Now I know the movies, sitcoms, and most literature have trained us to believe marriage is this cumbersome, weighty thing…the thing that drags you down, curtails your freedom, ball and chain and such…
You know, drama and conflict and constant misunderstandings…and nobody more than about age four can deny that men and women are completely different critters…FAR, FAR more different then simple “tab a inserts into slot b” anatomic mysteries can even begin to account for.
Mars and Venus? Hell…not even close. We’re not even from the same galaxy!
Drama and conflict and constant misunderstandings. The sitcoms LIVE on this. It seems inevitable.
But I’ll let you in on a little secret.
It doesn’t have to work that way.
So…worked today…Christmas Eve…not a bad day as far as work days go…but not a great one.
Managed to get enough done so that I got off a bit early, but then zoomed my way through “escaping town” traffic up through the center of the metro-mess in what is becoming a Christmas tradition…to visit my Dad in the hospital. Seems he has double-pneumonia and won’t be getting out for a couple days. He’s a tough old coot and doesn’t want me to worry…but I’m a stubborn son and do anyway…
I don’t think folks realize how big the metro-mess is…home-to-work to “just-across-town”, not even all the way mind you, and then back-to-home…took a tank of fuel on the big Valkyrie and racked up over 140 miles.
Just across town indeed.
Traffic home was frantic and crowded, but fast…full moon weirdness filling in any gaps of “normal” missed by the drunk, texting, aggressive, pent on escaping, distracted nutjobs pretending that they’re actually driving their high power hunks of steel and plastic.
In short, perfect stress inducing conditions for your average motorcyclist…yanno…the one that actually wants to survive, and thus spends a good chunk of his commute simply trying, with varying degrees of success, NOT to die…
Ur…uh…where was I? Ah, yes…NOT dying. Success. Again.
With all that and the work and the hospital and the worry about my Dad and the three missed calls from work before I even got home, on and on…well, …I was a bit frazzled when I rolled up to the house.
Yeah. Frazzled. On Christmas Eve. When really, I should have some plan for the evening that involves the wife. The shopping was done long ago…but that’s the easy part. What about us? Not the stuff. Us?
Dragging ass in…wearily waiting on the garage door to roll all the way up…and I belatedly realize…I’ve got nothing left. Nothing for her…and as importantly, nothing for me.
Remember before when I said, “Drama and conflict and misunderstandings”?
Remember what I said next?
It doesn’t have to work that way.
See, there’s that other thing…the big one. The most important…no…strike that…the ONLY important one…the one the sitcoms and movies and comedians and grumpy old bachelors and bitter old maids never tell you about. What you have in a marriage…is a team. More than that really…back to back…two against the world. Defend against all comers…cleave up all the others and hide the bodi…ur…wait? Have I got that right?
Conjugium corporis atque animce…
Or, sometimes…just a friendly, knowing hand that knows just exactly how to help the other up when he stumbles…
It’s a choice…yanno…sitcom or…well…other.
The wife met me at the door. “I’ve got a big evening planned for us.”
The uninformed…the “dragging ass” guy that’s beat down and wants nothing more than to “veg” for the evening might groan. What does THAT mean? A big night? Dinner out? Crowds? A ballet? A house full of guests? Ugh. Right?
Me, not being “the uninformed”, just smiled. Context matters you see. And she knew…or at least suspected…just what the events of the day were adding up to for me. She had my back.
She had my soul.
“I’ve got a pizza and cookies and we’re gonna sit around in our underwear and watch our favorite Christmas movies and open some presents and see where that leads!”
Sounded pretty good to me.
As a side note, our very favorite Christmas movie is a gorgeously animated yet under-appreciated thing where Santa has tattoos (and swords), and the Easter Bunny has an Australian accent and is a wicked shot with a boomerang…
Oh, and the next one on the list stars Bruce Willis tossing Severus Snape off the Nakatomi tower…
Oh, and did I mention context matters?
When the woman that tells you we’re gonna open some presents and see where that leads is dressed in wrapping paper-patterned panties and a bra and some frilly fuzzy gauzy thing and has a bow on her head…well that’s just a bonus…or perhaps it’s the main course and everything else…is a bonus.
Doesn’t matter really. Main course? Appetizer? Seconds? Fourths!? We’ve got time for it all. She’s got my back…and my soul.
I hope y’all had a very Merry Christmas Eve!