Ah the beginning of a relationship! I’m going to borrow a quote from Beautiful Girls. The scene was set in an ice-fishing shack whilst two involved people shared a chat about relationships over whiskey. “You know how it is in the beginnings, when you first fall in love? You can’t eat, you can’t sleep and getting a call from her makes your day; it’s like seeing a shooting star? But inevitably, it goes away”. He then goes on mumbling about the Big Fade which translates to a long term, boring-ass relationship. I have been in love with this scene, not only because I’m secretly in love with Timothy Hutton, but more importantly, because I’ve pondered the same scenario.
I met my husband just over eleven years ago. We met on a rainy Sunday. We watched Stealing Harvard, snuggled, talked and consumed massive amounts of Ben & Jerry’s in between stolen kisses. It was heaven. And the following months and early years were no exception. Yes, our relationship was like a stunning sequined dress in those first few months. As if the angels were singing in the background of our time together and a constant flurry of white doves flew about our heads. But then, months pass and the sparks fade a bit. The angelic chorus becomes more of a low mumble through bits of static. And then there’s the occasional rain of dove poop.
What happened? Life. That’s what. But I’ve come to realise in my matured thirty-seventh year, that each new experience, each vacation, each catastrophic home repair, each fight, each child, each smile and tear – it has all weaved together a portion of, what has become, our lifetime together. It’s not perfection that’s required; it’s how you handle the imperfections.
We’ve definitely had our imperfections. But we’ve overcome them; that’s what matters. Sometimes I want to throw potatoes at his head. Other times, the butterflies still flutter in my tummy. He infuriates me, challenges me and confuses me to the point of sticking around long enough to psycho-analyze. Ok, and he’s quite handsome; that in itself saves the day.
I guess the whole point of being with someone for ‘eternity’ is finding someone you like, love, adore, sometimes hate, but mostly adore. And if the ice cream flavor gets old, add some sprinkles.
We just celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. I don’t know what’s around the corner, but I know this is it. This is the man I’m going to get old with, read the paper with, raise our grand-kids with, die with. A long term relationship may seem like the Big Fade because sparks, flowers, the rain, the sun – they all fade. It IS inevitable. But I can’t imagine settling into the fade with anyone else who just ‘gets’ me.