Small town girl. Joins Navy. Sees the world. Flies in planes. Hunts submarines. Gets out of military and has 3 kids. Rejoins Air National Guard as an "old lady" of 38.

A humorous compilation of stories and lessons learned. Usually the hard way.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Happily Ever After?

Isn’t it funny how when you’re in love, it feels like every love song you hear has been written just for you?  All of the movies you watch somehow seem to be kinda-just like your own love story?  The birds sing louder and the sun shines brighter.  All is right with the world.
I think I used to think of my life as this great story that I would tell my grandchildren one day.  Yes, I'm egocentric like that.  It would be passionate and dramatic with a hero-gets-the girl ending.  It would be just like the movies.  The happy ending ones.  Not like the late 80's ones that went through a sad ending trend.

Naturally, there would also be a fabulous soundtrack involved. I'd build a fire and the song "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" would come on.  
And then... real life happens.  And it’s messy.  It’s unplanned.  Like the Democratic National Convention.  Russian ships suddenly appear out of nowhere and you try to pretend it was supposed to happen like that. 

It can get boring.  Some days I long for an adventure and I decide that we would be best fulfilled if we packed up the family and immediately to move to Spain.  Other days I crave normality and spend a whole day in my pajamas restoring my energy and cleaning the fish tank.
I’m not sure what my story will look like when it’s retold.  There are many days I worry that I’ve ruined my perfect little love story.  Other days I get real and realize there is no such thing.

I’ve married the same man twice now.  [insert marriage jokes here] 
He is the father of my children.  The boy that I met when I was a mere 19 year old aircrewman in the Navy and had just landed on a foreign land, not knowing a single soul.  And Lord knows it’s been messy.  I mean, we got divorced, right?  And... it has been wonderful. 

The first time I got married I was 22.  I was in love and had stars in my eyes.  My story was unfolding splendidly and I couldn't wait to live happily ever after- after the wedding.  And then... real life came along.  With it brought 3 kids within 4 years.  Throw in 2 full time jobs and both of us going to college in our 'spare time'.  Buying and decorating a new home on a Roman Noodles budget.  We were a recipe for disaster waiting to happen. 

Suddenly the little things became big things.  We had a disagreement about pillows, which led to him throwing my uncomfortable Pier One pillow that I had just purchased off of the deck into our back yard.  I didn't care that the delicate glass bead work stabbed him in the face if he was to actually use it as a pillow.  He thought razor-sharp beads were unnecessary and impractical for a pillow.  Not our proudest moment in marriage- but a good reference as to what it had come down to.  Were we seriously fighting about airborne pillows?  (And for the record- lots of people buy pillows that aren't comfortable just because they are pretty!)

The thing is, I didn’t understand then that some days you really don’t like the person you’re married to- maybe not even for weeks at a time.  But that it is okay to feel like that.  I wish someone had told me that it was normal- and okay. We must ride the waves and work through it until we like each other again.  I didn’t realize what it meant- that love didn’t always come easy- but that it was a choice- a commitment.  It sounds so elementary, but for some reason, it wasn't clear to me.  Something had gone wrong somewhere.

It took 2 ½ years apart for us to both realize the grass is not always greener on the other side.  It actually became quite brown.  I missed him horribly.  Soon we both realized that it didn’t matter who you picked- every couple- every marriage goes through this.  I’ve since talked openly to so many of my friends- only to find they have or are going through similar situations in their lives.  If only I would’ve known earlier.

The second time I got married I was 33.  It’s only 11 years difference- but light years of changes and learned lessons have occurred in those 11 years.  And I can only imagine where we will be in another 11 years when it comes to lessons learned along the way.

I don’t have it figured out- not by a long shot.  I’m not perfect and have made many mistakes along the way.  My life is messy- but its real.  I do my best not to judge others because you never know what they are going through until you’ve walked in their shoes.  And while we didn’t have to get remarried- we did it because we chose to.  I feel blessed to have a second chance with the love of my life.  Life doesn’t give you second chances often- so when you get them, you need to jump on it.

And yes, he still drives me insane on a regular basis- as I’m sure I do for him.  He still can't figure out the purpose of a hamper to save his life.  But being together is a choice we’ve made.  We’ve seen what it’s like without each other- and therefore we know the only place we want to be is together.  Even on the days he throws my pretty pillows off of the deck in violent rage.


  1. Sometimes we only hear what we want to hear...myself included, and assume we'll live happily ever after. Also, we all have a Pier I sequined purple pillow story, but your family loves to hear your sister tell yours since she witnessed it! :) L.Y. Mom

  2. Love is like violent rage pillow story. It's not always comfortable, but it's beautiful. :)