Over at Pioneer Woman’s blog today (thepioneerwoman.com), she’s having a wedding anniversary and giving away three $300 Visa gift cards to celebrate. (PW is generous and thoughtful that way.) To enter the giveaway, you just have to post a comment about how long you’ve been married or dating your “honey-baby.”
I posted an overly long comment that began with, “My sweet husband and I have been married since November 4, 2006. I was 39 and convinced I’d be a crazy old cat lady . . . ” and ended with, “Congrats on your anniversary, PW, and on your vibrant marriage.”
There are a lot of amusing and entertaining things that Pioneer Woman (a.k.a. PW a.k.a. Ree) posts on her blog. But I one thing that particularly appeals to me is how unabashedly crazy she is about her husband. With all the negative depictions of marriage on TV, in the movies, in divorce statistics, etc., it’s so nice to hear someone celebrate her marriage. Which Ree does often and naturally and nonchalantly, not just on her anniversary. She makes marriage sound fun and sexy – which it is! – okay, it can be – and she communicates that without oversharing.
(Except for maybe the photos of her hubby’s butt in jeans and chaps. That might be TMI. Mildly scandalous, at least. I could never post anything like that – and my hubby would be so mortified if I did!)
On her blog, Pioneer Woman calls her hubby “Marlboro Man,” or “MM” for short. That’s cuz 1) by her own description – and photos – he’s the studly cowboy type and an actual working cattle rancher, and 2) she grew up in a purty house on a golf course, taking ballet lessons and whatnot, and NEVER expected to become a country gal until she fell for MM. So here’s my question – do I need a cutesy nickname to use for my sweetie on my blog? And if so, what should I call him? Hmmm . . .
I remember having conversations in my early 20s with peers who honestly couldn’t name a couple they knew who had a good marriage, a marriage they admired and would want to emulate. Maybe that had more to do with the cynicism of twenty-somethings in the late 80s and early 90s than it did with reality. (Or with the self-absorption so common in early twenty-somethings no matter the decade.)
My sweet hubby and I have two sons in their twenties (from his first marriage). They’ve each lived with us for patches of the last nearly five years. For the past couple of months, they’ve both been living with us. Do they realize that we have a happy marriage? I want them to.
If the hundreds of comments on PW’s blog have any relation to reality at all, there are happy marriages out there. A lot of them.
(Okay, so statistically, hundreds out of the whole country maybe isn’t “a lot,” although it’s not like all 300 million Americans read PW every day. At least 3 million probably skip a day now and then. And another 5 million probably wouldn’t comment to enter a giveaway even if it were for a $300,000 gift card instead of $300. People are funny that way. And maybe a couple people fibbed about how happy their marriage is just to sound good to PW’s other readers. Still. Lotta ladies sayin’ marriage with their man is blissfully splendid, thank you very much. There. That’s my English Major’s Disclaimer about Generalizations Based on Shaky Math.)
To be fair, it is true that there are many unhappy marriages out there as well. I don’t want to minimize or ignore that. I’ve seen some misery and destruction in loved ones’ lives. It’s awful.
But here’s one part of the truth, which Bill and I came to this week during our morning time of Bible reading and prayer: “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down” (Proverbs 14:1). I think about that sometimes, and occasionally I try to view my own actions and choices through that lens. Does this build up my house? How can I build up my house, my family, my marriage in this moment?
Bravo to Ree for building up her house by publicly praising her husband. And by drooling over him for all to see!
So tell me . . . What would you like to say about marriage – either your own or marriage in general – that just doesn’t get said often enough?