… I walked down the aisle.
It has been quite the year. I’ve learned so much I hardly know where to begin. And yet I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface.
I’ll start with how we met. The day was August 27, 2004. My roommate liked her roommate. He couldn’t do the creepy thing and invite a girl over that he barely knew, so in addition to her, he invited her roommate, a couple of their friends, the girls across the street, and a few guys all to watch a movie at our place. It was all very casual. I learned about it that afternoon when he told that “a bunch of girls” were coming over to watch a movie. I’d long since given up on meeting a girl, having just graduated from a Christian university where some in the student body might think singleness is sinfulness, and still managing to not get married. (Which I’m quite proud of, by the way). Still, what guy wouldn’t love to have his future wife walk in through the front door of his living room?
We all stood around in a circle and played two truths and a lie. On the first go round, I told three truths by accident. The most awkward moment came when the subject turned to painting and decorating rooms, and I mentioned that I had just painted my room bright red and asked if anyone wanted to see it. Amy immediately said yes, but no one else did, leaving both us quite uncomfortable. (I especially since I didn’t want to be creepy — which, in hindsight the whole “do you want to see my room” line might not have been such a good idea.) One of her friends came to the rescue by saying yes too, and we both breathed a sigh of relief.
During the movie (which was really nothing that special), we just happened to sit next to each other on a small couch off to the side. Now here’s where I’m going to let you in on a little secret… If you ask my wife what happened next, she’ll tell you a lie. She’ll swear that I scooted closer to her first. Don’t believe a word of it. I wasn’t that brave. I was watching her out of the corner of my eye (she was a lot prettier than Tom Cruise after all) looking for any sign that she liked me. I saw it all very clearly. She scooted closer first. Emboldened, I scooted towards her too. As the movie progressed, the distance between us decreased. Here’s pretty much what it looked like.
Now for clarification, it should be noted that when distance apart = 0, that was the distance between our shoulders. She wasn’t sitting in my lap.
So about marriage itself… To begin with, I’ve learned that marriage is harder but better. No longer is the question you. It’s now us. And sometimes us means sacrifice or compromise. Even after a year, this changes you. I think it makes you a better person. It’s not always easy. In fact, at times, it can be downright maddening. But it’s always good. In this sense, marriage is one of the most spiritual things I’ve ever experienced. (And this from a person who gets the heebie-jeebies when it comes to people loudly claiming that this or that is spiritual). My whole understanding of what it means to both love and be loved took on a deeper meaning when I got married, and in ways that I can’t really explain, this has translated profoundly into my understanding of what love is, as it relates to my Christian faith.
Having a best friend to share life with is very satisfying too. Making plans for the future, coming home everyday to someone who’s happy to see you, and even facing the challenges that come your way. It’s all better married.
Yet in this regard I am profoundly sensitive. We’ve both known people who, upon getting married, suddenly act as if they’re on a different plane than those single people. As if single were a bad word or something. We’ve tried very hard to not be that married couple that can only hang out with married people, and who acts as if we’ve received some special revelation from God about the nature of life, just because we’re now married. I’ve seen this sort of arrogance or insensitivity first hand with friends, and we’ve been determined not to fall into its trap. But the reason this trap is seductive is because it’s exciting getting married, and it’s easy to let that excitement make you a little blind to those around you.
Mainly though, I’m honored to be married to such a great women. I can definitely say that I married “up” and am a better person for it. On the other hand, if you ask my wife on her perspective, though I’m sure she would say nice things about me, the truth is it might look a little something like this.
All I can say is “thanks, honey.” One down, a lifetime to go.