Saturday, July 20, 2013

The First Five Years.

(The title of this post refers to the Laura Ingalls Wilder book, "The First Four Years." I am a big fan of the Little House books, and used to reread them every year until puberty, when I just would reread "Little Town on the Prairie" and "These Happy Golden Years", because those are the only ones with romance in them, but I did sometimes reread Little House in the Big Woods, because I liked when they'd make tree-sap candy. Wasn't there also a pig-bladder balloon? I also liked that.)

I've had a hard time blogging about our 5-year anniversary. I keep going back and forth between writing sappy things (I loved Jeff almost immediately) and funny things (I hate the way that Jeff eats fortune cookies.). Both things are true, but I'm having a hard time sticking to one theme. If I only blog sappy things,(Jeff Carr is everything I ever wanted in a husband) does that sound believable?  If I only blog funny things, (Jeff clips his fingernails almost every day, but for some reason, his toenails are always as sharp as prison shivs. ) does that adequately illustrate how much I love him?

Marriage is a funny thing. It's different for everyone. I know couples who never fight and I know couples who fight constantly, but make up immediately and seem closer to each other after each little spat. There are many different ingredients that go into a successful marriage. I mean, I do believe that there are some universal recipes for success (strong commitment, same values and beliefs, and similar goals), but within that, there are many different variables that make up a marriage. I asked Jeff late one night around our anniversary if he thought we had a good marriage. It was completely a test (all good marriages should be comprised of one person who is prone to giving tests and one person who is prone to forgiving that testing person), but he passed by saying "yes."

We spent the next hour or so talking about our marriage's strengths and weaknesses. It was a nice conversation, but I didn't really get any "Aha!" moments from it. I think we have a successful marriage, but I also don't know what exactly a successful marriage is, so I never know if we're secretly failing. Do we fight? (Yes- about three things: money spent on root beer, not speaking in nice tones, and my inability to get Jeff to work even remotely on time.) Do we fight too much? (Only when I go through periods of root beer float addiction. Right now we're good.) Am I a good wife? (I just asked him and he got annoyed with my stupid question and answered "Yes." He then realized that I was testing him, and said in a much nicer tone, "I think you're the most wonderful wife in the world.") Is he a good husband? (Jeff Carr is an amazing husband and I am thankful for him everyday.) (He's very supportive of my love of McDonald's Monopoly, he always does the dishes, he never corrects my grammar even though he totally could be doing that every day, and he never makes fun of me when I wake up naked and have no clue where I put my clothes because I seem to sleep-walk when I get hot at night.) 

But a little while later, I finally did have an "Aha!" moment. We were driving around Teton National Park on our anniversary trip, listening to Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling (loved it) and in it, she says:

"I don’t want to hear about the endless struggles to keep sex exciting, or the work it takes to plan a date night. I want to hear that you guys watch every episode of The Bachelorette together in secret shame, or that one got the other hooked on Breaking Bad and if either watches it without the other, they’re dead meat. I want to see you guys high-five each other like teammates on a recreational softball team you both do for fun. I want to hear about it because I know it’s possible, and because I want it for myself."

And we looked over at each other and smiled. She had just described us. Not because Jeff watches the Bachelor with me, actually watches with me, and makes fun of it when I want to, and listens to my serious points about it when I want to tell him. Or even because we do high-five each other an above-average amount. We smiled because after all this time, we are still buddies. (We really are best friends.) 

We're not perfect, and our marriage wouldn't work if there were other people in it. (Who else would be able to listen to me say, "I feel like Bruno Mars is a bit of a twerp," or "I read this article on abortion in Chile today, and it was craaaaaazy?" And who else would be tolerant of his hummus addiction or how often he says, "On Grantland today..." And he really does watch more Family Feud than any person should.) We do fight sometimes and when I asked Jeff about what he thought what we fought about, he only listed things that I do wrong, which caused a mini-spat.  

But I love him. (So much.) He is such a good person and a wonderful father and he makes me feel beautiful, and smart, and good enough. (Thank you.) The last five years haven't been smooth sailing every second, but they have been ours. 

(I love you)

(But less so when you do that fake-cough thing when things smell bad . YOU KNOW OF WHAT I SPEAK.)

5 years ago.

For our anniversary/Jeff's birthday, we were gifted (by a group of family) a stay at a suuuuuuper fancy hotel in Jackson Hole. This is us at the fancy hotel restaurant.  It was great vacation, my first time leaving the children... ever. The food at the fancy restaurant was good, but too fancy to know what it actually was ("Is the Wagyu Tenderloin, you know, beef?"), but I got to steal a lot of hotel toiletries because they were all from L'Occitane en Provence, which I've never shopped at, but they have it at the fancy Stanford Mall, so you know it's good.

We also stopped at Jenny Lake. It was so darn beautiful. I'd love to go back.

We also stayed a night at the Carr family cabin, where I slept 12 hours straight for the first time in 3 years and took a bubble bath  which might warrant a call to Guinness.


Sarah said...

Comment test.

Shantel said...

I can't tell you how much I loved the inclusion of both types of facts: fun and sappy. Happy anniversary!

Natalie said...

I'm sure I say this all the time, but you are the most hilarious person alive! I loved this! Especially because Dustin and I have the Bachelorette thing going for us too (Brooks is a chump, ammarite?)

One question though... Do you really wake up naked after stripping in your sleep? That's amazing. I wish I were you.

Audrey said...

I think being best friends is the best thing a person could ask for out of marriage. Glad you guys were able to get away for a bit. Sleeping all night is marvelous.

Natalie Curtis said...

LOVE this :) you are hilarious. happy anniversary!!