Partners & Fart(...ners?): A Novice Chimes in on Love & Marriage

Still Life With Carrot Cake

 (In case you are curious, our wedding cake still tasted delicious a full year later. A metaphor for our marriage, perhaps? Also in case you're curious, Brian totally bought that candle for the express purpose of toasting our one year anniversary...just in case I don't brag enough on how sweet and wonderful he is.)

For weeks I've been sitting down, inking up my quill pen (I wish) and reflecting on our first year of marriage in the attempt to write something utterly profound and time after time I come up empty. I'm beginning to develop a sinking feeling that {whispers} I might not be very profound after all. Thank goodness for the experts

I was talking to a girlfriend of mine the other day who is getting married in just a few weeks (hey, Ashley!) and trying to explain how it feels to be married and the best I could come up with was "it's neat!" I really think in some ways I expected married life to feel like a huge change, for some kind of switch to flip August 16, 2014 but for the most part, it just feels so natural . Sure some things are a little different and I still have to suppress a grin every time I call Brian my husband (squee!), but at the same time it seems like he has always been my family. I can't remember what it felt like to not have him as my partner. 

I do remember the first time I felt really, truly married. Some friends of mine go to this music festival every year, the Newport Folk Fest in Rhode Island and I've always wanted to join. It's like, a yuppie thing where people drink craft beer and sleep in houses with showers and stuff, not one of those nightmare festivals where everyone camps and does Molly and wears like, daisy crowns and crop tops or what have you. The horror! That is like, my personal Guantanamo Bay. Oh I'm shuddering just thinking about it. ANYWAY Brian and I talked about this festival for about five seconds last fall and vaguely discussed that maybe I'd go but he didn't feel like it, and left it at that. When the tickets went on sale in January, I scooped one up immediately and only then realized that maybe I should, you know, talk it through with Brian. 

So that night I went home and we talked. We looked at the calendar for our upcoming year, what with various family obligations ($), weddings ($$), planned trips ($$$) and other looming expenses ($$$$), and I realized that my taking this trip might not be the wisest way to spend our time and our money. So I bowed out. 

To be sure, Brian in no way forbid me from attending - we don't roll like that. If I'd said 'hey, champ, this is important to me" he would have rushed out and bought me a Native American headdress, which I then wouldn't have worn because A) this isn't Burning Man and B) Cultural Appropriation, people, learn about it! and C) this is mostly just a metaphor, he wouldn't have really bought a headdress... but you get the picture. He would have supported me with zest. But I realized in that moment that I was no longer making decisions for just ME. I now have to choose what is best for our family as a whole.

I'm not really sure where I'm going with this story but whenever I look back on the year, that pops out to me as the turning point moment when we were straight up MARRIED, full stop. It wasn't when we signed our marriage license or started farting with wild abandon in front of one another or spent Christmas together, but this one totally random weekday afternoon when we sat in the living room and talked and listened and compromised and then forged ahead as a unit. 

That's marriage, I do suppose! 

It surprises me, as someone who loves doing what *I* want to do, how much strength and joy I draw from working as a team. I suppose it doesn't hurt that I have THE BEST teammate like, ever. 

This year has been intense for me, personally, for a whole host of reasons I'm not ready to get into here, but there have been high highs and low, low, lows and a lot of moments of feeling uncertain and out of control, which normally would send me into a tailspin. I was talking with another girlfriend (I'm INSANELY popular) the other week, catching up on things, and she commented how surprisingly calm and level I've remained through it all. "I've seen you get more upset about a bad sandwich," she remarked.

To be fair, through all the ups and downs of this year, the sandwiches have been consistently good. But she was right. I haven't always been my best self this year but I certainly haven't been my worst and I really do think I have Brian to thank for that. Knowing he is in my corner and feeling like I have a partner helps make the tough things seem a little less tough and the fun things seem exponentially more fun. And it's my goal to always make sure he always feels the same. 

It's so cheesy but I really do feel lucky every single day - even the days like today when I'm crabby and snipping at him for leaving his pants on the floor (despite the fact that my pants are like, one foot away from his...also on the floor) - that we stumbled upon one another. He's my person! I wouldn't trade him for all the cheese in the world. 

Except maybe for a vat of endless burrata...

Nah. Not even burrata. 

This turned out to be semi profound after all. I'll lighten the mood by admitting that second only to the partnership thing, the best part about marriage is indeed farting with wild abandon. One gassy year down - a lifetime more to go. Toot toot!