Friday, February 18, 2011

Marriage Defined

Why is everything better when Ruanita is home? Last night, after she had a decidedly horrible week at work, Ruanita got off work early and was home by 9:00pm. I surprised her with her favorite homemade comfort food—meatloaf and mashed potatoes. She had had a rough week, so I thought she was in need of a home-cooked meal. Then we did the unthinkable. We sat down and talked.

We chatted about our day. We watched a couple episodes of Cake Boss and marveled at his amazing creations and his overbearing familia. We brushed our teeth, went to bed, and continued our conversations in bed. We chatted about the kids. We exchanged funny stories of things the kids had said and done during the week to make us laugh out loud. I told her about Lucas saying to me last night, as I was tucking him into bed, “Momma? When you and mom go to live in one of those places where old people go, do you want us to keep the house?” I have no clue what prompted that particular question, but I nearly choked when he asked me. Apparently, my son—at the ripe age of eight years old—is already planning our nursing home. We laughed and commiserated. We marveled at the utter weirdness of the three little people living in our house. We actually connected. It was amazing.

Tonight Ruanita and I get to go on a date night. My mother has graciously, or perhaps foolishly, volunteered to watch our kids for us so we can go out and have some adult alone time. I am not sure yet what we will be doing, but I am guessing dinner and a movie will be on tap. I can't remember the last time I saw a movie that did not have Cinderella's castle in the opening credits. It is amazing to me how much brighter the world seems when Ruanita and I are connecting. With our schedules and the craziness of our lives, real connection is difficult. As a matter of fact, it is downright painful at times. Phone calls and emails are a poor substitute for face-to-face connection. The subtle art of communication is lost across telephone lines. Comments are misconstrued. Points are misunderstood. Tones are misread.

I am looking forward to this evening as a chance to get a little bit of us back. When we are us, things just seem to fall into place. Everything is truly better when we are communicating and connecting. The world is a happier place when we are together. The load seems lighter. It's amazing to me the ability we have to uplift one another. We truly enjoy one another's company. And we desperately miss one another when we are apart. Yes, it is sappy and obnoxious. Some may call us co-dependent or too enmeshed. I don't see it that way, however. We simply enjoy spending time together. Despite all of the day to day shit—despite the struggle and general absurdity of it all—we genuinely want to be together. I guess that is the definition of a marriage, huh?


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