Am I the only one who secretly wishes at each and every wedding I attend that the clergyman would open with that immortal line? If “The Princess Bride” had come out before our wedding, I would have demanded it. But the movie did not come out until September of 1987, the year we married. My god, I have been married longer than Westley and Buttercup.
Sometimes people want to know how Trav and I have managed to stay married all this time. Not only stay married, but stay happily so. I wish I had a clever answer, something pithy worthy of a fortune cookie or bumper sticker. I think part of it is because we genuinely like each other. When we first met, it was like lightning struck. You could practically see the blue electricity connecting us across my Aunt Molly’s kitchen. We were pretty sure we should get married within a week of knowing each other. I got scared, though (well I was an eighteen year old college freshman after all) so we broke up and I dated a bit while we were “just friends.” Ha! Building a solid friendship was the foundation for all that would come after.
We did do the whole “Divorce is not an option” promise. That worked until divorce finally had to be put on the table as an option in 2001. Then we really had to dig deep to remember that we are better together than we are apart. But boy, did we have to learn how to be better apart first.
My parents split and friends, it was nasty. It was ugly for years. I never wanted that. Trav’s have stayed together, but there were some pretty bitter battles in that house as well. Trav and I were determined to be as idyllic as possible. Sometimes that meant that problems would be ignored in favor of peace, which is its own insidious destructive force (though Trav tells me I threw a dryer at his head while packing to leave in our first year, I do not remember this at all).
We both love our kids and that is some serious glue right there. We make each other laugh, though he is better at it than I am. He has taught me to love sci-fi and be on time. I have taught him to put away his dirty laundry (though turning the dirty socks right side out before throwing them in the hamper all balled up is, alas, still a hurdle unconquered) and appreciate home architecture styles (he knows my favorite is Craftsman). We both love theatre (he more than me). We have been though dirty diapers, diets, bankruptcy, spelling bees, teacher conferences, lost jobs, bailing kids out of the slammer, and a pretty significant spinal surgery.
Do we get mad at each other? Absolutely. We either talk about it if it’s important or let it go if it’s not.
Would I want to live without him in my life? No. And no, and no and no. I could. But I choose not to. And I intend to make that choice every day as long as I have breath. Marriage to Travis is, for me, “that dweam wifin a dweam.”