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Once Upon a Winter’s Night
Forty-fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce.American Psychological Association
The percentage of divorce in this country is actually coming down, but it’s still pretty high (the odds are NOT in anyone’s favor); so why would anyone want to take those risks, right? I think – if you’ve been following my other posts – that we’ve established I’m not quite right in the head, so it should come as no surprise that I volunteered as tribute and will be walking down the aisle November 2020. That’s right, even with my intelligence being higher than average, even with all of the facts being presented over and over on the news, even with friends of mine having endured the dreaded “D” word themselves, when he asked, I said yes. (I would like to say, “without hesitation,” but I actually was kind of laughing and didn’t realize he was serious, so I can’t say that with any sincerity)
Why, you ask?
For the tax write-off, of course. No, I’m kidding. He makes me happy, people! He makes my little piece of this world a better place. When I am bogged down and drowning in the black pit of misery that is my depression, even if he can’t throw me a ladder, he at least holds my hand so I know I’m not alone (something I assure you no idiot therapist is capable of managing). He gives me those amazing hugs that convince you everything is actually going to be okay, even when the entire world is burning down around you (if you’ve never experienced one of those hugs, I’m really sorry – they are truly magical). Most importantly, my cats liked him when I first brought him home, and they’ve continued to like and accept him into the family (this was crucial – deal-breaking, actually; he could have been perfect, and if they said, “no,” he was out the door). There is so little in this world to be happy about that I see no shame in snatching up what fragments I can get.
Okay, sure, there might be other benefits to marriage: financial assistance, his insurance is better than mine, another set of eyes on those four-legged children when they’re sick or injured (or planning to become one or the other), and family members will stop pestering me about when I’m going to get married (other women out there will understand what I mean). Those are just perks of the transaction, though, to me. What marriage means to me is that I found someone to be happy with for the rest of my life, pure and simple. I get to proudly proclaim that I am with the man who brightens my day, who helps keep me sane (or as close as I’m ever going to get to sanity), and who joins in on my refusal to grow up. I have someone who will always be there for me, with me, and – on those occasions when it’s warranted – against me, for my own good. I mean, he proposed after already seeing the best and worst of me, so that tells me he can’t possibly have any regrets, right? (The man spent several days with me while I was in the hospital, and I am the WORST patient on the face of the planet; if he was going to run for the hills, he would have done so by now)
And, frankly, you don’t get any tax benefits by being married, so there goes that pipe dream.
Popping the Champagne Bubble
Obviously, I am old enough now to not believe that marriage follows a pattern established by Disney fairy tales (though, to be fair, unless you buy one of the straight-to-video sequels, you never get to see how any of those marriages turn out – it’s just an assumption that everything is wonderful and perfect because they’re sugar-coated versions of fairy tales). It never ceases to amaze me how many brides-to-be, regardless of age, DO still buy into the fantasy, even with that previously-mention statistic hanging over their head. They have these visions of lovey-dovey perfection: picnics in the park, weekend trips to Rome and Paris, vacations in the Bahamas, and cuddling under fur blankets beside giant glass windows overlooking the Rockies. (No, none of these people are marrying anyone with the kind of bank account to fulfill those fantasies) There’s never any fighting, dishes magically take care of themselves, I think there might be a hired chef involved somehow, and there is possibly a self-cleaning, self-repairing house. And they get mad at me when I start laughing hysterically.
I’ve never been married before, so I’m not coming from a position of experience, but I DO live in the real world. While I am expecting a great partnership (for crying out loud, both of us like comic books, reading, and are geeks), and we have talked about a few trips in the future, there’s a heaping dose of reality balanced on the top. For instance, the house – and yard – have To Do lists that are slowly being chipped away at, and may never be completed (I’m pretty sure that’s something that comes with house ownership). I won’t even start to list the medical issues our “kids” have, particularly as they seem to grow every week. (I can’t have children, so our four-legged kids are the only children we’ll be having) My own medical issues dwarf theirs, and I am running out of sacrificial organs. Oh, yeah, and let’s not forget the teeny, tiny, little inconvenience of having to work for a living so that we can continue to be responsible members of society (why does that always interfere?).
But, wait! There’s more!
Living with another human being isn’t perfect! Now, I was lucky enough to find a guy who cooks, helps with the cleaning, and likes to do yard work (100% positive he’s an alien). However, he SNORES LIKE A PERMANENTLY ALLERGY-CLOGGED BEAR! Every night is a debate on whether or not to smother him in his sleep (just kidding…partially kidding). He’s also the most disorganized person I’ve met; his desk looks like a tornado hit – just that corner of the room. And trying to get him motivated to do JUST ONE TASK for the wedding (I really haven’t asked him to do much) is worse than pulling a permanent tooth from a full-grown orca in the middle of the ocean. Seriously, the cats have been more helpful. THAT’S the reality of married life, the part that Disney doesn’t show, that no one fantasizes about. But it’s okay, really. Why? Because, at the end of the day, when I’ve lost my temper because he put the sea salt back in the wrong place, he laughs, gives me a hug, and tells me I’m crazy.
And who wouldn’t want a marriage like that?