Monday, November 05, 2012

Reason #2 Why My Marriage is Just Like Yours

The ledge.

It may come as a shock to you, my loyal readers, but this calm, cool, collected persona that oozes from every pore of my body is merely a ruse. In actuality, I am probably one of the more neurotic people you could ever have the good fortune to meet. Rather than letting my anxiety loose on an unsuspecting world like all the proper crazy people do, I like to bottle it up and shove it down to the deepest depths of my psyche. With no release valve of any sort. I like to let it fester and bubble and marinate until it is super concentrated crazy. Then, and only then, do I let it out.

After fifteen years of marriage, Ruanita can smell the impending crazy a mile away. Like a bomb-sniffing dog. Or those dogs that know their owners are going to have a seizure before it happens and nudges them away from blunt objects. She knows the crazy has arrived a good three days before I ever suspect that I am a woman on the edge. And it usually falls to her to talk me down from the ledge.

Right now, my current obsession is the upcoming election, as evidenced by this series of posts. Not only are we voting for president, but we are also voting on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota. I am obsessed. I watch the news. I read online article after online article about the election. Any time I am in my car, I am listening to NPR, to my children’s great disappointment. If I have frantically asked Ruanita once, I have asked her a hundred times, “What are we going to do if Romney wins?” “What are we going to do in the Republicans are in power?” “What are we going to do if the amendment passes?” “What are we going to do?” “What are we going to do?!?”

Ruanita always responds in her calmest first-responder voice—the voice reserved for babies and puppies and unhinged spouses—“We are going to do nothing.”

And she is right. We are a family and nothing is going to change that. We will go to work on Wednesday morning no matter what happens. Sophie will have a Girl Scouts meeting Wednesday night no matter who the president is. Lucas will have math homework that has to be done no matter what the legal status of his moms’ relationship. Nicholas will have to be forced off the Wii for the 2,365th time no matter how Minnesotans vote on Tuesday. Life will go on. We survived eight years of George W. Bush without immigrating to Canada. I survived 12 years of Catholic school as a lesbian. Ruanita survived being raised by a full-time inhabitant of “the ledge.” I survived college with the piss-poorest study habits known to humankind. We survived twin toddlers, for God’s sake. We are survivors and we will keep on keeping on.

I just need Ruanita to occasionally be the voice of reason and talk me down from my perch on the lunatic ledge. I just need to hear the dulcet tones of her first-responder voice. I need her to remind me that everything is okay and we are going to be just fine no matter what happens. Then—and only then—can I gingerly climb down from the ledge and resume my post in the land of the sane and rationale. Until the next time something pushes my frantic button and the craziness creeps back in.

Talking one another down from the ledge is one more way that my marriage is just like your marriage.


Madgew said...

Shannon, who knew this about you???? Ruanita, of course. I am going to start calling her Saint Ruanita. You two are blessed to have each other.

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