Traditional wedding vows. The beauty of rhythmic poetry combined with such deep passion and sincerity of heart in the most melodious form, as to make the even the hard-hearted shed a tear at the sound. You can decide whether that shed tear is one of joy, or if it be in condolence to the poor sods that utter said vows to each other. I go with the latter. (You’ll recall I’m a pessimist).
The good stuff mixed in there is pretty good. ‘To have and to hold’, ‘for better’, ‘for richer’, ‘in health’, ‘to love’, ‘honor and cherish’, is quite frankly, some powerful stuff. And simply pretty, to boot. Makes you think of running through fields of daisies dressed in white to an Abba sound track. Like a fabric softener commercial. If this was the essence of marriage more of us would take the plunge, feet first and be it for the long haul too. ‘Till death do us part’, would be a breeze. But it’s not that simple. And for most of us, it’s always the other part of the vows that seem to be the reality. The not so good stuff. You know, the ‘for worse’,’ for poorer’ and ‘in sickness’ parts.
So how do you take a whole lot of the not so good stuff and just a little bit of the good stuff and still make it till death do us part? ‘In sickness’ is the key.
‘For worse’ is guaranteed. There will be bad times, you expect that, but in those bad times be happy, because there are worse times ahead. You’ll need to really remember those ‘for better’ times and hold firmly to those memories. Keep a journal if it helps. Better yet, turn those bad times into something good. It’s not as impossible as it sounds. Just look for the good in the situation and focus on that. One of you left the toilet seat up and the other fell in? What a wonderful time to spend the day at the spa for an invigorating body scrub. One of you lost a job and feeling a bit down about it? More time to spend having picnics at lunch. You get the general idea. This is the easy stuff of course, but if you break the harder stuff down into manageable portions, it can be just as simple. More or less.
Anna Nicole married for love. (Stop rolling your eyes, she did). So did you. And so did I. Fortunately for her love came with a mansion or 4, limitless credit cards, a yacht, designer clothing, a walk-in shoe closet (shivers up my shine with envy) and some jewels here and there. For us, love just came. But make do best as you can. Work hard, save harder and spend wisely but willingly. Just don’t forget to save, you may need something to pull out your hat (other than a rabbit) for the doctor, when that pesky ‘in sickness’ part kicks in. But here is where we separate the men from the mice.
I was sick recently. Nothing major (or so they tell me, I felt quite rotten but I’m not the expert). And as far as vows go, to me nothing truly says ‘I love you’ like rubbing someone’s back while they throw-up. If you heaved at the mere thought, you’re probably single. (Now you know why). To me ‘in sickness’ is the ‘for worse’ of the bad. You can be broke and happy. It’s been proven. Ask me for details. But sick and happy, not really. When you can look someone in the face with their eyes all puffy and red, no mascara, snot around the nostrils, still kiss ‘em on the cheek and say ‘good morning gorgeous’, well then you’ve got this relationship thing nailed. Some out there are wondering, is it that simple? You bet it is. (Thank me later). Have, hold, love, cherish and rub my back with Vicks. Ahhh. Happily ever after…