“The Principal said I could bring one of the kittens to Back to School night. I’m going to wear her in a newborn sling.”
“On the bright side, I farted today and it released years’ of tension.”
“Today, Des pooped a baseball shape.”
(for that last one, Des agreed and pointed to his diaper)
And for the record, Cassidy WAS listening and laughed at all of those.”
I had to put that on the record. He WAS listening. He laughed at my ludicrosity. (I just made up that word, apparently) He’s probably almost always listening. And he almost always laughs at my ludicrosity. Not even at me. With me. So I’m not exactly proud of the immature test I gave to see if he was listening, but there is a reason I gave that test. It made me think that somewhere along the line, somewhere in the last six years of marriage or so, I must have felt that I wasn’t being heard.
I don’t think people talk about it enough. Or maybe they do, and not everyone is listening? Not yet? When your days consist of diaper blow-outs and bills and work and resentment and low self-esteem, and it’s a wonder sometimes that anyone makes it work. Yet so many do. It takes that good, magic work that all love things take. As with all work, some people like it and some people don’t. Some people like certain types of work, and some people don’t like any. Sometimes you really like your co-workers, and sometimes you really don’t. Some people have a much better work ethic than other people, it’s safe to say.
Don’t we all want to be noticed more? Or worshipped a tiny bit? Sometimes, we take each other for granted. We don’t write love notes. We forget to show the dizzying love we may still feel. We should still feel. We forget. We glance at other people and wonder. We think about what might have been. Some people do all of those things. Some people do none. I think the average long-term married person gets to those points during the marriage. Maybe once. Maybe twice. Maybe several times.
When I was reading “Clash of the Couples,” I was in a particularly heavy mood, that is not necessarily the mood I am always in. While this book was certainly lighter than my last two reviews, it still showed the fragility of relationships, and in this case, romantic relationships. The book showed how misunderstandings and distance and obliviousness can spiral swiftly.
I enjoyed every story. I was humored and/or heartened by every single one. I really liked Jenny Hills’ story. I would never dare to choose or call out favorites because these are ALL expertly and thoughtfully written and will mean different things to different people, but her story hit me in the heart big time. It was lovely and ludicrous and true and raw and wonderful. Jenny’s story also showed fantastic character development, and you just wanted to hug her husband by the end. And her!
Kimberly Morand’s story cracked me up. It read like a movie, with great dialogue and cringe-inducing scenes. And every word of it is true. There is a placenta story and a case of “are they identical or fraternal twins” that made me laugh out loud.
One thing I loved about the stories, even the ones that talked about exes, is that the authors were discussing fights, spats and clashes, but they all spoke with love, respect and honor about their spouses and partners. They are all clearly IN. Are you?
Gone are the days in which everything you do or say is an obvious delight. Gone are the days of long love letters, rather than:
And I admit that I miss that. I miss being worshipped. I miss being fully heard. However, so many wonderful things develop in those places – the cracks and the crevices that time wears off of something shiny and new. More solid flowers can grow in those cracks. And they don’t die after a week in a vase, like those dozen roses he had sent to your work when you were first dating. (or a dozen chocolate-covered strawberries our case – they don’t last long either). They come back, season after season, beating after beating, because they are strong and beautiful. These are the roots you set down once – without even realizing how firmly you were planting them down. Stamping them down. Push after shove. Until they were so far gone, you can’t even see them sometimes. Some seasons. But they’re always there and they’re always growing. And that’s marriage.