So, one week from today, I'll officially be a Mrs. I'm hoping for smooth sailing and a fun time out of the day, as well as the marriage, but I know that won't necessarily be the case. I'm realistic -- generally. ;-) I know there are things in life we can't control; boy, do I! Luckily, Dave and I have supportive parents who didn't mind that we decided to move in together before getting married. Heck, my purdy darn conservative mom FOUND the house for us. Psht. Granted, she knew he was planning on asking me to get married, so y'know.
I've thought a lot about how our relationship might change, what will stay the same. Much of it will be a continuation of "already issues" while the things that we enjoy will remain a constant comfort. At the same time, I know that I'll be working on overcoming lots of my own flaws (or at least keeping them in check) in order to combat some of our issues -- and I'm sure that new and exciting fun will help keep things fresh. Our involvement with the theater (and hopefully future involvement in different areas) ensures that things are hardly, if ever, dull!
So, how am I going to do this wife thing? Like I said, I've got some challenges ahead of me, but simultaneously I know that I'm ingrained with some pretty cool traits that helped Dave realize he wanted to marry me. (Just like Dave has traits that made me want to marry him -- or else we wouldn't be in this mess right now, lol!)
- We're individuals. This was our first agreement as a couple; to maintain our own identities. It doesn't mean that we don't spend a lot of time together. It more means that we're allowed to be ourselves (flaws and all, as long as they're not hurtful or dangerous), which sometimes entails doing things separately. Let me just say that I can't WAIT to get my piano! Oh, and he's fine when I MUST MUST MUST watch one of my favorite cooking (odds are either Nigella or Ina) or design (odds are Sarah Richardson or Genevieve) shows. Clearly not an area that we share interest, but man is he forgiving...although, come to think of it, he's never watched the Monkees with me.
- On the same token, we embrace our similarities. Some of our best quality time is spent watching great old movies. It seems like a small thing, but it's one of the special similarities that make us work. We both read, and we pretty much read ANYthing, so we're great at discussing the interesting points or what in the reading might affect our lives. Hell, we had a pretty great conversation tonight about the history of super heroes. Oh, and we met onstage, so we have a creative streak; unfortunately, I need to work on being critical without being OVERLY critical (I'm sure you know what that means!!!).
- We share the hard, little stuff. When he's having a rough week, I mow the lawn or take out the garbage to take some of the stress off his shoulders. He scoops the cat pan and washes dishes way more often than I do. I generally cook a lot more than he does. They're things that we don't mind doing individually, but if we had to do it ALL alone, it would add resentment.
- I'm working on my patience. I know he must be working on his, too, because I'm not sure I could live with MYSELF if I had to. He worries far too much, but I try to rationalize and recognize WHY he worries. It all boils down to my own safety, and the safety of Beardslee. Those are his two priorities in the world, and it's incredibly, importantly, wonderfully sweet -- but sometimes it's easy to look at small situations rather than the big picture and get frustrated. So, as a wife, I'll be working on honing my patience level.
- We also embrace our future goals. For the most part, we enjoy doing home improvement jobs together. He's learned so much from my stepfather, who ADORES teaching him what he knows, and I get to show off my "man skills" with power tools and dirty stuff without getting scoffed at. We truly enjoy discussing what our plans for the house are, and where our priorities lie. Of course, our other future goals include kids, and we discuss it quite a bit - but we don't have a time frame. It's good to know we're on the same page on such a HUGE life change! ...Oh, and I say "for the most part" because there are those times when Dave wants to, ohhhh, saaaayyyy, hang a chandelier on a Sunday afternoon, thinking it'll take 30 minutes...while Meg knows full well that it'll be more complicated than expected (aren't all projects?!?!?!) and may last into the late evening. Yeah, it's been known to happen.
- But that's our only definitive goal. While we're not necessarily yyyyooooooouuuuuunnnngg (my poor circulation and a daily reminder from 16-year-old girls are both far too blatant), we don't want life to end upon marriage. At times, I feel "behind" -- parenting was old hat to both of our sets of parents by the time they were our ages (Dave's parents had both he and Dan; my parents had 3 out of 4 of their kids by this point) -- but we're also quite sure that we're not 100% sure what our futures hold. We're in agreement that life takes us in unexpected directions, and we have to be ready, prepared and supportive in case of such times. Life's a journey, and marriage isn't the end of it!
- Finally, I consider myself uber-lucky. Dave puts up with a lot from me. I may be the most wonderful person on Earth and all, but even I have some annoying and, at times, downright bitchy tendencies. (No, really, don't we all? Man, I hope so.) And while Dave isn't always all sunshine and rainbows, he deals with lots more from me than I do from him. So, when I get into one of my crappy modes, before too long I have to remind myself what life would be like without Dave in it. Then I have to make myself STOP thinking about that; just too hard. That generally smacks enough sense back into me to find the dude, hug him (if he's nearby) and tell him how much I appreciate and love him. *sappy Full House audience "awwww"* That's another wicked important thing to remember -- if you THINK something positive, TELL them about it! You can never hear "I love you" too many times (um...unless doing it sarcastically, I suppose), but even the simple "I love the way you cook" or "Thank you for mowing the lawn, it looks awesome" comments mean a lot.
So, those are some of the things that will help this marriage succeed in the future. I know there will be tough times as well as wonderfully sweet, awesome times. I think we'll be fine as long as we continue to enjoy watching a kitty do ninja kicks at invisible intruders throughout the living room together.