Thursday, May 26, 2011

First Year of Marriage - Part 2

Doilies - I have a passionate fear of doilies. I am convinced that were I to put one doily under one object, that I would not be able to stop. Then I would be THAT house. You know the one that looks like a permanent blizzard of lace has iced every available surface?  However, this also plays a part in my most heinously evil newly married fantasy. We have this room in the basement. Its unfortunate nomenclature is The Man Cave. I’ll give you a moment to picture it. Are you frightened yet? Cowering in terror and clutching your loved one who secretly wants his own Man Cave? Okay, my fantasy is to sneak down there in the middle of the night and put doilies everywhere. I mean everywhere. The arms and backs of the furniture, under every forsaken dish, cup and plate, sandwiched between every xbox game and wrapped around every remote and joystick thingy. Then, as the final piece of skullduggery, I will run through the room every 20 minutes or so waving doilies and singing I Enjoy Being A Girl at the top of my lungs!

Really I am completely unaffected by the testosterone gas in my male filled house…really…

Towels – I worked in the medical field for 10 years as a medical assistant/lab tech in various facilities and on various projects. This is part of how they train you to be a lab tech. They have you swab (swab should be said swwwwaaaabbb, to get the full effect) things... I mean everything... There are some things the human mind holds onto like a vacuum cleaner with the edge of your fringed rug. I now know with indelible certainty what grows on things.

“I know what you are covered with doorknob, and you, you foul telephone, I KNOW…”

And yet somehow you are supposed to go out into the world after graduation as if you are not permanently scarred by this knowledge. I was not so fortunate. I secretly struggle not to become the world’s biggest germaphobe. You see, most germaphobes SUSPECT what’s out there… I KNOW! Yet I valiantly walk around pretending not too. However, there is one area I simply cannot bring myself to forget. Skin cells, moisture and towels. This frothy stew is beyond my ability to endure.

When I moved into the house and found that the guys follow the common practice of using a towel more than once, I applauded their economy, until I realized that they were a bit caaaasual about which towel was the repeat. After I regained consciousness, I quickly forsook THAT idea. And now I live comfortably with my new towel. One leeetle problem. I forgot about the laundry. There have been times that I am convinced that one of my men is playing a trick on me and buying new towels at Target everyday on the way home. It is not possible for there to be this many dirty towels. Who even OWNS this many towels? Since showering is by no means a favorite activity, what are they doing to generate this many towels? Perhaps one for each toe? One for the upper half and one for the lower? One daintily wrapped about the hair and each arm? I am at a loss. I will, however, gladly bear the endless Sorcerer's Apprentice type loads of towels for the sheer joy of knowing that mine is clean, sweet and unused.

I am not insane.

Holding hands - It is amazing how quickly we as human beings adapt. I went for 45 years without holding onto anything while I navigated the world. I did not need the balancing metric of another arm to hold me up. Now, however, I find it difficult to walk across the kitchen without my beloved’s hand in mine. In fact, I have become so accustomed to having it that I actually reach for the hand of whomever I happen to be near. Fair warning, people.

 There is something amazing about that connection. Knowing that when you reach across the void, there is a hand waiting to catch yours. Compelling. Comforting. Connected. My gratitude for this simple act is boundless. The warmth of this contact, flesh meeting flesh, is beyond a simple grasp. It is a symbol of everything that is wrapped up in loving someone. It is “I am here for you,” it is “I have chosen you,” it is “I will catch you when you fall.”   

There is so much I have learned about God from that handclasp. When I reach across the void of time, space and life, He is there. Always. And now I understand more of what that means. While there are some funny things to navigate this first year of marriage, I am profoundly changed and deeply grateful.

 I may be drowning in an endless load of towels, but I treasure each nasty, damp, balled up lump, because of what comes with it - an endless stream of love. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Marriage the First Year - Part One

I am in the 7th month of my first year of marriage. These are some of the unexpected things that I have experienced in this first year.

Black socks. I have a theory. I fully believe that if I wash the same 20 black socks over and over again, enough times, that they will eventually find their mates. Please note I said 20 black socks, NOT 10 pairs. Where do all these black socks come from!! How do I make them go away? I will occasionally find a match for one of them and you would think I was celebrating the winning of the elusive Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes. I dance around the room waving them in a gleeful paean of praise to the sock-matching-god.

As for the rest of them, as a newly married, late in life bride, I can’t help throwing the rest of them back in the wash in the faint hope their one true love match is floating around in the dryer. So far a love match is as rare as a summer day in Minnesota this year.

Boys and housekeeping. Keep in mind that I am coming from living by myself in my pristine townhome to a house full of men. It is not quite a 7 Brides for 7 Brothers moment, but there are days... You know that scene in a movie where the guy is sitting on the couch and lifts his feet so that they can be vacuumed under? It happened to me. No, really! I gave the offending man-child the stare of death; he remained either unmoved or oblivious. I fear it is oblivious. Because this I now know. Oblivious is an honest state of being…and they live there. The landscape of Oblivious is littered with invisible things, such as half eaten chip bags, miscellaneous cups, used paper plates and socks, lots and lots of socks. These socks are of the used to be white variety, so alas, no match for the black ones. Strangely, they only emerge from Oblivious when a necessity to the welfare of the town is breached. Such as the half eaten bag of chips mysteriously becomes a wholly eaten bag. Then they emerge blinking, wide-eyed and perplexed, holding the previously invisible bag up for your inspection and wondering when the empty state is going to be reconciled.

The bathroom. I was going to do a chapter on the bathroom, but I started to black-out at the mere thought, so I’ll just skip that part…for now…

The joys. Lest I leave you with the thought that there is only trauma in the first year, let me regale you with some of the wonderful things. I used to joke that I would get married just to have my back scratched at night. Now, I no longer joke about such a sacred subject. I am fairly certain that eternity somehow resonates with the feeling of having your back scratched when it’s itchy. Honestly, every time I feel cheated that I can’t purr like my cats. That is the only proper response.

Coming home has new meaning to me. I used to be greeted at the door by the cats inquiring when their next visit to the food bowl was scheduled. Now I come home to someone whose eyes light up at the sight of me. I have new understanding of the word awe. I did not know that one person could have that powerful an effect on another. I am humbled. 

Cooking together. I love the old standards. Those of you who were at my wedding know my love of Always by Frank, At Last by Etta, Unforgettable by Nat, Summertime, Fever and all the other wonderful songs of bygone eras. My new husband and I cook our dinners while listening to them. Is it really our fault if dinner burns as we dance around the kitchen making googly eyes at each other? I mean really…

To Be Continued...