Who Knew What “I Do” Would Do?

In May, my husband and I will have celebrated, achieved, accomplished, persevered, survived, endured 32 years of marriage. (Insert the verb that best describes your marital experience. Frankly, they all fit mine.)

I have spent some time thinking about all the ups and the downs; the easys and the not-so-easys in our marriage. I have realized that when I walked down the church aisle and spoke the two words that would change my life, I had no idea what “I do” would do or for how long it would do it.

I left the house where my mother carried the loads of life and laundry and we moved into an apartment where most of the carrying, loading and laundering in our lives was done by me. Not a problem after Greg realized that real men wear pink socks.

I also bought a “how to” book that taught me to speak the love language of a newlywed and began sounding out a few of the more difficult phrases like, “Yes, I’ll find you attractive when you’re bald,” and “Oh, a shower massage. What a perfect gift for our first anniversary.” Difficult, but doable.

What I was not prepared for were the changes in all those small, insignificant pieces of life that were intrinsic to my first 19 years. Greg and I spent weeks flipping over the toilet paper roll until I finally gave up and learned to pull from the top.

Before we got married, I slept on the left side of my bed. On our honeymoon, my new husband rolled me to the right and staked a permanent claim on my spot causing me to get up on the wrong side of the bed for the rest of my life.

The temperature in my house has dropped from a comfortable 72 degrees to one that will freeze your saliva in three minutes if you happen to drool during the night. I haven’t been warm for an extended period of time in the last 32 years.

We started eating supper two hours early. We watched dumb stuff on television. And we put blinking lights on our Christmas tree! (Due to advances in computer technology,the flashing speed of our tree lights can now bring on epileptic seizures in perfectly healthy people.)

Why don’t marriage counselors talk about these things? Why don’t mothers give their daughters a list of these lesser known issues to discuss with their future spouses? Why don’t our marriage vows include, “In sickness and in health, in boxers or in briefs, with thick crust or with thin, until death (whether accidental or intentional) do us part”?

I’ll admit that all these little botherations can heat my emotions to their boiling point . . . until Greg coolly walks in with a bag of Chinese food, a James Taylor CD, and the promise of a good back rub.

Don’t we all know that it is the small things in a marriage that can break . . . or make it.