This photo was taken for a photo tour of my house a few years back. But I go back to it often, because it sums us up. On the porch, having tea, together.
In a few short days (Saturday) IZ and I will celebrate 22 years together. Married. We don’t count those years before because that number is getting ridiculously large!
Wedded bliss? Um, sometimes.
Wedded strife? Um, sometimes.
Mostly, it’s two people committed to striving together. And that in itself, is a beautiful thing.
It’s the nature of marriages, any marriage. You bump into things you weren’t expecting. Life hands you lemons. You make lemonade or margaritas. You squabble. You row. You fight. You endeavor toward intimacy. And it’s not always pretty.
But I choose to write about the good. The beautiful. The bliss. And I will continue to do so, despite the recent impulse of the blogosphere to bare its soul. While I applaud the willingness of bloggers to get real and share the hard stuff. To forsake, if only for a few moments, the urge to “pretty it up” and make it seem presentable. When it comes to my marriage, I blog the beauty.
I’ll show you my laundry. And the works in progress. And weeds in the yard along with the before pictures and the posts about failed recipes. I’ll tell you that I struggle with my weight and staying on task and being charitable to neighbors who kill my roses.
I will not blog our arguments or our petty disagreements. And my choice has nothing to do with fear. I’m not fronting or pretending that my marriage is perfect. I just choose to talk about the good as a matter of principle and discipline. The implication, that by not sharing our dirt, I’m somehow “less authentic” makes me bristle. I can’t help but wonder when did it become OK rat out your partner for the sake of blog authenticity?
But then, I also don’t call my girlfriends or gossip over coffee about the content of those arguments either.
You know who I do talk about those arguments with? IZ. Usually, it’s me all animated, talking as fast as I’m walking, as we put in the daily miles around the neighborhood. Call me old fashioned (I SO AM) I just think those moments belong to us. (I mean, if you want to camp out along our route and watch, be my guest.) And maybe a therapist or minister if ever needed. But, certainly not the internet. It’s not fear, folks. It’s respect and a mutual unspoken agreement that we have each other’s backs. No matter what we might be thinking about each other at the moment.
And I know that sounds a bit preachy—so let me soften it a bit. If only because, if I am afraid to tell you something, it’s that I worry you’ll judge me for drawing this line. IZ and I promised each other 22 years ago “for better or for worse” to cherish each other. Ratting him out on the internet isn’t cherishing him, in my book. Writing about all the woes isn’t cherishing the hard work and determination marriage requires. Pointing out the cracks and crevices and uneven edges of our marriage, doesn’t feel like cherishing. It feels like complaining. And, trust me, (Oh my aching joints!) I do enough of that already! The line between being authentic and over-sharing is a thin thing. We cannot hope to define it for others. But, like the old adage about porn, we know it when we see it. It troubles me greatly, this trend of spilling out guts for the sake of authenticity.
So, I tell you the good, the beautiful, the bliss because those moments so far outweigh any of the struggle. And I share the good, the beautiful, the bliss because it is the result of everything we’ve been through together. The strife, well it’s just the cement, folks. It’s grout. It’s the necessary conflict required to obtain intimacy. And it’s between us. Just us.