My pal Michael Lewis is getting married tomorrow. I’m thrilled to be in the wedding party; thrilled to be there for he and Shelley. He wrote a lovely post on the big day.
This isn’t the first time a friend has gotten married, obviously. I’ve witnessed my fair share of nuptials though, certainly, as one ages he’s invited to fewer and fewer of these events.
What’s crossing my mind today is the power of a good marriage, and what constitutes such.
I happen to have a good marriage. A great marriage. Honestly, as excellent and wonderful a marriage as I could ever hope for. Some of this comes from the seemingly simple task of getting along and liking one another. The wife and I are buds. We hang together; roll together; truly relish passing the time together. I love lying in bed with her, and I love—when the sun is shining and the birds are chirping—kicking back in the swing and chatting away. We both dig tasty meals, intense movies, long trips, the classic music of Elton John, etc … etc.
But that’s not enough. People like one another, and their marriages still fail. Often.
What the wife and I have is an understanding. We pretty much raise the kids 50/50, and while she dominates some tasks (cooking) and I dominate others (laundry), there’s a ton of crossover and handing off and swappage (a word I just invented). We share a pretty identical parenting philosophy, and are open to learning from the other. We also make allowances—I buy the kids more treats than the wife would like; the wife doesn’t buy the kids as many treats as I would like (ha).
A good marriage allows things to slide. Stuff that used to irk me no longer irks me, and stuff that still irks me often goes unmentioned (this works both ways, I can assure you). You realize the little shit is, well, little shit; unimportant and immaterial and fleeting. Cabinets get left open. Dishes go uncleaned. The laundry isn’t done promptly. Not a big deal.
I’ve been married 11 years (holy shit), and come day’s end I’m still the puppy at the door, excited to see the wife. It’s true. She remains incredibly beautiful to my eyes; more beautiful than when we first met and when we married. That sounds like fluff nonsense, but in this case it’s not. Eleven years ago, she was still something of an empty ideal. We knew one another, but … did we REALLY know one another? Through the decade, we’ve experienced life together. 9.11. Two children. Death. Life. Tragedy. Jobs. House. Hardships. Highs. There’s value to the ol’ John Lennon line–”Life is what you’re doing while you’re busy making plans.” Much of our life has been driving kids to school, washing to cars, mowing the lawn, stopping for an ice cream cone, writing in coffee shops. Truth is, I cherish those moments. Cherish them. I wouldn’t trade them for money or exotic trips, because they’ve forged our relationship; our bond.
I’m babbling, obviously. The point is: Marriage is great.
The bond is even greater.