In the midst of wedding preparation, training to be a part-time fitness instructor, and finishing up school-year projects and grading, I’m also in a phase of planning that feels to overlay, underlay, highlight, heighten, and dwarf everything else in its wake:
The certain madness that a person so in-and-out of a relationship with her partner would commit on such a grand and irrevocable scale is both ludicrous and … natural.
J and I have had “the kid talk” many times in our being together, and while his worries (time and money) haven’t lessened, his anticipation and (could it be?) hope have increased.
For my part, I’ve gone through a bipolar vortex of “Don’t add more consumption to the world; What world is it you’re bringing new life into anyway,” followed immediately on its heels by “I cannot picture living out my life without experiencing this; I cannot picture not sharing this extraordinary existence with new life.”
It’s been a roller coaster, for me and for him! He’ll ask every week or so: “‘Anthrax and Permafrost’, or ‘Rainbows and Lollipops’?” It’s hard to know which answer will pop forth!
In truth, it’s both. But, then, isn’t life?
I texted a girlfriend yesterday about a wedding DJ (because, yes, 6 weeks out, we have no music set!), and she gave a “squee, so exciting!” reply. Which developed into an exchange that included: “Yes, it’s not a fairy tale” and “Relationships are f*cking work, dude!”
Because there’s also the nuts and bolts, the scales that fall from whatever vision of pure bliss we’ve all been conditioned to hold.
When J and I met, he said that he was looking for a “no-maintenance relationship.” Bah HAHAHA. Oh, did my girlfriends and I have a good laugh over that;) He even looked it up online when I protested its existence and when a result came up from a male blogger, he said, “See?!”
Then … he read the article,
wherein the author related, “There’s no such thing as a ‘no-maintenance relationship.'” J was deeply thrown:)
As I say about my work, my relationship is “good, and it’s hard, and it’s good, and it’s hard.”
I’m reading Michelle Obama’s memoir and have been so heartened to read how she and her husband have had to work repeatedly at maintaining, strengthening, and fostering their relationship. The Golden Couple works at it! I’m delighted to know this because it means: I’M NOT DOING ANYTHING WRONG. It means that we all, up and down the ranks of humanity, are showing up daily to make a go of this great experiment.
The joy and fervor of laughter that is shared between us, the deep trust and faith in one another, the steadying foundation of love is coexisting with our frustrations, disappointments, and repeated calls to the table.
In what feels like a telescoping smack of my utopian vision, I am growing up. Scales are falling, but what’s revealed isn’t bad or wrong. It’s reality; it’s truth.
And the only way to build a shared (or individual) life is from the foundation of that truth.