Marriage is not
a house, or even a tent
it is before that, and colder:
the edge of the forest, the edge
of the desert
the unpainted stairs
at the back, where we squat
outdoors, eating popcorn
where painfully and with wonder
It’s my anniversary today. My 15th anniversary. Yeah. We’ve been married a while. We’ve been together for pretty much the entirety of my adult life. We’ve been together for almost half of my entire life. That’s a long time. That’s something to celebrate, I think.
But I’m not at home. Well, I am at home, kind of, inasmuch as I almost live here, in New York. I got the keys to our apartment in New York – our home in New York – this morning, so, yeah, in certain very important ‘wherever I lay my hat and also most of my shoe collection’ respects, I’m home. But Kyle and the kids are not at that home, they’re at our other home, the one in Canada, which feels so far away this morning, so far away.
Here is what I'm worrying about today:
1) My husband has taken the children camping.
2) In a tent.
3) Without me.
The camping itself isn't worrying, I suppose. My parents took my sister and I camping all...
It’s Kyle’s birthday today. I’m not going to tell you how old he is, because I think that he’s feeling a little weird about that, and if the 21st century has taught us anything, it’s that there’s nothing weirdmaking that can’t be made even more weirdmaking by being broadcast on the Internet. So.
Emilia got him sticks for his birthday. She put a lot of thought and planning into that, and it’s important to realize – as she explained at some length this morning when she presented them, with great fanfare, which is to say, wrapped in ribbons and pulled with a flourish from behind her back – that they aren’t actually sticks, but tools. “Car tools,” she explained. “For your car.”
My husband and I have been together for over seventeen years. That’s pretty much the entirety of my adult life, and almost half of my whole life so far. Hopefully, it’s only the beginning. Hopefully, we’ll both live long lives and will celebrate the births of grandchildren and maybe even great-grandchildren and those years of our lives that were spent without each other will seem distant and momentary and we will tell people, we have been together forever.
It seems such a rare thing these days, couple staying together forever. My husband sometimes remarks, when we hear that yet another relationship – a relationship of someone close to us, or someone not close to us, or someone that we only know through People magazine – has foundered on the rocks of infidelity or irreconcilable differences, that it seems that everything, everything these days is stacked against lasting love. What that everything is, he’s not sure, but it worries him, sometimes. What if it comes after us, he asks? What if it sneaks up on us when we’re not looking and consumes us before we even know what’s happened?
Text of e-mail: “What you can’t see is the epic turd. I spared you that. So the four year old sits on the John and reads Vanity Fair while dropping bombs.”
This is what happens when I leave the house for the day. Everybody gets all up in the body art and then someone takes a massive crap – while, apparently, reading Vanity Fair, which, thank god she’s picking up the important life skills early – and then someone e-mails me the evidence.
This is what passes for humor in our house. You'll be forgiven if you get confused and think you've stumbled onto rehearsals for a kindergarten performance of scenes from the works of Ionesco.
Because, when I'm not looking, he makes our daughter a Christmas suit out of foil wrapping paper and dresses her in it.
And then, suitably attired, they sit down for cocoa with marshmallows and smashed...