Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Wicked, Wicked Ways

Quite likely, Errol Flynn had something else in mind when he used that title for his memoirs, but it is apt enough to describe me, and my sad, slatternly habits.

It's been a good while since I had a Messy Tuesday post, but that doesn't mean it's been a good while since I had a Messy Tuesday. This is my laundry room. It's meant to be a "Before" picture, but the "After" hasn't arrived yet.

MaƱana, I say.

I was in my old beloved city on the weekend, to bear witness to this:

...the wedding of a young man who was once like a brother to me, to a young woman who seems very promising indeed.

Weddings always make me cry, and not because they're happy occasions. They make me cry because those two are standing at the foot of Everest, squinting optimistically up at the summit. The happy couple is thinking about standing astride the peak, in a heroic pose, with endless sky behind them. When in fact, if they ever DO get there, they will be bruised, bleeding, suffocating and suffering. Marriage is bloody hard work.

This shouldn't be taken in any way as a slight to my husband, by the way.

And anyhow I'm sure the last 13 years have been just as gruelling for him as they have been for me. We love each other like sandwiches, but I think every married person would agree with me that, to make it work, each partner needs a level of perseverance and dedication that few newlyweds are prepared for.

But hey - marriage is the ultimate 'learn as you go' activity...second only to parenting, I'd say. We're all works in progress. Which brings me to my closing photo - a progress shot. It's not really After, it's more During, but improvement is noticeable.

See? anyone can change.


Dave Hingsburger said...

OMG someone who can use slatternly in a sentence. I love that word, it always makes me laugh. I ended up with the messy gene in my family ... actually ... it's more of an 'I don't give a flying fig' gene - I always figured that there was always something slightly more important than cleaning up - napping for instance.

Valerie said...

Your comments on marriage are right on...however 33 years into this I will say that some parts do get easier.

Hey..you got a nice big laundry room there! Our garage looks a bit like that....but I consider that the dh's territory, even as I lug stuff out there and ceremoniously plop it down.

Maybe marriage doesn't get easier for both parties?

mel said...

Yay Messy Tuesday! Every day is messy Tuesday lately ;)

yes! Most young people tying the knot have no idea what they're in for ;) I sure didn't!! We've been very lucky, and we've also worked very hard. The stuff that tests you personally also tests your marriage and I think the times when Tad & I have both needed support have been the hardest on us - finding a way to help your partner when you are at your wit's end as well. I love Tad madly - and to hear some of my peers talk about their spouses, I feel insanely fortunate to have found such a great match on all levels. But hard work, seriously, the hardest. And so very worth it.

Gwen said...

Dially von Phoneup?

Susie Hewer said...

Tee hee, your slatternliness has made me feel so much better about the horrendous mess that I laughingly call my 'office'!

Another Joan said...

In the interests of Clearing Out, Cleaning Up & Moving On, there are 16 empty boxes in the garage. There were 18 yesterday but 2 have already been filled and moved out. I'm going to lose weight one way or another!!

lizbon said...

My favorite part of this post: "We love each other like sandwiches." (Obviously, from someone who recently compared romantic love to macaroni and cheese, this is going to be my favorite part...)

lizbon said...

PS. And it occurs to me that the unspoken connection being made here is that there are public parts and private parts to both a house and a relationship. The private parts (no naughty pun intended) are often very, very messy.

Lesley said...

thank goodness I won't be seeing you on an episode or hoarders!

karen said...

Can't wait to see the next pic with your new colour! You are doing fabulous... keep on. When a November Wednesday afternoon has come and you are DONE with school - you can simply close the door and revisit that room another day!!

Annalea said...

In going back to look at the opening photo, it took me quite a while to see Piper in there . . . lolol (Full disclosure: I owe you a messy Tuesday post. Subject: my desk and vicinity.)

I'm right with you there on marriage. Luckily, you have each other to soothe and heal the bruises, staunch the bleeding, and be one another's air when it seems all gone. I remember very clearly that standing atop Everest feeling as a newlywed . . . and how long and gradual a process it has been to realized just how high a mountain it is that we have yet to climb. One of my favorite cousins recently quoted one of my favorite Wendell Berry quotes on her 4th Anniversary:

"Walter Cotman always spoke of Mary as Elton's "better half." In spite of his sulks and silences, she would not go so far as "better." That she was his half, she had no doubt at all. He needed her. At times she knew with a joyous ache that she completed him, just as she knew with that same joy that she needed him and he completed her. How beautiful a thing it was, she thought, to be a half, to be completed by such another half!"

Wendell Berry, A Jonquil for Mary Penn

It's so strange, to know someone so well . . . to be so intimately acquainted with their faults and shortcomings and the things that drive you absolutely nuts . . . and yet to know that they know you just as well, and that you chose one another, and that driving each other nuts, alternated with making one another happier than you ever thought possible, is all part of the deal.

kate said...

I've been away and back since reading this post. My house looks like a bomb went off, containing mostly legos and archie comics. Oh, and add to it the camping laundry.

As to marriage, I started the journey I'm on at 16 (as you already know). I know no other way, nor do I want to. It works for us.