On the plane home from a rather long, difficult week in New York (aside from a very special dinner at Jean Georges) dealing with a scary (and successful!) surgery for one of my necessary people, 500 Days of Summer popped on my Virgin Red. Who can resist Zooey? Mr. Schneed hates this movie. He just doesn’t understand why she doesn’t want to be with the nice, cute guy. I remember seeing it in the theater and my cute, nice guy husband was viscerally angry at Summer. Watching it the other night while feeling wistful, I had an epiphany—I never have to date again! You would think this would have struck me earlier given that I've been with my husband for over 5 years. I've always been a slow learner. Obviously, this is assuming that I don’t go through an even more horrifying divorce. Barring that, I never have to date again. Woohoo!
No more painful breakups. No more sobbing through dinners with friends because yet another relationship is on the bridge to nowhere. No more wondering if he'll call. No more wondering if I'll ever fall in love again. No more fearing that I'll never have a family. But also: No more searching for the perfect outfit to wear on a first date. No more witty text/im/email banter. No more wondering what it would be like to wake up with him. No more trying so hard to be my best self.
I've been so focused this past year on being a mother that I fear I've ignored my wifely duties. Perhaps ignored is a little harsh. Maybe more like forgot to water for, oh, say, about a year and change. But, thankfully ours is a cactus marriage and (mostly) thrived during the drought. In yesterday's Modern Love column in the NY Times, the author writes about how she poked the bear and endeavored to make her good marriage even better. I'm starting to feel the same itch to start poking. Why wait for things to start falling apart before letting my dear, sweet boyfriend-for-life know how much he means to me?
In the spirit of fixing what ain't really broken but could use a tune up, I want to try to recapture some of the giddiness and excitement of dating. Lately, I find myself saying things to my husband in a tone I might kindly call shrewish. Where did this person come from and how can I banish her? Before snapping or snarking, I want to take a moment to think about how I would react if I were only dating this man. Would I criticize how he bites the spoon every time he eats ice cream? Would I make fun of his desire to watch The Bachelor? (Probably). Would I compliment him more?
When we first moved in together, after traveling back and forth between New York and San Francisco for over a year, we used to wake up each morning laughing at our good fortune. We knew how exciting it was to be together every day and our pillow talk reflected that. Now our pillows are dreadfully quiet as we've both passed out from exhaustion and fear that tonight might be the night that the baby doesn't sleep. This week I'm breaking the silence. I've been feeling like quite the lucky girl again--time to let my date know.