Today is Valentine’s Day. I am anxiously awaiting all the flower and chocolate pictures to flood my Facebook feed. (yes, I am still addicted to Facebook. I can’t seem to overcome that one.) Scott and I don’t make a huge deal about Valentine’s Day. He did tell me that he sent a card since we aren’t together today. That was sweet of him.
Anyway, as I was doing my morning reading, I came across this essay over at The Federalist, You Don’t Need True Love, Just Someone Who’s As Good As Anybody Else. The title caught my eye. It is both a sweet story of his grandparents, and also a good reminder that love can be good enough.
I guess my son likes to tell his college friends the story of how Scott and I met. For some reason the girls seem to get a kick out of it. You can read the story of our first date here. We dated for a short 8 weeks before he proposed. He was gone for 6 of those 8 weeks, but I always argue that you can learn a lot about a person from their letters.
I guess the college girls always laugh when my son tell them about Scott’s awesome proposal. “I guess we should set a date.” That is what he said. Sure was sure of himself, wasn’t he? He likes to remind me that it was a romantic moment. We were eating ice cream sundaes and looking at the lights of Seattle across the water. It was a romantic moment. I guess it does seem funny to the 20-something college kids who live in the age of Instagram where everything is a competition to see who can go viral with their crazy announcements. (was that a run-on?)
Then when my son continues to tell them that we were married 4 months later, the girls gasp. It must have been true love! Ah, so romantic right? They couldn’t wait to be together?
That part is true. I was living with my parents and there was no way on God’s green earth they were going to let me live with Scott before we were married. So, we wanted to get married. I remember my dad saying, “Can’t you just wait until after his deployment?” (You know sailors. Girl in every port and all that. Which is so not true.) Ahh..NO. Hello, dad. We are in LOVE.
Now, I suppose this is the part that the kids find so romantic. We married quickly, and here we are still married almost 22 years later. If you read the statistics, we shouldn’t be married anymore. In fact, I knew many people were a little nervous, or maybe a lot nervous, about our marriage. I hardly knew the guy. Was I pregnant? (No, for what it is worth.) He is a sailor! Hello, Tressa. You grew up in a Navy town. You don’t date sailors.
But he was so cute and kind. And I knew that he loved me in the way that 20 year olds love each other. And I was ready.
So when I read that article at the Federalist, it made me think of Scott. How the odds were stacked against us, and how we have made it work. We are two imperfect people who have to forgive each other all the time. All. The. Time. Even when the other one doesn’t say they are sorry. The article reminded me that marriage is more than the goobly-gook of what we think romantic love this. It is two “good enough” people working hard to share a life. We tease each other often that we are never leaving the other now because to train a new spouse would just be too much work. We are both lazy by nature, so it is completely true.
When my son tells our story, I know that he doesn’t tell about the hard years even though I think the hard years are the ones that have defined our marriage. We used to say “if we can get through this, we can get through anything!” We stopped saying it when it started feeling like God was saying, “Oh, yeah? Try this one!”
So here is to being “good enough”. I am glad that we set that date.
P.S. Scott, if you are reading this, I bought myself a box of good chocolate. Maybe if you are lucky, I will leave you some.