There are four of us: entropy, tink, articulate matter, and the mixologist. I need a better name for the mixologist, but my brain isn’t all the way on today, so it will have to wait for an edit. Of the four of us, not one has made an easy choice of mate. tink is in a cross-cultural, cross-philosophical marriage. articulate matter’s husband works a lot and is so very mathematical, when she isn’t particularly mathematical at all. The mixologist is in a multicultural marriage. Two of the four have kids.
BTW, articulate matter is now officially am. I can’t type that out every damn time I mention her.
am and I talked last night. About marriage, as we seem to. As usual, I ended up talking a lot more about myself than was absolutely necessary. Yet I feel like I have something to say on this. I’ve learned a lot over the past two years. I’ve watched a lot of people and had conversations with most of them. I’m sure I’m not coming up with anything new here, but the simple fact is that everything costs something. Sooner or later, you are going to have to come to terms with the fact that, whatever you want, you are going to have to trade for it.
You can write down all the values that are important to you on a piece of paper, but if it came down to a person-by-person comparison with every ex boyfriend, you would find that some of those traits you like are going to lay outside of each person. So ex number one was wound tighter than a perm gone bad, but he always called on time. The trouble is that you value a more flexible attitude, but you may not get that laid-back approach to life and have someone who calls when they say they are going to call. So which is more important to you? Flexibility or the phone call at least approximately when he said he would call? You want to be treated like you matter, but the boy who does that best was the one that smothered you the most. Love me, just not too much. Do you want to breathe or do you want to be adored?
So am could trade in her current husband, but she wouldn’t find all the things she likes in him in the next one. She’d find some of the old things, and some new things, but then there would be a new pile of things that she didn’t like about the next one. We like to tell ourselves that it could be easier, but I don’t think that’s true. It will just be hard in a different way.
I’m a practical girl. When I started this adventure, there was a huge pile of things that I didn’t appreciate about the man I married – things I just assumed came standard with the outdoor plumbing. I was wrong. You can trade endlessly, but perfect doesn’t exist. You will pick and choose, you will give up things that mattered to you. You will compromise. You will do the best you can with what you’ve got. Or you will be alone, because perfect is not on the horizon. That much, I am sure of.