Yesterday, I heard from a dear friend that she and her husband have separated. She is not the first person I know who has told me this same story, but it was couched in her language, shrouded in her pain. I bow my head in sadness, in desperate hope, in knowing.
Marriage is hard.
And that is my main reason to disdain Valentine’s Day, so it shall go mostly unremarked in our house, except in passing during our school day. When flowers and hoodie footies (goodness no) and chocolates and teddy bears are the focus, the hard work of sticking together falls away. We come to expect certain unattainable—or at least unsustainable—romantic notions of relationships. Sure, I am all about a little romance. But I’d rather my love be polished by the elements of time and experience, rough as they can be, than shellacked with an easily cracked veneer.
I am not suggesting that my friend created a marriage of teddy bears and roses…Far from it. Neither am I establishing myself and my beloved as experts on perfect marriage. As far as I can tell, that expert does not exist. But when I look at her news, and pray for reconciliation, juxtaposed with the ridiculous ads that posit my happiness is achieved through a tennis bracelet (really? People wear those?) I can’t help but wonder if this heavily advertised celebration of romance is all it’s meant to be.
Of course, I could just be a fuddy-duddy. (Totally possible.) To prove I’m not a total lame-o romance killer, I shared our How We Met story with Leigh Kramer, and she’s posting both mine and my husband’s he said/she said stories today. So, if you can’t get enough of how cute we are…head over there. If you’ve had enough or don’t think we’re cute at all, (as if) then, have a happy love day.
Tomorrow we will resume the regularly schedule amazingness that is the Why I Run series, with my old friend Tom.