Today, we'll start with a confession: when I put up the picture of Steve cleaning up my spills and splotches yesterday, I just thought the whole thing was funny. Embarrassing, but funny. But your comments made me see that more than that was going on; that Steve was appreciating what it means to be married to me - "counting the cost" as some might say - and deciding that it was worth it, even if we'll never be a wall-to-wall white carpet kind of couple. Thank you for the reminder :)
It came at a good time. As your comments trickled in, I was hip-deep in books about failed or failing relationships. I'm working on the proposal for Book #2 again, specifically a chapter about disappointment and betrayal (which is approximately as much fun as having a cavity filled. Necessary - even interesting at times. But not the most delightful way to spend an afternoon). I got all snarled up in a book about a woman who left her husband for a year to find herself, as if you can ever have a "self" wholly apart from the person you're married to, be he good, bad, or somewhere in between. (I know that isn't the prevailing sentiment in women's studies these days, but in my experience at least, if you're sharing a bed, a refrigerator, a mailbox and a TV remote control with a man you've pledged to love, honor, and cherish in sickness and in health, you're sufficiently intertwined that individuality becomes an almost silly notion. You can find your talents, your dreams, even your fabulosity, but you probably can't find your "self"). Anyway...
It made me wonder (to take us back to a happy place), what do we mean when we think of being loved, honored, cherished? What does that look like? For me (and I never would have guessed this), it looks like a man with a bottle of Multi-Purpose cleaner and a paper towel, seeing where his wife spent the day and laughing about it.
What does it (or might it) look like for you?