to be her matron old hag of honor at her wedding in february.

i didn't have my maid of honor speak at my wedding (she pleaded not to, not that i had asked). come to think of it, i've never been to a wedding where the maid of honor prepared a speech or a toast. but apparently, it's trendy now, so i feel compelled to write something up... like i don't have enough to do or worry about...

my impression is that when you prepare these speech thingys, you're supposed to share a story about growing up or how you met or how they met or failing all that - tell a joke.

the thing is i didn't grow up with my sister. and while we've written letters to each other consistently throughout the years, i really don't have a wealth of memories built with her or about her. certainly, none that i could use that would be appropriate at a wedding... "i remember when we used to wet our butts and make butt prints in the concrete. i can't wait to make butt prints with my new brother in law! welcome to the family!"

i really don't know the groom very well. i don't know remember how they met or even if he (or she) has any habits that may prove challenging to their marriage. i'm not even sure they're getting married in a church out of respect for both sets of parents or because they're truly devout catholics.

and i can't tell a joke to save my life.

which leaves me with the only two things i can give them in a maid of honor speech... words of "wisdom" and best wishes.... i'm not qualified to distribute wisdom. i can barely spell WIZDUMB. maybe i should just stick with the best wishes.... i want to sound like a hallmark card for my sister and my family, but i know i won't be able to pull it off. i'm either genuine or i'm a robot...

and i've only been married six years. that's a drop in the bucket. i've heard the average marriage lasts seven years. then again, six years is one year longer than my parents were together.

well, here goes nothing... as of today, this is the abundant wealth of wisdom i have gained about (my) marriage:

* i love the thin man and most of the time, my marriage is satisfying and challenging. it's balanced and loving and happy.

* my marriage is constant roadwork in progress. when the road gets damaged, we patch it up. eventually, the patches, the environment and the constant wear and tear will make the road bumpy again. so, we completely reconstruct the road. we make it smooth again. we make it work efficiently again. which reminds me, after a recent rough patch with the thin man, he sent me this lileks.com post criticizing a nyt article that cited statistics re: the majority of american women being unmarried. this is the quote i liked the most:


"...It’s a consequence of the triumph or Romantic Love, I suppose; if you don’t mesh at the elemental level, something’s wrong. The notion of simply inhabiting the same road as you move towards the horizon isn’t enough; you must both be fascinated by the same things. I prefer the model where one person is interested in the flowers that grow by the road, and the other discourses on the history of pavement, and you both speculate on the birds in the boughs above. But that’s just me. (Or rather us.) I’m sure marriages built around interests intensely shared work just as well. It all depends on what you put it into it, to state the obvious. It’s like a fireplace: you can let it go out, or you can add wood. Ahem."

[snort] he said "wood".

* the smooth patches, like the rough patches, are temporary. i need to live and love accordingly.

* i'm always afraid to fight. but i know that i should fight (verbally) as often as necessary. and fight "clean" while staying on topic. i knew those years in production meetings would pay off.

* like all marriages, ours is not carefree. it has weathered personal and financial struggle, physical and emotional crisis, crying, yelling, depression, metamorphosis, expansion, etc, etc... i have to remember that we are not alone. we are not the first and we will not be the last.

* the thin man always says, "if only i'd met you sooner, like in high school or in college." but i remind him that we aren't the same people we were six, twelve, eighteen years ago... and six years from now, we'll be different still... somehow we managed to stay together six years so far, (nine, if you count the dating years) so i think we can at the very least, make another six.

our marriage feels like a marathon right now. and i'm a much better sprinter. intellectually, i know that this marathon will end, even though i'm not sure where or when it began. and eventually another marathon will take its place... sometimes it feels like i'm running a different race than the thin man altogether. but, i always feel like he's there somewhere, either running alongside me or behind the barriers, holding out a cup of water... to throw at me. :)

2 comments:

tessence said...

I tried to give a toast when I served as matron of honor for my cousin/childhood best friend. Ha! I got to the part about the first day of nursery school and I was crying too hard to go on.

So if you don't want to prepare a long speech, just say a couple words then start crying! Everyone will understand, even if you're faking it.

mamazilla said...

tessence - i just want you to know you can always tell me when something i post sucks. :)

now, i'm going to go over to nutmeg news and there better be a picture of the filbertine waiting for me.... :)

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