So Sharon, who you might know from the comments, writes over at Bride Sans Tulle. And one of her adorable bridesmaids sent me a link to this post saying it *must* go on APW, because obviously. It’s interesting to hear Sharon talk about how love is a conscious choice, because in some ways it’s in conflict with Sarah’s eloquent post on Divorce and how we choose from earlier this week. But the thing is, I agree with both posts equally (I love how life is complex like that). David and I had been platonic friends for years before we made a choice to join our lives together, to find a home. And that wasn’t a decision we had to make, it was something we chose. And the chosing is where the power was for us. The choosing and the laughter and the sharing lives. Everything else follows from there. So with that, I give you Sharon.
A question I’ve been asked a fair bit since getting engaged (I suspect most engaged ladies are asked this, too, though I wonder how many engaged men the question gets posed to…) is how did you know? As in how did you know he was The One? At first I floundered a bit for an answer, feeling like what people wanted to hear was some story about a grand romantic moment and… well, I didn’t have that. In fact, when it comes to the fuzzy cam chick-flick-y expressions of love, I tend to think I was born without that gene. Really. The first time Jason took me out for a nice dinner at an upscale restaurant, I spent the entire evening sitting on my hands and feeling awkward and not myself. I didn’t have a Facebook “relationship status” with him until we were engaged. In fact, speaking of Facebook, I would ruthlessly cut him out of the frame if I wanted to use a picture of the two of us together for my profile snapshot. If I want flowers, I buy them myself. This isn’t to say that Jason doesn’t make romantic gestures – I’ll tell you the story of our engagement sometime. It makes old ladies swoon. But rather that we’re two people who tend to be fairly quiet and levelheaded about our love and find buying graphic novels for each other to be sweeter than long walks on the beach.
So anyhow, when I started finally owning the fact that I don’t even believe in this concept of “The One” (quelle horreur!) I found that I suddenly had a metaphor that I could use for telling people why marriage to this man. So here it is:
I think dating/deciding to marry is something like deciding to buy a house and make it your home. You figure out what’s available in your area, what works for your lifestyle, and what “must-haves” you want, and then you go looking. (note: This is, of course, a somewhat imperfect analogy as some of us aren’t “looking” when the right person comes around. I certainly wasn’t. But bear with me…) But the thing is… there’s not a Platonic conceit of “your house” that you just have to locate in reality. The truth of the matter is that you will see many houses, and most of them will have some aspect of what you want. One will have the gorgeous bay windows and gleaming hardwood floors. Another will have the giant kitchen with the granite countertops. A third will have a turret and built-in shelves. These are all great houses. You can see yourself living in all of them. But the day comes when you decide that one house is the one you’re going to buy. You move in. You clean. You do a bit of painting. You learn to live with the slight incline in the floors and to jump the creaky step in the staircase. You have dinner parties that last until 2am in this house. You host holidays in this house. You bring your babies back to this house. You could’ve had any of the houses you looked at, all those years ago. But you chose this one and it’s now the only home you can imagine having.
So yup, that’s my long, cheesy metaphor for why Jason’s “The One.” I could say I’m marrying him because he makes me laugh or really listens when I’m upset or is not afraid of my moods. I could say I’m marrying him because he’ll make a great father one day, because he is a great friend. All these things are true, but it is also true that there are other people in the world who can do these things for and with me. The fact of the matter is, I’m marrying him because we’ve growntoward one another in the entire time we’ve been dating. Because I’ve worked on the specific faults of mine that bother him most, or are most detrimental to our particular relationship and he’s done the same. Because we’ve chosen to learn each other’s needs and quirks and wants. Because we’ve chosen to make this relationship our home, and that rules out the other houses.
Photo by (once like a spark) photography