Love is in the air this August. Husband and I will celebrate our 9th anniversary likely with brats on the grill and a drive to check the cows (because we’re romantic like that) and at the end of the month, his little brother will say “I do” to his new bride.
This weekend I attended her bridal shower, assured her that I will be able to zip up my bridesmaid’s dress and then picked up an ice cream cone for the drive home.
Because after the cake, I guess I was still hungry…
But being in the middle of this summer filled with vows and love celebration and right on the cusp of my life with my husband changing forever, I’ve been thinking about what it really means to make a life together.
I think every wedding brings this up for me. Because we start it all out with a party, and, well, somewhere between the champaign toast and death do us part comes the really good stuff, the really juicy stuff, the really tough stuff, and sweet stuff,
and funny stuff and gross stuff and stuff you’d rather not mention.
After nine years now I think I can confidently say that love and respect is the only common denominator that runs through our wedded veins day after day. The rest? Well the rest is a crap shoot.
And so in honor of the month I thought I might resurrect and rehash an old post for the newspaper column, the one where my husband lovingly left me a surprise three week old egg bake in the cooler in the heat of the summer…and I contemplated packing up and moving to a fort in the trees.
Because love and marriage is a weird, messy, lovely, frustrating journey…one I’m glad to be on with a man who is strong, handy, playful and forgetful with the best of intentions…one who makes mistakes and tolerates mine.
Coming Home: Love endures, even when it’s hard to like each other
by Jessie Veeder
It all starts with the best intentions. Most housekeeping tasks around here do. Unfortunately, they generally also end with me questioning the meaning of life, love and why I don’t just live by myself in a fort by the creek like I planned when I was 10 years old.
Because sometimes your husband leaves an uncooked egg bake from a camping trip he took three weeks ago floating in a cooler filled with beer and warm, mushy, cloudy, curdled water, and you get the privilege of being the first to get a whiff.
Nothing says love like pulling on your muck boots, turning on the hose and testing how long you can hold your breath.
I love my husband every day. I just don’t like him every minute.
I know for a fact that he feels the same way about me.
I’m telling this story now because in a few days we’ll celebrate our nine-year wedding anniversary. And as my belly grows and our future together teeters on the edge of uncharted territory, I can’t help but reflect on the life we’re having between those “I do’s” and the whole “death parting us” thing.
So far it looks like a combined force of mistakes and small tragedies, goofiness and bad ideas, opinions, forgetfulness and big plans in the works.
But that’s what you get when you’re in it together. You get a witness and a built-in dinner date who sometimes is really late to dinner.
You get a man who takes off his work boots and stinks up the entire house, but you also get a man who will drive around the countryside for hours every day looking for your missing dog, not because he particularly likes him but because you do. And that quiet gesture makes up tenfold for the stinky socks. And the late-to-dinner thing.
But forget the even score because from what I’ve learned, there is no even score. I work late and ruin his fishing plans. He takes out the garbage and I forget to get groceries until we’re both eating saltines and wondering when the new Chinese food restaurant will start delivering to the ranch. I unload the dishwasher, he never remembers where I put the spatulas. I am thankful I married a man who uses a spatula.
No, the chores are never equal because life might be a balancing act, but it sure as heck isn’t balanced (except when it comes to dog puke on the floor. In that instance, I keep score).
That’s why we’ve got each other.
Because life is so annoying sometimes, but I tell you what’s also annoying, that pickle jar that I can never open myself or the flat tire he’s out there fixing on the side of the road in the middle of a blizzard, proving that regardless of our shortcomings, life is easier with him around.
I hope he can say the same for me.
And then I think we’d both say that love doesn’t mean you will ever agree on the arrangement of the furniture, but love went a long way in laughing it off when he backed into my car and forgot to tell me, leaving me wondering when I had a car accident I couldn’t remember.
And initially, love sent him running when he heard me scream in the other room, but there came a time when he started to wait for a follow-up noise because love has made the man mistake a stray spider for a bloody mangled limb too many times.
And, just for the record, sometimes love is not patient. Sometimes it needs to get to town and I’m trying on my third dress of the evening.
And sometimes love is not as kind as it should be. Because love is human.
And no human is perfect. Not individually and surely not together.
Because humans leave egg bakes in coolers in basements for three weeks.