Of Love and Ice Cream
Frankly, I think she is "marrying people" but isn't quite ready to admit to it just yet.
And I have to admit that being "marrying people" at 40, as opposed to being "marrying people" at 20 is a lot larger leap of faith.
I got married at 23. Twenty. Three. Think of yourself at 23. How clueless were you? I didn't know anything about anything and either did he. We didn't discuss life goals, financial strategies, religious beliefs, parenting philosophies.
What did we discuss? God, it seems like we discussed everything else, because I really fell in love with him because he could carry on a decent conversation. You think I'm kidding, but after an ill fated romance with a man who was undeniably good hearted, but conversationally maladroit, it was a powerful aphrodisiac.
But it turns out, we didn't really talk about anything that might pertain to our life together, until we were already living it.
If I were going to get married today, that would strike me as slightly foolhardy. I think my list of pre-requisites would be a lot more stringent now, especially if I was going to go into a marriage with children already in tow.
Frankly, that thought makes me want to curl up in a ball and go to my happy place. No, not that one, the metaphorical one.
I didn't dig dating all that much when I was young and firm and could dance the night away with few repercussions. I certainly don't relish the thought of doing all that now, with the added baggage of self-image issues.
I mean...don't get me wrong. I'm no Christie Brinkley, but I don't turn stomachs either.
But good Lord, can you imagine taking your clothes off in front of a man and knowing that he's looking at your stretch marks and your sagging breasts and your cellulite without the soft focus filter of love to blur the imperfections?
Can you imagine lying there, while a strange man makes love to you, and wondering if he can tell that you've birthed a baby whose head measured only slightly less in circumference than an actual basketball and whose size so stunned the staff that every single person in the delivery room said "WHOA" at the same time?
And you can't exactly inquire, now can you?
"MMMMM, that feels so gooooooood. It's soooooo biiiiiiiiiggggg. Say there lover... you're not thinking of that song 'Wide Open Spaces' right now, by any chance, are ya?
It makes me feel slightly verklempt.
So....all that is a really round about way of saying...I like being married, and I plan to stay married a very long time. It's true that there is nothing like the thrill of a new romance. But I'm now old enough and wise enough to realize that it's not worth sacrificing safety, security, acceptance and contentment for. It's not worth giving up on deep, abiding love.
I like comfortable. I like finishing each other's sentences. I like knowing what he is thinking before he thinks it and vice versa. I like being able to say everything we need to with a look, a gesture, a touch. I like knowing that even when I'm at my worst, he thinks I'm the best. For real.
That is not to say, that aren't days that I dig being married more than others.
The other day was one of those dug it days.
Why? I don't know. We were just clicking.
After reading "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe", I decided that my poor husband needed a good Southern meal. I rarely cook Southern cuisine, because I just don't think of it. When I'm planning meals, black eyed peas, collard greens, corn bread, okra and the like are not even in my sphere of consciousness.
Plus, I bid my gallbladder a fond farewell several years ago, and now, if I indulge too heavily in fatty, rich, or fried foods, I pay for it in numerous ways. I'll spare you the details.
Also, to be quite honest, I loathe cooking and that's a lot of labor intensive crap that I just don't like to do. Slicing, dicing, dunking, dredging, frying, boiling, mashing. Ugh.
Then there is the fact that I, having been born well North of the Mason Dixon line, simply lack the genes required to prepare certain Southern staples. I firmly believe that one must have the fried chicken gene and the biscuit gene hardcoded into their DNA in order to pull off these feats of culinary complexity.
Oh, I've been taught. Husband has NINE aunts, all of whom, plus my mother in law, and his grandmother, have patiently instructed me in their own personal technique for frying chicken and making biscuits. I took notes. I practiced. It all made perfect sense. And still I couldn't do it.
I can make German dumplings that are light as flippin air, but I cannot make a biscuit that does not sink like a hockey puck.
Regardless, I prepared a delicious Southern meal of barbecued chicken, fried okra, fried green tomatoes (Those, I can handle), corn, and cornbread. Yes, the meal was lacking a carbohydrate. Having been raised in a family with strong German heritage, I was raised believing that a meal is not complete without a potato, a noodle, or a bread. But I had to nix the fried 'taters (they do actually call them that) due to a lack of time, a third frying pan, and a full household staff.
It occurs to me now, that is how Southern women pulled off these meals day in and day out way back when. They had SLAVES. Because one person can't fry seventeen things without burning something beyond recognition and/or salvation. The Southern lady of old simply orchestrated.
Husband was pleased, Diminutive One actually deigned to touch one sliver of fried green tomato to his tongue, and Pre-Pubescent One ate everything with gusto.
I had planned to pick up a carton of Birthday Cake ice cream. I loves me some Birthday Cake ice cream, and since the curse of Eve was bearing down upon me with the force and velocity of a steaming locomotive, I meant to have some.
But focused as I was on the details of the meal, I simply forgot. It wasn't until we were leaning back in our chairs groaning, that I realized it.
"Crap. I was going to get ice cream." I said morosely.
Truthfully, I had snarfed down about 84 slices of fried green tomato and really didn't have room for ice cream. But it was the principal of the thing. I might want some later. Like...breakfast.
Husband looked at me and smirked.
"Oh shut up." I snarled. "You know what's coming. I can't help it."
"Guess what I got you on the way home."
"I did so."
And he had. The good kind too, not that store bought garbage. No, this was the rich creamy, hand churned ice cream stand kind with REAL frosting swirling through it.
And see...when you think about it, it's really that simple. When you're married, you always have someone to bring you ice cream.
And then not say a word when you eat the whole pint.