Fifteen years. That’s how long ago we got married.
In a year, our marriage will be old enough to get a license in most states.
Of course, we’ve been a couple for longer than that. About 17 and a half years together. So, as a couple, we can drive.
We don’t get as much cuddle time on the couch, instead dividing and conquering our daughters’ schedules. We coordinate drop offs and pick ups, we split up dinner duty, we take turns on homework help.
We don’t do romantic getaways. Instead we have wonderful, happy vacations with our girls to Disney or long road trips to Colorado.
Instead of buying me flowers, Ted surprises me by filling up my car’s gas tank and getting the oil changed.
He knows that I need time alone for writing and reading, and adult time with my other mom friends at book club or Wine Wednesday. I know he needs to get away from us every once and awhile, and I push him to go out with the boys for a football game or beers.
Love now looks like me knowing he likes to sleep in, and getting the girls to be quiet on those occasions. It’s him knowing that I’m not a night person, and making an effort to hold off important conversations for the next day, because after about 9 at night I’m too grumpy to deal with big decisions.
It’s knowing my favorite ice cream flavor, and surprising me with it. It’s knowing his favorite sandwich, and getting him one for lunch the next day.
It’s accepting my family as his own, and taking care of them the way he cares for us. It’s me loving his brothers like my own, and grieving over the loss of his mother and father. It’s me loving his childhood friends, and his loving going to my class reunions.
Love isn’t necessarily kisses and hugs, roses and wine. Sometimes it is, but mostly it isn’t. But I think it’s better. It’s knowing each other, having a daily and weekly rhythm that we both understand and know, but also holding together when that rhythm is disrupted.
After 15 years, our love isn’t just a hot and spicy pepper. It’s a stew, with flavors and seasonings (including the pepper) that have simmered and mellowed throughout the years, but have blended together to form something even deeper and better.
Our love is better than ever. With every year there are new challenges and new things to discover about each other, but there are also the comforts that come from knowing and loving someone for over 17 years, from being married to your best friend for 15 years.
I can’t wait for the next 15. And the 15 after that.
Enough gushy-ness. Onto my review of Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie.
Magical realism, mythology, and fantasy combine to tell the story of redemption and earth’s survival.
A jinni (female jinn) falls in love with a philosopher over a 1000 years in the past, living with him for two years, eight months, and twenty eight nights (1001 nights), but giving him a plethora of children. After he treats her badly, leaving her with the children and without his name, she raises them and retreats to the jinn world (basically fairyland),
Flash forward to our time, or a few years later, and the future generations of the children. A few rogue jinn have decided to reek a bit of havoc on the earth due to a debt to a philosopher (actually the nemesis of the jinni’s baby daddy), a dead and rotting philosopher with a need for angry jinn.
But, because of the jinni’s love for humans and her dead philosopher, she gets her progeny involved, forcing them to find their inner jinn and magic, in order to save the world and the mankind she loves so much.
Rushdie’s story is not straightforward in any way, engulfed and enveloped in many fables and myths. Each and every story is interesting in its own way, but the main story gets muddled in lost in the rambling.
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is just a little too clever. The story is intriguing, but getting through the book was like slogging through warm mud. Just when I would get rolling on the story and find myself really into the characters, Rushdie would digress into a ‘side-tale’ told by one of the many, many characters. I get that this was supposed to be an Arabian Nights kind of thing, a little bit of Scheherazade kind of telling, but muddling the two stories just made it all confusing. The whole 1001 nights theme running through the book was wonderful, but the rest, all the backtracking and storytelling and world building told within the book was enough to detract and distract from the heart of the story.
I give Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights 3 stars. I don’t mean that books that are hard to read aren’t worth reading, but this one was hard to read for all the wrong reasons. It was too frenetic, a story within a story within a story and then a flash to another world or the past. And again, I get why he did it, but I just didn’t love it. It gets three stars because Rushdie is such a great writer and the heart of the story is wonderful, but the rest of it is just too distracting.