Monday, February 1, 2010
Posted by Maggie May Labels: scenes from a marriage
In AA you are taught that the word fine really means Fucked Up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional. What? I'm just saying. Many words in the English language are dubious. What Webster's says they mean and what they really mean are two different things.
If your daughter hears you squeal 'Bruuuuce' when a Springteen song comes on and says ' Keep your pants on mom, ' it may sound like she hears questionable humor from her father, when in reality, the top silver shiny button on your skinny jeans has just popped open, after you have eaten your 15th Thin Mint cookie of the day, because your daughter is in the Girl Scouts, which really and truly is an organization about the fattening of suburban mothers, and has nothing to do with little girls doing good and ironing on patches.
Maybe that was a bad example.
Take the word marriage. Mine is in a hard part, a hurting phase. My marriage has distinct and unique challenges to it, outside the normal box of broke, young kids, full time work, bad habits and all that - challenges. Hm. Maybe, take the word, challenges. I challenge you to a duel. I challenge you to prove your love. I challenge you to eat three tacos in under one minute. I challenge you to do your Saturday chores before the Rapture. I challenge you to face and conquer your darkest demons in order to save our marriage. Incorporating both those words in there, it all appears obvious. Either DO IT, or don't. Either make a decision, or DON'T. Either, Or. But life is lived 99 percent of the time in between Either and Or ( both lands frequented by old grannies with wooden spoons and a sour, i been suckin on my dentures and they taste like Grandpa's balls kind of expression ) in the land of Part. As in, part of me is brave, and the other part a coward. Part of this marriage is fantastic and part is making me doubt my ability to ever grow up in the sense of 'turn in your taxes on time spend money wisely and remain emotionally stable'. Part of our sex life involves donkeys, and part of it doesn't. Part of this paragraph is true to life and part is full of beans.
When we marry, we each have ideas of what that word means. When we accept that we will face challenges in life, we each have ideas- often which are completely wrong- about what those challenges might be, and how we expect our Marriage to handle those challenges. Marrying means accepting the impossible dream comes attached to real people. For me, marrying meant a dream attached to the very real beautiful butts of three very loved children, our Dakota, our Ian, our Lola. I thank the Universe every day for these children, even under the most trying and brutal challenges. Ah. That word again. The grace of a unbearable childhood is that, if you are lucky enough to find your way out of it, you understand much younger and much deeper that few things really matter, and the ones that do are worth living for, not just worth dying for, but living for. Really living. Like, my ass and heart are exposed to the wind and the whole world can see me but I am here, and I am giving it all I have, I am working hard for the money, I am putting in full time hours and sweating and sore muscles and studying all night all semester and next year too, and no one, whatever else they can and will say, can or will ever say that I do any less than that.
I know that Mr. Curry and I both believe closely, so closely the same what the word marriage means, beyond the dictionary definition, toward the watermark, the meaning we see rising through our days and lives, the silent agreement made between two people when they unite, unsaid and barely conscious, about what life will be, married. The river that runs through it, as they say.
What do they say, again?
*illustration, Daren Newman