Friday, December 7, 2012

I Can Love You Like That

When I was a little girl, the most romantic song in the world was John Michael Montgomery's "I can love you like that." Dancing around in my room, there was no doubt in my mind that love was this magical thing, and this song reinforced all of my ideas of love as a "move heaven and earth" fairytale. Granted, love is a magical thing, and this incredibly cheesy song still can make me tear up because of my childhood memories of it, but that's not what I'm writing about right now.

Tonight, I came across this article about a wedding photographer who tracks down some of the couples he photographed years later. I won't give it away, but the article is incredibly emotional and interesting and reminds us that real life, marriage, is not the carefree fairytale photographers aim to depict in wedding photos. Even the best marriages are still bound to reality. All couples that have celebrated many anniversaries will say marriage takes work.

It's funny timing, me reading this, because just tonight, as we were folding the second load of laundry...after present wrapping, dinner making, cleaning the kitchen, working out, dropping off dry cleaning, and working most of the day (grading, grading, grading--crazy time in the semester that it is), I started to laugh. "This is life," I said. It's not always that romantic, (but there are wonderfully romantic moments, like the awesome dinner Brendan made us)...and that's okay.

This article made me appreciate our love and upcoming marriage even more, but it was a wonderful reminder that marriage is just two people--day in, day out. I know that I've found my life partner in Brendan, but the truth (one I always struggle to accept) is that no one can predict the cards that will be dealt to us. We hope they are mostly good, and I know we can weather anything together, but, this reminds me to appreciate all the time we have, which is sometimes hard with the wedding countdown in the back of my mind. As much as I cannot wait to wear the white dress and exchange wedding rings, I need to enjoy all the days Brendan and I have together.

This quote stuck out to me:

"Go to enough weddings and you realize that photographing one is like photographing the coin toss before a football game: Nothing's actually happened yet." 
This made me smile. I don't think of our two plus years together as "nothing happened," in a way it feels like everything that ever happened to me happened in these two years, but it's true that love is easy when you are young and healthy. Do only young people count down days? I don't know, but I've always been guilty of it. 210 days until the wedding. See? I just know.

Here's a thought: I think the reason we make weddings mirror fairy tales (you know: the kiss, the dancing, the toasts, the tossing things, the getaway)'s nice to have that one story book memory that fits neatly into an album, because life does not do that.

You find someone that you can share your real stories with, that will be there for you. And you hope you get lucky, stay hope that other person knows how much you love them always.

Of course, I look forward to having our beautiful day, and I want the photos to look back on...but what I want even more is to just spend everyday with this wonderful person who will fold my underwear sometimes, make me coffee in the mornings, and feed my cats. He doesn't have to be "prince charming," and I don't need to be "rescued," (see: song); I'm just happy he thinks I'm beautiful with tangled hair, and lets me watch terrible TV sometimes, and doesn't mind that I think it's fun to pay off credit cards.

I can wait for those perfect few the meantime, real life is perfect enough.
<3 S, B, L&Z

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