Search This Blog

Saturday, April 30, 2011

That's what love is for

Twenty-three years ago today, I felt as special as the former Kate Middleton did yesterday, even though my dress was a $50 "try-on" and we had less than a hundred people in the party room of an apartment complex.  I'd worked sixty-five hours that week, eighty-five the week before and because of Chris's schedule at the TV station, we had to delay our honeymoon to St. Louis for a week.  Mom was, shall we say, over-medicated and I'd almost called the @#$%ing thing off, because Chris put off shoe shopping until the night before.  I would've killed him, but my inner voice said to wait until the life insurance was in my name and make it look like an accident.  All that aside, it was a beautiful, clear day.  My Uncle Bill and Uncle Herb were in the same room for the first time in decades.  Everybody cleaned up nice and my cousin's husband went and got more cups, because the caterer left and didn't tell us where the others were.

And I was married to my best friend.  I'm trying to put that feeling into my fiction for my heroes and heroines, because it's the stuff life is made of.  While I loved Christina Dodd's link on Facebook to Tiffany & Co.'s "build your engagement ring" site and Jo Beverley's link to her Word Wenches blog on a history of weddings, it's the little, everyday things that make a marriage. 

I screwed up my sleep schedule again, so slept until just a bit ago and Chris went off to play poker at a local pub.  I'm okay with that, because after 23 years (more, because we lived together a year before we got engaged), I don't need passionate and constant attention every minute of every day.  In fact, we try to give each other space and alone time as often as needed.  But--here's the kicker--I walked into the kitchen and Chris did some dishes for us!  I cried, honest.  I'd thought about saying "If you really loved me...," which is another game you play when you've been married a while.  (The other one, by the way, is "I'm going to die first, because....")  But, the "If you really loved me..." card is one you probably better keep for extra special occasions and acknowledge it's a game, otherwise it loses its effectiveness.  It was like he read my mind.  And I was grateful

Wait a sec.  "Hard to Say" by Dan Fogelberg just came up on my computer music program.  Particularly apropos.  And that's my second point of what I try to do in my life and my fiction:  love is the little things, day in and day out.  Seriously.  I see it in family and friends, but especially in my own life.  Love is running all over town to find the double-stick tape/favorite cheese/earrings your spouse needs/wants, staying with the grandkids on your birthday because there are three other crises going on, passing the same Valentine's Day card back and forth for the tenth year, pulling wheelchair duty for your mother-in-law without being asked, saying "please" and "thank you" though through gritted teeth, holding the other person as they cry at the end of "Field of Dreams," ordering the potato skins when you really wanted the onion petals.  Insert your special incident here. 

Now, "I Love You Always Forever" by Donna Lewis is playing.  Yeah, you're in for the long haul.  It's going to be either a shorter haul than you wanted or a horrifyingly long and painful haul, unless common courtesies are paid. 

I have to laugh--now the Beatles' "Paperback Writer" came up.  So, while traditional literature may deal with history and philosophical conundrums, I'm proud to be writing genre fiction.  It's where real life is happening.  Now, let's pause and listen to Mary-Chapin Carpenter's "Passionate Kisses." 


  1. .........Passionate Kisses....Great song! Love your wedding photo, and Congratulations! Twenty-three years is no trifling matter. Your words of truth on the matters of marriage made me laugh out loud. My husband and I have been together for about twenty years, married for 16. It is the little things that make (or break) a day.....and discovering dishes done is one of the 'makers'! Happy Anniversary ~ Nadja

  2. Thanks--the next song was "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" which was even funnier! Many happy returns for you too.

  3. Love this!!!!! Congrats on the 23 years. I know exactly how you feel. It's amazing how incredibly stressful the whole thing is and then it’s over in mere minutes.

    But it's worth it in the end.

    Thanks for sharing this with us.


  4. What a beautiful post, Julee. You and Chris are obviously very lucky to have found each other. I look forward to meeting him one day. I didn't get my happily ever after, but I haven't given up yet. :-) Love your playlist, too - some of my favorite artists! Hope the next 23 years are even better.

  5. Thanks, Tami and Pam. We didn't get each other gifts, because we bought a bunch of stuff at the Borders going out of business sale. So, we went down to the Casino Aztar complex, ate BBQ at Corky's (one of my bucket list items is eating my way across Memphis) and we went to blow $20 on the "Star Trek" slot machine. We were going to listen to the dance band they had, but Chris wanted to leave when they went into a half-painful cover of The B-52s' "Love Shack." How's that for excitement? Stay tuned for the continuing adventure. Ain't killed him yet.

  6. Julee, I just gave you an award on my blog. Check out today's post for the details. CONGRATULATIONS!! :-)

  7. Thanks! I'll skip on over and check it out--how nice!