Well, ladies and gentlemen, I fit back into my wedding dress. And I’m proud to say there was nary a pair of pliers, spanx or even three grown adults in sight trying to get it on me.
Yes, it fits a little, er, differently.
But… when I put it on and could actually get it zipped up, I felt as magical and alluring as Melisandre, the red priestess.
(Let’s not talk about the glaring visual parallels of me taking off the dress and Melisandre taking off her necklace…)
It was a personal goal of mine to get back into that dress… someday. I didn’t actually think it would happen this year! I promise not to overshare my annoying excitement.
Tomorrow is my and Brian’s 9-year anniversary. He made a point to tell me last weekend, “Just so you don’t embarrass yourself, this is our ninth anniversary. We’ve been married nine years.” Apparently, I’m not good with dates… or years, etc. He gets huffy about it. I find him mumbling, “You’d think I’d be the one to forget these things…” a lot around October. I’m trying to be better.
But of course I know it’s our anniversary! And I know I’m pretty damn lucky to have this one by my side. Lord knows I don’t deserve him.
My husband is the eery calm that surrounds my hurricane. He is solid and centered. I, on the other hand, am all over the damn place in an unpatterned zig zag.
I could write a whole mushy, nauseating post about Brian. But I’m not going to. (Sorry, Brian.) Because who wants to hear that? And who wants another example of social media or public writing proclaiming perfection.
Nobody and no couple are perfect – and certainly not us.
When I think of the perfect marriage, I always think of my grandparents. Those two were in love. They were always hugging and kissing and dancing… my grandma was always sitting on my grandpa’s lap. Everything he did, she seemed so enamored by. And he always seemed lovingly amused by her.
My grandmother was the hurricane to my grandpa’s calm – and, sometimes, I think, What were their fights about? Did they even fight? Or did they just quietly disagree… ?
I have had a lot of friends and family tell me that Brian and I always seem so happy – that we have so much fun all of the time. And, yes, we are happy. But no marriage or partnership comes out of this life unscathed. We all carry wounds – either fresh or forgotten. Or deeply scarred.
It would be laughable if I came on here and gave you my two cents on how to be in a happy marriage or partnership. I’m only nine years in (it was nine, right? Shit, don’t tell Brian I asked). I have no business telling anyone what works or what doesn’t, what you should or shouldn’t do.
But I can tell you what I’ve observed on my own.
Not one marriage or partnership is ever, ever the same. So, don’t ever wish or envy another’s.
Partnerships are created and evolve for a million different reasons. And in a million different ways.
However your union came about – in whatever way – you have chosen to create a life together. It doesn’t have to hang like some pretty little picture on the wall (or on Instagram) for it to be real and true.
Love is beautiful.
Love is a bond.
Love can also be boring.
Every couple I know has their own unique partnership that came about in it’s own unique way. I have watched them all build one-of-a-kind lives together – good, strong, productive lives. No matter how many bad or off moments we have as partners, we have built something.
And we’ve each done it in our own way.
Sometimes we fail and sometimes we don’t.
That is life.
Don’t let social media trick you (once again) into thinking life and kids and – most importantly – your partnership should look a certain way. Think about how effing amazing it is that you have built your own unique life together and you’ve written your own story.
Live your life big. Love your life big.
Take pride in the world you’ve created.
When I took my wedding dress out to try it on, I looked down at the stained train caked with dry mud from our wedding. That day was abnormally cold and wet and muddy. The tent we had set up for the backyard needed to be moved to attach to my dad’s machine shed. The heat went out in the tent right before the ceremony. As I quickly got ready, my poor family was down the driveway trying to salvage our day. It was all a complete calamity.
I used to get a bit sad when I thought of our wedding.
Now? I refuse to ever get my dress cleaned.
That mud will forever remind me of my friends and family dancing under a tent – amidst the cold and the mud and the totally weird DJ who somehow popped up in every wedding shot we have like a creepy ass Waldo…
Where was I?
The point is, if there was ever a day to prepare me for a life partnership, it was our wedding day.
There will be surprises.
There will be chaos.
It will get muddy.
It will get lonely.
You will feel anxious.
You will feel worry.
But, if you’re lucky, you will find a way to dance (and drink) your way through every damn bit of it.