This is what I told the girl at the cosmetic counter who sold me the cologne I bought yesterday for Poor Kyle when she found out it was an anniversary gift and asked me how marriage was, since she had just gotten engaged the weekend before and wanted some confirmation that she was making the right decision:
This year had been the best yet.
The first year was mostly a blur, but what I do remember is the monumental adjustments, and when I say monumental I do intend it in the most literal sense, the literally literal sense, I’m talking monumental as in that giant statue of Abraham Lincoln sitting on his throne looking down at my insignificant self as if to ask what the hell were you thinking, woman?
(Poor Kyle will hate that I cussed just then.)
The second year was partly better, but partly worse, characterized mainly by my histrionics and penchant for the dramatic. Characterized mainly by the nagging fear that Poor Kyle wished he’d never married me. Characterized mainly by the fact that that only led to more dramatics, which led to more fear that my husband hated my guts. The second year was a long drawn-out cycle of silly.
The third year we knew each other better. We knew what fights to avoid (though we [read: I] can’t always resist like we know we should). By year three, Poor Kyle finally figured out which of my two shoulders suffers from chronic pain, and concentrates on that one when he rubs my back. By now I know that it’s squash he hates, will never eat, not even with the promise of lingerie afterward. I have come to understand that on the nights he gets home and crashes in the basement with the PS3 and some loud-sounding animated weapons after dinner instead of washing the dishes while I rinse, it’s not because he hates me or he’s having an affair…it’s because he’s tired. That’s all. He had a long day.
And I can relax.
Three years, I understand, is not many.
But to me it seems like a long time. It boggles me to think that we might have another three years together, and three again, and probably again until before we know it we have saggy bums and other parts are sagging too. It is strange to think that someday we will have children, and probably they will have children and he will take our grandkids on quad rides and so will I take our grandkids on quad rides because I will be that awesome sort of granny who takes her grandkids on quad rides.
Truly, I have difficulty fathoming exactly how long eternity is. The milestones between here and there are beyond my comprehension. We will pay off mortgages, sure, and I will graduate from college, yes, but we might also have children with disabilities, or maybe I will go blind by 40 or maybe Kyle will have a heart attack because of his prematurely high cholesterol. As good as I am hoping our lives will be, I am so aware they will come with plenty of trials.
Three years ago I woke up and covered my stress pimples with concealer that may have concealed some of the redness but couldn’t possibly cover the anxiety I felt about changing my life and learning to have sex—the two main reasons I was scared to get married.
This morning when I woke, I didn’t bother with makeup at all, and when we stood next to each other in front of the bathroom mirror, me brushing my teeth and Kyle contorting to pick at a spot on his back, he didn’t even have to ask before I pulled two squares of Kirkland brand toilet paper off of its roll and squeezed his white-headed pimple with my long thumbnails which I have diligently grown out for just such an enterprise.
The pimple gave easily, and the creamy juicy goodness exploded all over, just like my love for my husband sometimes does. It was so satisfying, for both of us.
Often I worry that our lives will be harder than even I can imagine, which is saying an awful lot because my imagination is more out-of-control than the average person’s I think.
But I know I picked the right person to be with through it all.