Everyone wants to know what marriage has been like for me. Tada!, it’s Day 16 – I only know that because I have decided that I will record what marriage is like for the first 365 days. Whether or not there’s anything to be done with the manuscript, I don’t know, but I am enjoying capturing how simple and wonderful life is these days.
Now that the wedding is over, I can get back to the business of living. The real business where I am not the center of attention, my God is. And His will trumps all, and His Words trump all.
I ask you to bear with a lengthy post. I have an inability to tell a story without telling a story, plus I want to attempt to properly do justice when it comes to describing how divine (I pick my words carefully) the entire weekend of our wedding and subsequently the honeymoon were. And finally, I am trusting that despite the length, the right people will read this entire post – twice over, in fact. Being confident that long posts will get read and ignoring what usually intimidates me is my new way of fighting back. Intimidated by what exactly, Jasmine? Well I’ll get to that much, much later.
I work with a man – a loud, boisterous, smart man – who I adore, but I question my sanity for feeling this way. Fred, whose real name is not Fred, uses me for mundane tasks he could do perfectly well on his own but I never grow resentful, only more amused by the random thoughts he spews out in between asking me for something, and then thanking me for that something.
We leaned against the kitchen sink on Monday, my first true day back from the honeymoon, and he listened to me talk about how embarrassed I felt at answering “Perfect” when people ask me how the wedding went. Complaining is more popular, cynicism makes for better water cooler talk. But I have none. The wedding that I prayed and hoped and saved and spent on went so smoothly that I woke up the next day convinced I had dreamt it. We were debt free, our parents got along, our step-parents were made to feel included, and the speeches were timeless. All for the same amount that one of our other friends shelled out just for invitations.
From around the corner came our colleague, a working mother. Fred pointed at her and told me that she was a good wife to her husband. As she humbly swatted his compliments away, I commented that I knew she was indeed a good wife and on top of that, she manages to stay “hot” for him. Fred jumped an inch off of the ground and said, “See! See! Now if I had been the one to say that it would have been sexual harassment, but you say it and it’s ok. It’s not fair. I can’t say anything inappropriate but everyone else can!” The woman and I looked at each other while Fred walked away. He stopped two or three times to add fuel to his argument, censored himself, and did a quick turn again. I work with such interesting people.
I left Fred in the kitchen and went back to my desk to think about Brandon. When I met the man whose last name I now bear, he was a thin, handsome guy with a lot of dreams. He dreamt of being a firefighter, of perhaps owning a store where he could sell clothes, and he dreamt of travelling to music festivals that he’s already been to numerous times. He is still a dreamer, but he does the work it takes to make your dreams come alive too. Since we returned from Riviera Maya, Mexico he has been applying to law firms every day, finishing school at NYU, and making me so proud that he had the courage to admit that what he wanted, firefighting action days and fashionable nights, weren’t worth chasing if it meant God wasn’t in the plans. He embraced God’s will for his life, and I feel so sure and confident that he’ll be the provider he is supposed to be. And when he embraces me, and stares at me, and watches me, I am the most beautiful woman on earth. I am better looking than Angelina Jolie – is that who we are still using to decide if we are good or bad?
I slept on an air mattress the night before the wedding. My bridesmaids howled and cursed that this was a horrible idea, but having a) two rooms and b) my own inflatable bed gave us the space we needed and ensured that on my last night as a single woman not a single person would touch me. I have to spend the rest of my life sharing a bed with a man who has the boniest knees. But I can forgive him for this. I woke up, and the others woke up to. We ordered room service, we started laughing. We were so loud so early in the morning. Showers were being taken, pancakes were being spread around and I could feel how many tears were waiting at the bottom of my stomach to come rushing forth when I said my vows. Not until you get a few pictures taken. Don’t you dare cry until you take a few pictures. I stood in front of the mirror and asked the others if my breasts were starting to sag. A unanimous ‘no’, but what else would they say. “‘Ya look like a nightgown model,” said Nina. It is a high compliment from a woman on a few hours of sleep.
I sleep so well now. He smells so good. Everything about this is natural and sensual and worth abandoning the beach for. Who leaves the beach on a bright day? Newlyweds, that’s who. Everything that is unfolding was worth waiting for, most of all the joy of hearing footsteps on the stairs when he is coming home at night and knowing they will not retreat at a late hour.
Our vows matched, just about. Isn’t that funny? Or is it weird and a bit nauseating?
Fred called my extension, and I picked up right away forgetting that he never calls for me anything important. “And let me tell you something else,” he started. He drove a thought train that stopped at Sexual Harassment station, circled the Marriage mountain, and ended with Kids. I must confess that I dream about our kids almost nightly. I can’t see their faces, only their teeth. They are always smiling. I tuned Fred back in, and Fred was still talking about the beginning of his marriage. He mentioned that his wife was pregnant days after they got married. “I’ve got super sperm,” he concluded.
“Well see, there you go.”
“You said something inappropriate,” I answered.
“Super sperm? SUPER SPERM IS INAPPROPRIATE?” he asked.
“WHY CAN’T I SAY SUPER SPERM?” he demanded to know.
I sighed, and told him that the fact that I needed to explain why he can’t say super sperm in the office only proves that he has absolutely no sense of what’s appropriate to say, rather than the idea that he’s censored. I can think of forty-six reasons why you can’t say super sperm in an office, but he can’t wrap his mind around any of them. It is moments like these when I am genuinely happy to be at work. True characters are not on stage, they are down the hall from you googling super sperm so that they can prove their point throughout the week.
True love is not love at first sight, it is love grown over years, re-planted from a tiny pot into a backyard garden, and given all the room it needs to flourish.
True happiness is taking the good with bad, and making more good.
to be continued…