My grandparents have been married for over 50 years now. They got married when my Nana was 16-years-old and my Papaw was 18. Neither of them had a dime to their name when they started out, but together they built a life. Over half a century later, they still celebrate Valentine’s Day together and I think it’s the sweetest thing ever. My Nana is fairly tech-savvy for a 72-year-old, and two days ago she uploaded a picture of her Valentine’s Day chocolates from my Papaw along with a caption that explained he was helping her eat them, and I couldn’t help but hope to myself that Mr. Cooper & I will be like them someday. Unlike my 6-year-old self, I realize now that I’m older that, despite my picturesque view of their marriage, even my grandparents had their struggles.
My cousin who is also a newlywed and I were talking a couple months back, and we came to the conclusion that marriage is not a Nicholas Sparks movie. A close friend of hers recently got engaged and has a different perspective from us. She’s under the impression that the two of them will wake up each day embracing -morning breath free, of course- to birds chirping and a love song compilation cd playing in the background. My cousin and I laughed and laughed and laughed.
She quickly informed her friend, “You think this is just gonna be one big cuddle fest? No. Even the way he squeezes the toothpaste will get on your nerves. Sleeping next to him every night sounds like fun now, but in reality you’ll end up getting hot and there will be no spooning because that might lead to something else, and there are some nights that you will not want that something else.” Bless her little heart, she doesn’t believe anything she was told.
My cousin has a point. Living with someone is not a 24/7 romance novel. You will quickly learn that your perfect guy is not so perfect and has a bad habit of snoring, sleeping with the tv on, and leaving his dirty underwear in the bathroom floor. However, you will also learn that he can be pretty helpful when it comes to housekeeping, he can grill a mean steak, and sometimes he likes being the little spoon. Marriage is give and take, ups and downs, struggles and smooth sailing. Marriage is working together to fix the clogged sink, mirror imaging the other person when they have pepper caught in their teeth, and assisting her in zipping up her dress before an evening at a friend’s wedding. It’s building a life together, it’s real, it’s messy and it’s wonderful. It’s by no means always easy, but it’s always worth it and I don’t regret a moment of it.
Happy belated Valentine’s Day y’all!