I do weird things.
Like I’ll turn my head while my dog poops because I believe she deserves her privacy. This privacy rule, however, does not apply when it comes to barging in on my husband while he’s in the shower which I believe is his penance for leaving his socks on the floor….RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE HAMPER. In some terms, this is absolute intimacy. He’s utterly vulnerable and naked and I’m all jacked up over a shirt. Weird, n’est-ce pas?
So what does intimacy mean? Is it always physical? Or is it that deep seeded comfort of being together and knowing the literal good bad and ugly? The other night my husband got home from a long fishing trip. I know, très demanding life has he. He was snoring so loudly that he woke me up from a dead sleep and a dream about calorie-less ice cream and something to do with Channing Tatum’s tush. I flopped over on the bed trying to see him in the darkness and weighed out the likelihood of jail time if…
But then I decided that I don’t like institutional food and would look like a stretched Oompa Loompa in an orange jumpsuit and rolled back over to mutter indecent and inappropriate things about his lineage in true passive aggressive splendor.
This is wedded bliss. My daughter gets all pissy regarding the nights we sleep apart. It’s not a matter of loving him or not loving him. He’s what keeps me sane in some pretty tricky situations. He challenges me and keeps me honest and pops my balloon when necessary and also inflates it when necessary. But I need sleep, so there are nights when he is banished. He travels for business quite often and on the nights he’s gone I sleep sprawled out in the most unladylike fashion, smack dab in the middle of the bed. His work schedule is a blessing for both of us. I get my much needed solitude and he gets a break from my….
But my daughter gets all lofty and snippy about how she can’t wait to sleep regularly next to her beau hunk man. And unicorns will only eat flowers from their yard before skipping off into the sunset to issue forth rainbow colored sparkle farts and every fight will end in him whipping flowers out from behind the couch and Hallmark cards will be written about their love and did I mention the unicorns and…
I have a never ceasing case of the dafuqs on some notions that people have about experiences they’ve never had. It’s like a man telling me what labor feels like or breast feeding or menstruation or dealing with societal misogyny. That would be like me telling someone who has lost their spouse in 9/11 that I understand completely and somehow relate because of my divorce from years ago. It’s like a death notice being delivered via singing telegram…some things are best left unsaid or unsung.
So here young ones, here’s my advice to you as you go forth into the world of IN TEH MUH SEE. When you are married, you don’t get to go back home to your respective corners to cool off after or during a fight. You have to stay and work it out which is infinitely harder than running away. When you are married, you have to choose that person over and over and over again even when you doubt your choice in them and you surely see their doubt in you. When you are married he or she will see sides of you that are utterly awful as you wade through the pressures of life. When you are married, you often times have to keep things in your head because even when they are said flippantly, they can cause wounds that fester. When you are married, remember that sometimes (oftentimes) being fair is more important than being right. When you are married, you must remember that what you tell your family and friends…sticks. That is what they will remember, so be very judicious when telling the rough stuff. When you are married, that person is all. They are your conscience, your nemesis, your cheerleader, your everything and they love you through the good and the bad. When you are married, the beginning and end of you meets the beginning and end of them; only the two of you know where that is and why it works. When you are married, you don’t always see the many ways that they are loving you, but if you’re lucky at times it washes over you when you get out of your own damn way and take a good long look at them and realize that they loved you when you wouldn’t have loved you. And one day, you will look across the room at your spouse and they will hear everything you didn’t say and you will truly understand IN TEH MUH SEE. It’s not about sex. Sex helps to be sure, but that is not what intimacy is. It’s so far from carnal it’s not even funny. It’s an understanding and a trust level and the knowledge that whenever you jump, the hand you’ll be holding onto is theirs. Whether that hand is them jumping with you because they need to be on the same adventure you are or them grasping your hand and struggling to pull you up from the proverbial cliff and from certain disaster depends on the situation, but make no mistake – it’s a knowledge as deep and vast as the ocean and that’s where you really see the fireworks.
My husband is full of concerns for the upcoming lessons Mei Mei faces in moving out of our nest and into her own. The other day he worried and pondered and pondered and worried and he followed me around our kitchen as I made dinner. I simply reminded him that my guess was that his mother and my mother probably had the same concerns. “Our job”, I told him, “is to kick them back into play and let them fix what they break. Our job is not to fix it for them.” He stopped and looked at me like I suggested feeding Mei Mei to a hungry bear.
We live in a world where everyone feels entitled to have equal access to everyone else’s feelings. It seems that instant validation and agreement are equated to acceptance and popularity. I disagree. My feelings are mine and my stories are mine and my experiences are mine and my lessons are mine and I can’t teach anyone else what they are because
And having said that, the lessons that face my daughter are hers. All I can do is allow her the dignity and luxury of living her life without interference from me. I don’t have to validate her every move or decision. Nor do I have to like them. I’ve done my job. I’ve given her the best foundation I was capable of giving. And dare I say…I must have done it right because she’s flying the coop. I will miss her but this is the way it was intended to be and the way it should be.
Fly little girl…..fly.
The line continues through you. I’ve watched your grandfather carry on through me. His legend and legacy continue as long as we hold onto the values our family has held dear for generations. Love your family above all. Be honest, work hard, love freely -don’t hold a trace of it back because in the end that’s what people will remember you for. Be kind. Be sincere. Love God. Love yourself. Don’t be afraid to fail – it teaches you humility and humanity. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – it takes you on a new path to learn from. Admit when you’re wrong and don’t gloat when you’re right. Have more faith than fear. Laugh more than cry and when you cry make sure the tears are genuine. And lastly make sure your hands are the ones that lift people up, and not the ones that smack people down.
Fly baby girl, fly.