For better or worse

Today, Dave and I have been married 15 years. And a journey that started with a handshake and a loud introduction has become this epic adventure involving 2 kids + 1 cat + 3 fish + 2 houses + 5 cars + 3 apartments + 2 degrees + 3 surgeries + 5 international vacations + 6 jobs + 1 citizenship!! We are way past a starter marriage, we are way past marriage as a convenient way to get an American citizenship – we are firmly in the middle stretch! This is the time when we will cease to be recognized as individuals and will devolve into that amorphous protoplasmic blob known as “Maya and Adam’s parents“. We have surfaced from the sleep-deprived, groggy haze of early parenthood into the hectic, activity-filled, perpetually-chauffering roller coaster of middle parenthood.

Crystal Cobalt123According to the wise people at Wikipedia, the 15th anniversary is crystal – a solid material whose constituent atoms, molecules, or ions are arranged in an ordered pattern extending in all three spatial dimensions. Hmmm….somehow “ordered pattern” does not accurately describe the swirling chaos of our life!

So I’d like to take a moment to wallow in some nostalgia and remember our wedding.  On a lovely, sunny afternoon, in a flower drenched wedding hall in Pune 15 years ago, a tiny Indian priest in a sweater vest married us Vedic style – so we didn’t just old school it – we pretty much ancient schooled it! I was telling my kids this story and Maya said “Does this mean you were married in the 1900s“!! Yeah, that didn’t make me feel old at all! But theoretically we were – we were married in the last official year of the 1900s.

The priest did all the rituals in Sanskrit, and then repeated them in English for the benefit of the white boy I was marrying. Of course what that meant was the guy would say it in Sanskrit, then look at Dave and say it in English, then Dave would look at me questioningly because of the priest’s thick Indian accent, then I would repeat what the priest had said in English with an American accent, and then Dave would give the appropriate response! So….technically I guess what this really means is that I married Dave and me!

And now I find myself wondering – what have I learnt about love and relationships in the last 15 years? My grandmother once told me – “Marriage has very little to do with love and everything to do with economics“! I’m not that cynical but, to me, love is not in violent, emotional declarations, or in grand romantic gestures.

It’s when your partner clears the snow off your car before work so you don’t have to spend more time in the cold.

It’s when he supports your decision to spend an extraordinarily long, seemingly never-ending period of time in grad school being a moocher because that’s your dream.

It’s when he accompanies you to a social gathering even though he would rather gouge his eyeballs out with a blunt teaspoon.

It’s when you come home bone-weary at 9:30 at night and he’s made dinner.

It’s when you voluntarily choose not to eat the last brownie in a pan – even though it’s chocolate and seems to be calling your name.

It’s when making him laugh will make you feel like you’ve won an Olympic medal – and you didn’t even have to break a sweat.

It’s when you can forgive him, albeit with little grace, for beating you in Harry Potter Uno, and can refrain from calling him a cheater (even though he like totally cheated).

It’s when you can sit at the dinner table long after the meal is over and still find each other somewhat mildly interesting.

So happy anniversary to my hard-working, slightly socially awkward, hilarious, competitive, mildly interesting, infinitely patient spouse. We have so much more to look forward to – teenagers, middle school, high school, teenagers, college, home improvement projects, hormones, did I mention teenagers? Yeah baby, LET’S DO THIS!!

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