By Helen, to Jason…
My wedding vows to you…
Things I have learned in 13 years of marriage.
Marriage is not hearts and flowers. That is romance. It is not expensive dinners and weekends in the country. That is courtship. Although our weekends in the country usually involved a rainy football match in Swindon. I think you’d call that love.
Marriage is not white dresses and diamond rings, canapés or cake. (Although cake, it has to be said, is of vital importance to most things).
Marriage is not a happy ending. It is socks on the floor, coffee rings on the table, dirty dishes and bin duty. It is cash-flow, DIY and missing keys.
Marriage isn’t easy. I know you know that kids, because you hear it being not very easy quite often. The things that grown-ups find to argue about must seem faintly ridiculous to you, when there is bedroom territory to be guarded, the issue of which McDonald’s toy belongs to whom, and who took the last orange straw.
But in fact you get involved in the ups and downs of marriage in your own inimitable ways. “Yeah Daddy, ‘cos Mummy said so…” makes Daddy laugh, and the heat in my temporary fury fizzles out.
Jason, with these things in mind I promise:
- To notice that you are stacking the dishwasher, rather than analyse the way you are stacking it.
- To celebrate your flair and individuality in fashion choices. Although I reserve the right to travel separately if you ever again wear turquoise and orange trainers.
- To always take your side when you argue with your boss.
- To refrain from comment at the way the laundry basket always seems to be full. You like clean jeans. That’s a good thing.
- Never to tell anyone that you can’t keep it together during the Incredible Journey. Or any other film concerning animals. Or children, for that matter.
- To ride rollercoasters with you, whenever you need me to.
I will do these things because I see how hard you try to understand my need for clean and tidy, even if you can’t quite manage it. Because you let me lie in at weekends. Because you never complain about having to do 3 extra runs to the shop for dinner ingredients I have forgotten. Because you never have man flu. Because you tell everyone how proud you are of me, my parenting, my work. Because you hold my hand when I am scared. Because it is plain for everyone to see how much you love our children.
Because this is marriage. It’s a 2-way deal between best friends. And I couldn’t wish for better. x