Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wedding Vows From the 21-Year Other Side

We're just regular people. We sleep less than we should, we get on the treadmill when our waistbands start giving us dyspepsia, and we like our Orville Redenbacher.

Two run of the mill souls married 21 years with three children and a 27-year mortgage stretched out before us.

For our anniversary, my husband bought me a compression sleeve for my right knee so that I would have a matching set.

I bought him a warehouse box of sweet-n-salty microwave popcorn singles.

But our commitment to each other runs deeper than those thoughtful gifts. Deep enough that we were moved to re-write our original wedding vows. As I held the pen from the hearing aid evaluation center and with a suspenseful American Pickers marathon playing before us, we put our updated promises to paper:
I, Mark, take you, Alexandra, as you are. Make-up-less, and in pajamas until noon. I love you for who you are and not for how good you looked on the first day I met you in that navy blue dress with white piping and matching stockings, high heels for that monochromatic look, I mean, geez, who can remember, right? I love you.

I, Alexandra, take you, Mark, loving who you are now, cereal and soup slurper that that means, even if I have that disorder that was on Huffington Post about people who go crazy from hearing people eat and I for sure have that. I still take you.

I, take you, Alexandra, and who you are yet to become. I promise to listen to you and look up from the iPad when you talk. I promise to support you and mourn your losses when McSweeney's rejects you once again, as if the piece were my own. I will love you and have faith in your writing, because you are a very funny woman.

I, Alexandra, love your love for me, Mark. I vow to encourage you, trust you, and respect you, especially on the days where you do things that make no sense to me. I have never rolled my eyes at you and never will. I vow to work on the sighs.

I, Mark, promise you this: to respect our differences, and to try hard to remember how very different your Colombian life is. (It's so different, honey) I also promise to get the garage remote fixed for you for Christmas. And to drive at night with your encroaching night blindness.

I promise you, Mark, to be there every single time when you come to after your colonoscopies. And to let you have the downstairs bathroom to yourself the night before for your cleansing prep.

I promise you, Alexandra, to not give in to any laugh when we drive home from your cataract eye check and you're wearing your glaucoma glasses.

I promise you Mark to attempt an interest in aquaponics. I promise you, Mark to fairly divide the visit to the basement when I hear a strange noise.
I, Mark,  promise to investigate any noises you hear that you are positive are an animal in the house (It's never an animal)
Together, we vow to keep each other informed of any change in moles or bowel movements.

These things we promise, for better or for worse, in sickness and health, for richer or poorer.

For as long as we both shall live.
We are simple. Two people married 21 years ago, whose eyes twinkled bright at the "for better" part that day at the altar, because "for better" is standing right in front of you. But grow humbled every season to the words we didn't catch the first time around. 

The unexpected clarity that comes with the “or for worse...” part.


  1. Oh yes...this sounds familiar! Would you have predicted yelling at him to look up from the iPad 21 years ago?

    1. So strange. SO strange. Back then,it was the TV

  2. Happy Anniversary, honeymooners! So funny...though I must admit I skimmed quickly in search of a Mulch reference. Perhaps now your love transcends even mulch.

  3. No one but you could work "colonoscopies" into an anniversary post.
    Love you.
    And your vows.
    For better or worse.



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