The Princess Bride

As of April 24, 2012, I’ve been married eight years.

I’ve been trying to write a post about marriage for two weeks, and not taking into consideration all the other stuff I’ve been doing, I keep getting stuck on how to begin. I’ve come back to:

(1) Shouting MAW-WAGE a la The Princess Bride and then making an analogy about building an immunity to iocane powder to being married (and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, shame on you), or…

(2) Getting stuck on how many posts about anniversaries start with “Eight years ago I married my best friend.” Because, well, I didn’t.

Don’t get me wrong; I married someone with whom I was very much in love and wanted to spend the rest of my life, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say he was my one-and-only bestie. My fiancée came in a close third or fourth after my sister and my mom and maybe one of my girlfriends from kindergarten and a college roommate. We’d never shared a bathroom stall, for example. Spent an eighteen-hour period drinking Red Dog and watching Friends reruns. Walked an hour across Vegas at 3 a.m. because we couldn’t get a cab after a Dave Matthews concert. Had a nuclear blowout over a leopard print outfit from The Limited and a coordinating Units belt. We didn’t go to middle school, high school or college together. In fact, we never lived in the same town before we were married, and only lived in the same state for nine months of our three-year courtship. So, well: no. Not exactly.

Marriage is hard (yes, I know: DUH.). It deserves honesty, and loyalty, and the ability to look at the worst in yourself and your partner and not flinch. My husband and I have very different temperaments, but we’re both (1) stubborn as mules and (2) fighters, each in our own way.  We’ve fought over everything from where to live to how to spend money to how to fight. We moved across the country together, and then across an ocean. We had a baby. When things were hard, and there were times when they were, we fought for each other. We’ve learned that happiness is a choice and not a right, and that very few things worth doing are easy. That the things that matter most are worth not just fighting for, but forgiving.

So, no, I’m not going to blow smoke up your ass and say I married my best friend. Unequivocally, however, I’m married to my best friend today. He’s solid and loving and a great father and sometimes a know-it-all i(nsert insulting word for the male species here). Some days I can’t wait for him to get home and occasionally I can’t stand to be in the same room with him, but there are rarely ever days where I don’t feel deeply, deeply satisfied with my choices in life.

That’s the trick about marriage, too. It sneaks up on you. When I look back at the last eight years, it seems like before is just this surreal place I once lived. The memories of before are great; they made me who I am. But the now is so much richer. So it sort of bugs me when someone says I married my best friend, because that’s not exactly my story, and I feel like it’s implied that it should be. In my story, we had to live together, be married, be partners, to build what we have now, and it’s made me a believer. I believe in us. I believe we’ll make it because we had to work through our differences, and we had to find out who we were individually, and who we were together, and even though it wasn’t always easy, and won’t be in the future, we did it.

Smooch -s

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

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24 thoughts on “The Princess Bride

  1. Love it. My husband wasn’t my best friend in the beginning. I had a whole, complete life before we got together. But he’s sure my other half now. Wouldn’t have done it any other way.

  2. So many things to say. A) I love this post. B) I wish I were better at fighting. I’m better than I WAS, but still some work to do there. C) With your residential situations and locations so wildly different it seems to me a miracle that you two actually met at all in the first place. Yay, miracles! And D) but perhaps the most important thing…OMG UNITS!!! What a success story that is. I look back on that store and those clothes with such fondness. And for what? Because someone mass produced brightly colored squares and rectangles? Classic.

    • YES, UNITS! I thought I might be the only one who remembered, but WOW did we love them! that’s the kind of idea i need to come up with. 🙂

  3. Is it wrong that the reference to Units is what made me love you the most? I realize the person above me thinks the same thing…maybe we all went to the same high school. And you’re right. It DOES sneak up on you! We hit 6 years this July and now our spawn sneak up on all of us!

    • ah, why thanks! my spawn is getting more and more adept at sneaking up on me and WOW does he think it’s funny. and seriously, i am so happy i’m not the only units nostalgic because i really thought i was the only one… are we all from texas?

      • No! We had Units too! In Maryland. 😉 Besides the Units reference, I loved your statement that happiness is a choice, not a right! So true. Also, love me some Princess Bride. Very nice start to the post. Ellen

  4. Happy Anniversary. My hillbilly and I have been married 8 years too. And he is definitely my best friend. Now.

  5. “Some days I can’t wait for him to get home and occasionally I can’t stand to be in the same room with him” – Could this line be any truer!!! And I loved your Princess Bride references. Awesome.

  6. Must admit I saw that coming 8 years+ ago!!! Am I psychic? Maybe, or maybe I was a few miles ahead of you on a very similar journey and can confirm it only gets better, but always requires effort on both sides. If it were ez then it would most likely be the equivilant of watching grass grow or listening to a bunch of tsips talk football.

    Love you & the wman you have become.

    • aw, we love you too SO MUCH. can’t believe it’s been so long – i so want dane to meet you both! and oh god the football. i think we’re going to the auburn game this year because, well, it’s only 800 miles instead of 2200. oy.

  7. Congrats on 8 years, old friend 🙂 Does it feel like it hasn’t been long enough to be 8 years? I feel that way. Love your writing. Remind me again why you became an engineer, when you are such an amazing writer?? And, ah, the memories-I forget about things like Units, until people with better memories remind me. I think my sisters and I fought like cats & dogs over who got to wear what pieces. I’m sure Mo looked the best in them, but we all thought we were so hot! I wish I had pictures!!

    • no!! in so many ways i feel like we’re still trying to finish those stupid blasingame projects, and then i think, am i really that old? when did i get here? HOW did i get here? and thanks for the kind words about my writing – my life choices pretty much baffle all of us. loving all the pictures on facebook, hope your sweet little j is feeling better!

  8. It is a lot of work – especially when children are around. I’m always astounded by the couples I see who seem blissful and never fight. Perhaps there are a lot of them, but once I actually ask, everyone says OH NO! We fight like crazy sometimes! And then I feel better.

    We’ve become each other’s closest friends, for sure. I shy away from any sort of BEST friend, because it changes on the situation. Great post, Smushy.

  9. My marriage ended because we got lost. We moved several times, had babies quick, and everything changed so fast. It was scary. Divorce was scary. But so are relationships. I’ve been in my current relationship for five years now and you are right…”We’ve learned that happiness is a choice and not a right, and that very few things worth doing are easy.” Had I known this before…well, I’m very content, so we won’t try to guess. 😉 I love that you started this post with “I’ve been trying to write a post about marriage….” It speaks to marriage itself–complex and difficult–and to how difficult it can be to speak about the reality of things. Our culture isn’t always kind to truth. Brave post, indeed. And I am happy you are happy in your marriage!

    • i’m so sorry i haven’t responded to this before, because it’s something i keep coming back to and thinking about. marriage is so complex, and even today, even though i think we know where we’re going, things could still take a completely different – good or bad – path. so it reminds me to take these moments where things are working and hodl onto them and try to guard them in the future. thank you for that!

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