But how is married life?
The inquires started the day after our wedding. My husband and I were at a brunch party for our out-of-town friends and families celebrating our new union.
“But how is married life?” People asked. We had been married for less than a day. On the drive to the venue, we teased each other, maybe we’re not really married since the marriage certificate hasn’t arrived yet.
“So far so good,” I answered during the course of that afternoon, and in the weeks that followed. People laughed at my answer, and the subject would often be dropped. What do you respond to that, after all?
Recently a co-worker asked how married life was. Her best friend had just gotten married and was milking the occasion for all it was worth. “So far so good,” I said, giving my stock answer. She laughed and asked if anything had changed. “My husband forgot my birthday card,” I answered. “Little things like that.”
She pressed for more detail, and there’s nothing more that I love than to harp on an issue long after it’s been beaten to death.
I told her about my birthday. I turned twenty-nine earlier that week. My husband left for work early on the morning of. He works in film production and occasionally should be at work before the sun. He woke me up to wish me a happy birthday. I scoured the apartment when my alarm clock went off; he didn’t leave a card anywhere. I waited all morning and afternoon for a text, for a post on Facebook. He came home after ten that night and I asked him if he had a card on hand. He hadn’t. I went to bed angry, and scowled for the next three days.
“I love your love,” our mutual friend told us recently, “especially your witty banter on Facebook.”
But I am realizing that I curate that for social media. You don’t share with your circle of friends and their circle of friends that you’re unsure as to how this marriage thing works. Instead, I take trivial comments and incidents, dress them up, and send them off into the world, like with birthday posts on Facebook. I had written one for my husband earlier this year; I can tell you how many likes and comments it got. Then I waited for mine and it never came. Now I become irrationally angry every time I see a spouse post about his or her significant other’s birthday on Facebook, like a child that’s been left out. But where’s mine?
But a Facebook post isn’t an indicator to forever, as evidence will show.
Recently, Chris Pratt and Anna Faris announced that they were getting a legal separation. The internet exploded, Twitter started crying, and I, well, well, I thought to myself, another one bites the dust. I spent the morning at work reading about the how’s and the why’s, stumbling onto this article on The Cut.
Don’t laugh, I wrote in the subject line of the e-mail, and sent it to my husband.
“I’m not laughing,” he responded nearly just as fast. “It’s healthy to have doubts.”
I have doubts. I am inundated with doubts.
My friend will be moving in with her boyfriend at the beginning of October. They started looking at engagement rings. “How did you know that Ben was the one?” She asked me one evening. I squirmed in my seat and moved my Monopoly piece around the board, hopeful she would forget in a turn, but she didn’t. “How did you know that he was the one?” She repeated.
“I don’t know,” I answered.
I don’t have doubts about him the person, our relationship; I married the right person.
But how do you know that someone is the one? What are the predicting factors of success?
What Buzzfeed quiz can I take for an answer? How do you know?
Yesterday he told me he loves me.
“Don’t jinx it,” I whispered, and struggled out of his grasp. He refused to let me go. Frustrated, I put my head on his chest and stared at our cat sitting on our windowsill, staring outside.
“I’m really happy,” he continued. “We don’t fight a lot, I love you.”
I thought back to our most recent fight. I told him I had let the birthday card go but it has been over a month, and I still hold it close at night.
“Don’t jinx it,” I repeated, fearful that his words would attach themselves to negative energy hovering in the air.
“Alright, alright,” he said.
“I have to get ready for work,” I said, finally wiggling free.
I still think about the birthday card.
(But I share it less often)