The vision:My perfectly white dress cascades behind me as I walk, flower bouquet bulging in my arms, down the lace-enshrouded aisle. After some elegant words and lofty I dos, we head to the reception, a perfect balance of elegance and fun. The cake is illustrious, the food delicious, and the DJ gets everyone on the floor. We party the night away, walking out under the stars, floating on a cloud.
The reality:While the dress is truly beautiful, the straps start to come off, and my mother-in-law has to quickly stitch them after the ceremony to prevent a crazy malfunction. The bustle is incorrect, so we have to hastily do a makeshift, curtainy bustle. I almost put the ring on Chad's right hand instead of the left, and we are confused when it is time for us to kiss since there is no "you may kiss the bride." The sandcastle cake I requested looks more like sea slime and sort of tastes like it. We have no clue how to cut the cake and end up awkwardly making a disastrous mess of it. The DJ blows a fuse, leaving us standing for ten minutes in uncomfortable silence, and he picks the longest version of every song, leaving the traditional dances lasting way longer than expected. The photographer is awful...there are actually no pictures of just us that are clear.
Our wedding in October of 2011 was far from the perfect vision we had in mind. There were plenty of things that went wrong and that were disappointing.
It's the same for our marriage. This October will mark five years since our wedding day, and I'd like to say life is like a bouquet of roses. But it's not. The wedding flowers wilt quickly, and sometimes the gold band you bought starts to tarnish. Marriage is hard work.
The romantic dinners and roses and strolls in the park hand in hand are sometimes just a thing of the movies. Real life--grocery shopping, work, cleaning, house disasters--can be exhausting. Spending almost every moment with someone can be agitating.
Do we have beautiful romantic moments? Absolutely. We go to nice dinners. Chad surprises me with chocolate instead of roses (which is exactly what I would prefer). We laugh at life's crazy moments, and we often have a perfect night getting takeout and watching Netflix. We have a good life.
But are things perfect?
We have screaming fights about his snoring or spilled soda on the floor or whose turn it is to let Henry out. We argue about where our furniture should go or when I last did laundry or who left food out on the counter to spoil. We scream about where the stamps are or where the savings account book is or where my favorite shoes got to. We accuse each other of eating the last Kit-Kat or misplacing the Xbox controller or Henry's vet papers.
Like our wedding day, things aren't always the dreamy vision we had in mind. There are plenty of disappointments. But over the years, I've learned one big thing.
Love is never perfect.
It's frustrating and messy, just like a wedding. Sometimes the cake you bought tastes awful. Sometimes your gorgeous dress almost loses its straps. Sometimes the man you married snores way too much or refuses to put his laundry away or puts empty boxes back in the pantry. Sometimes the woman you married stuffs the trashcan full so she doesn't have to take it out or leaves coffee cups everywhere or leaves cereal in the sink (hypothetically speaking, of course. This is CLEARLY not about me :) ).
But real love, the kind worth hanging onto for a lifetime, doesn't have to be perfect. In fact, if you can choose to stand beside someone who sometimes drives you crazy, if you can look past the ugly moments and focus on the beautiful ones, then you know you actually found love.