Thursday, March 15, 2007

Happy Two-Year Anniversary To Me

Today is our 2-year wedding anniversary, so I figured I'd expound on the wonders of our marriage.

I still think it was pretty much an arranged marriage, courtesy of eharmony. Seriously. He lived in Tucson, and besides talking on the phone daily, we only saw each other twice before I flew myself down there to marry the guy. It's crazy to think about.

We went into the relationship with our cards (and baggage) on the table. We both wanted security, commitment, marriage and a family. I wasn't willing to move, but he wanted a colder climate. I've done some awful things in my past, but so has he. I have a fear of abandonment, and so does he. Etc. The cards. The baggage. Out there.

I hated his hair when I first met him. He had a greasy, long blonde ponytail that went down his back. Pulled tight. Shaved up the sides. And he was balding a bit. Totally hated his hair. I didn't ask him to cut it, but the gods smiled on me, and about four months into our long-distance relationship, he decided that as a symbol of moving on to the next phase of his life, he'd chop it off. And I think he's handsome now. Sigh of relief.

He also had a BO problem that was part of his baggage. I wasn't willing to accept this as a way of life, though. And I seriously think it was something in the atmosphere or something that he ate down there, because once he was moved up here to Wisconsin, he wasn't very stinky. Of course I made sure that he showered every day AND wore deodorant.

I'm a crazy, neurotic person who usually has to be medicated to function in normal society. I was also a smoker. I'm not sure I'm any less neurotic (although now I don't always need medication), but I did quit smoking for him. I still miss it, and it's been more than two years. But I don't miss a lot of things about smoking. The money, the smell, the need to stand outside in the bitter cold WI winters.

So we brought two slighty disfunctional people together and made a marriage. We quickly developed routines, and we prefer each other's company to that of others most of the time. We like the same things, and we don't argue a lot. And we both love our son, and we both are looking forward to meeting this new little baby.

The man treats me like a princess. He loves going out of his way to do nice things for me, and every single evening, he scratches my back for at least five to ten minutes. And since I like back scratches better than back massages, it's a good match.

He's very affectionate and gets all giddy when I hold hands with him in public. He likes cuddling almost more than I do, and he lets me have five pillows on my side of the bed.

He loves his job, and doesn't mind putting in overtime. He loves doing projects around the house, and even finishes them sometimes.

He's wonderful. And he's very different from my father.

Don't get me wrong, I love my dad, but he makes a lousy husband. When I was a little girl, I kept hoping my parents would get a divorce so the fighting would stop. My dad is a workaholic, and he has very traditional views of a man's role and a woman's role in the house. So my mom stayed at home, and her number one job was catering to his every whim. Coffee on time, dinner in front of the tv, chocolate milk, keeping the kids as quiet as possible while he was around, not talking about her faith, etc. When my mom wouldn't do something right, he'd call her a dipshit, and say that she's worthless. Every day of my life growing up. It sucked. Sure, he didn't hit her or us, but the verbal abuse still rings in my ears today.

Once he was older and found a company he enjoyed working for, he mellowed out a little bit, but his incapability to be a loving and supportive husband (let alone father) continued. The fighting wouldn't be every day, but at least once a week.

A couple years ago, mom took him to the emergency room because of a cold that wasn't getting any better. He was admitted to the ICU and needed 8 pints of blood. Why? Congestive heart failure and colon cancer. After the surgeries and the chemotherapy, he is actually much better to be around, and my mom is happier. He's more relaxed and more easy going. And he gets coffee for my mom every day, and he seems to delight in his grandchildren. At Thanksgiving, they announced that they will not get divorced now. After forty years of marriage, they figure it'd be easier to just stay together.

And Chester is nothing like him. My husband will do his share of the chores when I remind him to, and he loves making my life easier. He doesn't ever call me names, and he doesn't avoid spending time with our son. He cherishes us like we are his treasures, and he is very much a family man. We are his number one priority. And I love him for it.

I'm the one who has to be careful not to turn into my father. I try to adjust the way I work with Chester so that I'm nothing like my dad. It's tough. I catch myself being very irritated and short tempered with him. Sometimes I get so frustrated, I want to call him a bad name and put a pound of scorn behind it. I love being treated like a princess, and I have to remind myself that I can't make Chester do everything.

So our marriage has become a constant competition to be sweeter, more loving, more generous and kinder every day. It's not a bad way to live.