After attending a funeral this weekend for an in-law relative I have met maybe twice in eleven years the reflective mood switch lit up several times in the past few days while enjoy a cool breeze of a rolled-down window. Mentioned at least a dozen times that the car ride to and from work is my personal creative writing area, a place untouched by whines for heart-shaped commercially processed food snacks, coding errors in the database, and honey-do lists sitting on the refrigerator.
Add in a few days of gorgeous Minnesota springtime weather and there’s spot to sit back and let the adjectives and movie quotes bounce around waiting to drop into their respectively perfect spots. Its also a time to battle inner demons of uncertain things to come, and long lasting battles with depression that can appear to be on the mat staggering to get up after the balding ref yells out “8!” but catches his gloves sturdy enough for the V-shaped swimsuit donning model showing enough side boob to make the asthma sufferer in row 6 dive for his inhaler while bring out a cue card for the drooling masses signifying Round 11.
This weekend my thoughts were on marriage, and my union with someone who has her own fight in a different ring. For several years she was a nurse, a caretaker, a chauffeur. Watching a man she loved lie on the ground in convulsions from an accident, instead of under a bath of lights smacking a 12” softball and rounding first a little too much hoping for the left fielder to jumble the throw just enough to eek out an extra base. No drives to catch a local band and a few cocktails. Her life was not easy prior to the setback, and instead of the man some people have met at a card table writing here, she got an irritable asshole on most days.
There’s no claim that anyone’s life is “easy” or “more difficult” than someone else’s due to physical or mental limitations. Money, profession, sexual enjoyment are all what you make of it and how much your personal being holds those things in the order of life. What made our marriage work for those dark years is that we both had the same idea of money and kids, not sacrificing any little time that I was able to hold a conversation or just to sit down for some meat loaf and whipped garlic mashed potatoes. Call it a phase if you will, but coming out thru the literally dark house due to my light-sensitivity forced us to speak to each other more candidly, shout a little louder, and force the personalities behind that depression wall come out. Instead of marrying a shadow of a person, we both got rid of any bullshit façade and stripped ourselves down to show the true person wearing the skin of their bedmate, for better, for worse. Some couples wait until little Johnny grabs his piece of half-assed paper from the local high school and acceptance letter to State before learning that they real don’t like the person they are sleeping with flushing 18 years potential life down the Home Depot installed granite lined sink.
There will be more disagreements, more fights, but those also come with breaking down more barriers that lied between us since a day almost nine years ago which we stepped out of a church and into the newly defunct PT Crusier and rode towards a little party in downtown Anoka. The new hearing aids may help me catch almost every word spoken, but even without the technological assistance, I can tell by the tone of her voice that happiness is starting to creep more into her life now that she can be a person again versus being locked into a profession she did not ask for.
We watched the life story of her grandfather play out on the screen of the funeral home, a man with little smiles as one son struggled to describe him in good light and the other son decided to keep his words forever silent. His passing away did nothing to touch any personal grief, but lesson of living life with smile and enjoying whatever gifts the people within your grasp are willing to part with make those drives to and from work more enjoyable.
Our marriage is not one that will be feature in the love+sex section of any major publication, nor should it be in an advice episode for Dr. Phil to ponder over. It just is, as universal marital advice is only as good as you can tweak it towards fitting your puzzle.
Enough sappiness, tomorrow the bane of my favorite football team yet again waffles his Lazarus-esque return to throwing hail mary passes for money while causing ESPN executives to give each other reach-arounds now that Sportscenter will have a lead story for the next three months. Today's "story": Doctors is are the scary, I don'ts need no surgery.