THE HAPPY LUMBERJACK
24 years ago today I was staring into a bathroom mirror 2 hours before I said 'I do', and begging my hairdresser to make my hair bigger...BIGGER! If I had a dollar for every white can of AquaNet I used in the 80's, I could have put my kids through college.
I had every 19 year old girl's dream wedding in 1989, complete with big sleeves, lots of balloons and pearls. Lots of pearls. I remember walking down the aisle and seeing David in his white tux with tails, and I was sure I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him...and his mullet.
Of course, I had no idea what that really meant.
All I knew that day was my bridesmaids and I were looking, like, totally awesome. (All of our dresses had scoop backs with layers of pearls draped across the back. Totally tubular. For sure.)
Within the span of a few years, that girl with the totally rad veil...all wadded up and sitting on top of her head...what?... would be a wife and a mom.
Over the years we've lived in 10 different homes, raised 3 boys, and driven at least a dozen different cars. And through the years, I've learned a few things about being a wife.
1. Let him be who he is. In fact, love him more for who he is than anyone else on the planet will love him. I know he drives you crazy. I know you're disappointed sometimes because he's not home enough or he's home too much or he thinks socks and sandals are okay to wear in public or he has 82 hats he wants to store indefinitely. In your bedroom. On the wall. There's probably 1000 reasons why he makes you crazy. Don't try to change him. Find a way to love exactly who he is right now.
2. Follow him. Even when he might be wrong, even when you think he might blow it. Let him take risks, let him dream, let him mess up. This is a game changer, ladies. If he knows you believe in him enough to follow him, he will shock the hell out of you. It might be ugly for a while. It might hurt. But you'll live, and you might just enjoy the ride. Follow him. Burn your Plan B.
3. Give up your rights. Oh crap. I said it. Now before you get your panties in a wad, listen carefully. I DON'T MEAN be a door mat. In fact there's a hundred things I DON'T MEAN by this statement. What I DO MEAN is this. Give up your right to always be right. Give up your right to make your rights most important. I believe this will play out differently depending on the marriage, but for me it looks a little like this: I pack his lunch. I don't have to win every argument. I sit and watch TV sometimes. I take on most of the housework. I rub his feet without gagging (most of the time.) I don't freak out when he wants to grow his beard and hair and look like a lumberjack. I could go on and on.
Over the years, we all come up with rules. And the rules we create will either strengthen our marriage or weaken it. I hope your rules carry you through until you're old and toothless and rocking on the porch with your great-grandbabies. That's my goal; to be married to the happiest toothless lumberjack this side of Klamath Falls.
What about you? I would love to hear some of your rules.