Last weekend I attended a bridal shower as a pair of extra hands for the hostesses: my mom and brother's girlfriend. I love seeing and celebrating the beginning of marriage with other people because it's unbelievably inspiring in my own marriage, it's a reminder of those moments in the beginning that are easy to forget, it's fun to feel infected by everyone's joy in the upcoming celebrations.
Two shutters sat in the other room among the pies and ice cream desserts. Two shutters covered in mini clothespins and bits of Kraft paper inscribed with the "recipe" for a good marriage or perfect date. All the stereotypical things said, things about fighting and sleep, about money and stress, about holding hands and secret kisses. Pens scrawled over the lines encouraging, inspiring, pumping fists for the bride and groom to be. Bits of truth and beauty hanging upon two grey shutters.
It feels like an anthropological survey. Watching single women, engaged women, married women of all ages talk about marriage and love and relationships. You can see the heartbreaks, the wins, the romances, the beauty and the pain in a single room gathered around cellophane, mimosas, and ribbon. There's the advice and the jokes, moments of deep emotion and seconds of pure joy, all swirled together in tulle and glitter.
The evening wound down, the ladies left, and the boys returned home to lend in cleaning and clearing the dishes and decorations. They asked about the shutters and the papers, wondering about this recipe phenomenon. And we asked them to add their own sage wisdom. My own man, giggled and made jokes about good dinner choices, but grabbed a pen and paper for his doing.
And he wrote:
|He wanted to correct the "wifes" at the end but I wouldn't let him because I loved it just as it was.|
Because as I've watched the -inspirational, but not perfect- marriage of my parents fall victim to an atrocious disease that is taking every ounce of my father away from us, I know why I married. Because as we've attended weddings and I've wept as the father walks the bride down the aisle and then joyfully danced the night away in my own husband's arms, I know why I married. Because when I think about my highest highs and my lowest lows, the only constant is my desire, my deep and burning desire to share it with him, I know why I married.
I married because I can't imagine spending the good days with anyone but Jason, but more than that, I can't imagine saying goodbye -in that final dying day way- to anyone but him. He's who I want to be my bookend -the functional and beautiful companion to me-, to experience with me my greatest of joys and my deepest of sorrows. Surely, marriage is difficult, it's selfless, it's about mad love but it's also easy and selfish and about simple enjoyment too.
The soon-to-be-newlyweds, they're lucky I let them keep the original.