I keep trying to think up some neat and tidy list to sum up the 12 most important events of the last 12 years.
The problem is I’m having a hard time putting words to them.
Last night as we pulled up to the Ritz Carlton and Cody scoffed at valet parking and veered off towards self parking. As he pulled into the garage he noticed that self parking was $22. “TWENTY-TWO BUCKS?” I could see his entire thought process, “Maybe there’s a free lot two or three blocks away. $22 bucks. What a racket.” Twelve years ago it would have turned into a fight. Fancy Casey wanting her fancy valet and cheap Cody wanting to park four blocks away for free —$22 self parking was a product of 12 years of learning to silently compromise.
Last night at dinner (another silent compromise, I wanted the swanky place, Cody wanted piles of barbequed meat which means we had Italian) we watched a couple on their first date. The guy didn’t wash his hands after using the washroom — strike one, but we couldn’t tell her that. Then Cody said something kind of profound that he learned from Netflix about married couples at dinner. A pessimist would look at them and think “They’ve been together so long they’re absolutely bored with each other and are having a miserable time.” while an optimist would see two people who know each other so well that words don’t even need to be used to have a conversation.
Last night I learned Cody is a marriage optimist.
Turns out I am too, but I sometimes moonlight as a pessimist.
I just like being around him. I like having him in the same room or next to me even if we aren’t doing much of anything. He makes things better. He makes things comfier. He’s the one familiar thing in my life even when everything around me is spinning out of control.
Marriage seems to be treated like a gym membership by some people these days, you make this huge commitment and rearrange your life for it. In the beginning you’re pumped and excited for it — but when it gets boring, people just kind of stop showing up. “Eh, I tried. It’s not for me.”
Marriage gets boring. Marriage gets monotonous and infuriating and hard.
But it also gets really good. Like the kind of good you can’t even fathom in the early weeks and months of young twitterpated love. I could try and tell you how good it gets but until you’re there, in that silent conversation about $22 self parking, you can’t really know.
All I can really tell you is it’s worth it, but only if your person treasures you as much as you treasure them.
Here’s to marriage optimism.
Here’s to silent conversations and quoting Si Robertson in the spoken ones.
Here’s to us, and here’s to an eternity more.
(And to Cody as a dad, because Father’s Day.)