On Saturday night Steve had a gig. I walked into the bar and straight up to the stage (the band had not started yet) to get our camera from him. He said, “Hi, babe. Wow! You look hot!” I beamed and said, “Right back at you, honey, you look terrific.”
Now, the guitar player was sitting there, kind of between us and looking back and forth between Steve and me as we smiled at each other, shaking his head, “How long have you two been married?” he asked. Steve said, “Seven years this month.” “Oh,” he chuckled knowingly, “that explains it. You two are babies! Just you wait….”
I knew exactly, precisely what he was referring to, and it frosts me. Why I know so clearly is because I have heard this too many g.d. times before. For Crying Out Loud, be nice or loving toward your spouse, look at them with lust, or compliment them with deep appreciation, and watch out. You set yourself up for dire predictions.
It used to be, when we were married only for a year or two, “Oh, I get it, you guys are still honeymooners,” chuckle, chuckle, “just you wait.” Now I guess we are out of the honeymoon stage, so that can’t be sighted for our marital conviviality. Now it is “blamed” on our inexperience. We are babes, after all, still learning how to do all of this marriage stuff. When we’re grown up relationship-“wise”, we’ll learn what it’s all about and not be so damn happy. Or so blasted nice to each other!
I continued to smile right at Steve, but answered the guitar player, “What are you talking about? We’ll still be this way – even more so – in 20 years.” He countered (more chuckling), “I’ve been married for 17 years, believe me……. ah well, good luck!” We all laughed. Hahahaha. The doom and gloom of marriage is so funny.
Note: This guitar player is a real nice guy. He’s smart and cool and I really like spending time with the guy. He has a ton of insight into all sorts of things. The point here is that it’s not some jerk saying this type of thing that can be written off easily. I’ve even heard this from a long time friend who I consider to be in a darn successful marriage.
Anyway, why do those with ripened relationships insist on raining on young relationships? Those who have already passed through the honeymoon, baby, and adolescent stage of their relationships are quite often younger than I but end up talking about their marriage like, ah, well…. old farts. By the way, this progression cannot be measured in years because each couple gets through these stages at varying speeds. Unfortunately, my guess is that some get to marriage “old age” within a year.
So what’s this all about? Is this truly a concerned warning, notifying us to watch out and to gird ourselves for what’s to come? Is it jealousy? Is it regret? Is it a joke?
Maybe it’s just attitude, plain and simple. These advisors don’t even think about what they are saying really, it just pops out. After all, everyone knows that’s just. what. happens. Period. To every relationship. And those that go ahead remind us time and again lest we forget. After a while, kids, much of what makes marriage magical tends to sour and dissipate. I mean you still love each other and all, but (chuckle chuckle) it’s not what it used to be. Believe you me.
Isn’t that what’s being implied with “just wait?” Anyway, that’s what I heard Saturday night. I looked right into the doomsayers eyes, smiled and said, “It sounds to me like you need to spice up that marriage of yours! Let me tell you about this blog I write….” Inside, I was cheering, “You can bring back the magic…you can! You can have it back, really, really, really, it is true!”
Am I desperately trying to convince myself? You never know. Is it a pipe dream to believe that the stuff marriage is made of gets better, deeper and more passionate as you change together?
Certainly, I’m being naïve …if so, that’s o.k. with me; I’ll continue to be for the next 20/30/40 years if it means I can continue to have a passionate marriage.
And along the way, if I can infuse into a few readers some of my naïve romanticism, or (and) my unabashed love of marriage, or (and) my optimism that life with a lifetime partner can be mah-velous,dahling, then I have justified blogging here.
All of you “young-marrieds” out there, please direct any old-married-farts you run into to my blog. Maybe we can turn this around one “old” married couple at a time.
This concludes another view from my married life.