Love in Reality

Remember before you were married you thought it was going to be different?

Remember when you thought that being married would just be pure bliss, provided that you found the perfect person? You’d probably hate each other at first because you didn’t know each other well enough. You’d both be strong-willed and wouldn’t want to give in to the other, but then suddenly, after so much butting heads, an especially tense interaction, and hating each other, a rainstorm comes. You find yourselves stranded in the middle of the storm, and in some strange change of heart, you both realize that you were always meant to be together, and how could you not be completely wrapped up in each other’s arms right this very moment – never to part! You kiss in the rain until the end of the storm and return to your lives with one small change — you love each other deeply and so completely that you will never ever fight again, and you will just smile at each other ever after. Happily.

End scene.


I saw this advertisement the other day. It was for some contraption that you can use to make the sound from the television louder only for you. Pretty much wireless headphones, to be honest.

But then the tagline said, “{insert product name here} SAVED OUR MARRIAGE!”

Hold up.

Your shared TV watching experiences were so out-of-control-lose-my-mind-can’t-maintain-my-cool difficult that your marriage was almost lost?

What happened to the rain? The smiles? The happy?!?!

Okay, so the statement was a little insane. I hear you. It’s kind of like those infomercials that take something super simple and make it seem like it’s totally destroying your life. Kind of like the Friends episode where Joey is on an infomercial for the Milk Master 2000.

{Those darn cartons are so flingin’ flangin’ hard to open!}

But I digress.

Didn’t the movies make love sound like it was easy, once you found the “right one”? I mean, really, the work came upfront, right? It’s just so hard to find the right one — what with all the blind dates, girls’ night out at the bar (hoping to be interrupted by a tall, dark, handsome stranger), and catastrophes that await the single woman on her way to eternal bliss! But once you found true love, it was pretty much unicorns, rainbows, and laughter from there on out.

Ah, love.

Movies told you so much about love.

They showed you what it was like to wake up next to someone you love. You both wake with a gentle breath in the morning glow of sunrise. You roll over sleepily to look lovingly at the love of your life, who is staring at you through the haze of slumber. You, of course, look magnificent with flawless skin, bright and dewy eyes, and perfectly messy hair. Your subtly seductive glance and quietly muttered memories of last night’s most romantic activities lead you both to another spontaneous round of blissful love-making. It ends with you and a cup of coffee staring out the window wearing his button-down shirt from last night – which fits you just perfectly in all the ways it should.

Your day is full of life, joy, and productivity. Not to mention sweet, perfectly-timed communication from your love. Perhaps a flower delivery. You gab with your girlfriends at work over how amazing he is, and they gush with the perfect blend of  adoration and jealousy.

You end the day by stopping by the local farmer’s market, where of course, your soul mate picked up those flowers that were delivered to you that very morning. You complete the evening by cooking up a six course meal a la Bree Van de Kamp, while wearing your ruffly apron, which is really just for show, because let’s be honest. You don’t get messy.

Option B is that you order Chinese and eat it with chopsticks on pillows on the floor by the fireplace right out of the box, which apparently, is equally as full of love as the Van de Kamp masterpiece in Option A. The fortune in your fortune cookie speaks directly to your souls, and inspires a wonderfully magical make out session in front of the fire.

The next morning greets you with breakfast in bed, which is, it goes without saying, eaten while looking as though you’ve just stepped out of the hairdresser’s chair and had Bobbi Brown apply your “I haven’t put on makeup yet” makeup. It probably even has a single gerbera daisy in a vase in the corner, opposite your orange juice.



Because the way I wake up next to the love of my life has turned out to be very different.

The alarm blares at an ungodly hour (any hour). I roll over to turn it off with the wrath of the Hulk. I roll back exasperated with my arm over my eyes due to my frustration that morning has arrived too soon yet again. I turn to greet my husband, only to be face-to-foot with a child. After rearranging tiny limbs, wondering when they arrived in our bed in the first place, I reach the love of my life.

We kiss once, and then make a pact not to do that again until we’ve both rid our mouths of the smell that moved in overnight.

Instead of perfectly messy hair, I look as though I’ve battled a tornado. And probably lost. I am not in a button down dress shirt because my husband is a whole twelve inches taller than I am and it would look the same as if I were a child wearing my daddy’s work boots that come up to my knees. Not. Attractive. Instead, I’m in a baggy shirt and workout shorts. Mmm…much better.

There are breakfasts to be made, toilets to be scrubbed, and laundry to be folded. No time to linger in bed seductively. That’s all if Ty hasn’t selflessly woken up before me to leave for work at the crack of dawn.

Our days are filled with text messages full of information and plans, if we get to text at all in the craziness of life. I’m lucky if I’m in different clothes before Ty gets back home from work. I’m even luckier if I have something to show for my hard work during the day.

I brave the grocery store with children in tow because our refrigerator is empty, and these crazy people need to eat again. Did you know that people expect to eat three times a day? The little ones want to eat 7 times a day! The experience is nothing like skipping through the farmer’s market.

Instead of Bree’s china, we usually eat off of plastic plates. Or on a bad day, *gasp* paper plates.

If we order Chinese, our fortunes never apply to our romantic life. In fact, they rarely even make sense. We do learn one important Chinese word, though, like “fish”, “tree”, or “branch”. And we’re eating that crap with forks, because eating fried rice with chopsticks is enough to drive me mad.

And let me tell you something important.

Breakfast in bed = crumbs in my bed.

Love in reality is very different from love in the movies.

Love in reality expresses disagreements. Sometimes loudly.

Love in reality makes sacrifices graciously.

Love in reality hurts sometimes.

It’s early morning bad-breath kisses.

It’s no makeup and ugly pajamas.

It’s paper plates and plastic forks.

It’s laughter and joy, and pain and tears.

It’s going on adventures together, and not caring how the trip goes, or where you end up – as long as you end up there together.


It’s waking up every morning and standing together and being present in the reality.

It’s going to bed in utter exhaustion and laying side by side knowing that together you contributed something wildly important to this world, simply by being together.

Love in reality is wearing wireless headphones because you’ve grown old together and one of you can’t hear Jeopardy anymore, and the one who still can will soon lose their own hearing due to the increase in decibels.

I can only hope that we get to be together so long that someday one of us needs those stupid headphones. I hope it’s me. I can definitely pull them off better than Ty can. His head is much bigger than mine.

 I see you marriage-saving wireless headphones.

You do what you do.

1 Comment

Jody Jackson

about 5 years ago

Love it!


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