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Marriage

October 19, 2009

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I was a little late getting into the marriage game.  I was married for the first (and hopefully only) time 2 1/2 years ago.  “Pig Toe,” you may ask, “is this because you are a hideous and cruel harridan?”  “Why no, at least I don’t think so,” would be my response.

In all honesty, I did not have a lot of good marriage role-modeling.  My parents were never married and their romantic involvement ended even before I was born.  My father later married the mother of my two youngest half-siblings and he was not always the best husband.  Few of my mother’s friends were married.  My schoolmates mostly had intact families but I was not around their parents enough to see them as a point of reference.  I was definitely not the little girl dreaming of her wedding day.  I imagined myself married one day, but I wasn’t sure exactly what that meant.  My concept of marriage came from soap operas, “The Love Boat,” and awful Cosmopolitan magazine short stories (and those people were always messing around on each other!)

When I met my (now) husband in 2003 I had recently ended a relationship with a gentleman who told me he didn’t believe in love.  Instead of making me bitter, his jaded outlook had me raring to get back on the horse again.  Although I had never been so bold before, I hit on my husband.  I walked up to him, gave him my business card, and much to my glee he called me a few days later.  Neither of us thought we had a future together:  he was planning on moving to Vancouver to pursue an acting career (I seemed to be establishing a bad track record with actors).  Much to both of our surprise, we fell in love.  He did move to Vancouver 6 months into our relationship and I for one wasn’t sure what that meant for us.  I had never done the long-distance-relationship thing and wasn’t certain I was cut out for it.  Frankly, after a few months, I didn’t see us sustaining what we had.  But then he moved back to Minnesota and things started up again.

We moved in together and after awhile, marriage seemed like the next step for us.  We talked about marriage but I for one still wasn’t clear on what that would mean.  Were we just doing it because it was the natural progression?  What would we be gaining by getting married?  What would we be giving up?  It took awhile for me to work out these questions in my head.  For me, it was about a lifetime commitment.  That meant you had to be damn sure about your decision and be willing to work through any rough patches.   It was about having a life partner who was willing to put up with all of my idiosyncrasies, a person with whom I could be my true self.  When we decided to move ahead it wasn’t as though my husband got down on one knee or had an airplane skywrite his proposal to me (I am not that kind of girl), but when he did pop the question it was very moving.  We were wed in Mexico and I will always remember how surprised I was that we both teared up as we read our vows (again, not that kind of girl).

When I was a little girl imaging my faceless husband, I had no concept of how much work it would be – or how rewarding.  I could not conceive the value of having a partner to share one’s life with, of having a soft place to land at the end of the day, of knowing that no matter what, this person will be there for you and you for them.  I still don’t always know what marriage is, and we definitely have our differences and our highs and lows, but we make our partnership our own and I’m glad hubby and I were late bloomers in this aspect of our lives.

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