“Mawwage. Mawwage is what bwings us together today.” –Impressive Clergyman, The Princess Bride
I waited a long time to get married. Prior to meeting B, I had one near miss. I am thankful every day for having dodged that bullet. As far as I am concerned, that two other poor women married that sucker is proof that God does have favorites, and I am one of them. But, I waited a long time.
While I was single and hoping, I heard a lot of advice about dating. There were the advocates of online matchmaking (dating websites, web forums, chat groups), group dating, blind dating, and not dating at all (and trusting God to drop the man of your dreams on your doorstep.) I think I got a lecture from and about every one of them.
There were also those who advocated making a list of what you wanted in a man, and trusting the Universe, or God, or The Secret, to bring him to you, right down to the part in his hair. I made a list, but I could never decide what he should look like. My list kept getting longer and longer, and I was feeling more and more ridiculous. I mean, the list isn’t a bad idea because it helps you figure out what is important to you in a relationship, but hair color just isn’t a big deal, and I didn’t care what he did for a living, so long as I didn’t have to support him.
I was finally exasperated with my list and narrowed it down to this: I want to marry a man with whom I can be 100% myself, without feeling shy or embarrassed, or like I should change. He should feel the same way around me.
After all, what is better than that friend who loves you exactly as you are, and who doesn’t mind if you forget where Singapore is once and a while? Nothing.
When I met B, I liked him instantly. He seemed very comfortable in his own skin, wasn’t putting on airs or trying to be anything he wasn’t, and he had a group of friends to be envied. We met at Mark’s NYE party on December 31, 2001. We had our first date 23 days later on January 24, 2002. Exactly two years later, we married each other.
Today, B and I spent the day with Thor, sitting in the middle of a creek. We had to hike out to a low point first, then we waded out hip deep to find a rock, and we sat down in a tangle of legs and wet clothes, leaning against each others backs, and we listened to the world go by. It was one of those perfect days. Just the three of us together, doing something silly. Days like today make me love him even more.
I used to be afraid that if anyone ever really got to know me, it would be impossible for them to like me, much less love me. I used to be afraid that when B had lived with me long enough, and found out enough about me, he would leave. Somewhere in the last year, he made magic happen. I’m not afraid of that anymore. I’m not afraid of myself anymore. It’s a lot bigger than it sounds in print. I found out that at my worst, I’m really not so bad. And in striving to be my most livable best, I’ve become better.
I married a man who let me be 100% myself, and in doing so, I’ve grown 100% comfortable in my own skin. Frankly, I think that’s the best you can get out of marriage.