Time won’t give me time
And time makes lovers feel like they’ve got somethin’ real
But you and me, we know they’ve got nothin’ but time
A lot of people talk about their romantic relationships in terms of time. The teens say things like, “OMG! I can’t believe we’ve been together for 11 months!” Translation for the older folks: That’s a super long time. The older folks say things like, “Well, we’ve been together 40 years.” Translation: There’s really no sense in dumping the old nag now. Young or old, time seems to be very important when it comes to dating, marriage and all romantic partnerships.
My husband and I went on our first date a little over eight years ago. It was a lunch date on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a day off for me. I ordered wine because I was nervous. Chris was jealous because he had to go back to work and could not have wine. All noon-time wine buzz jealousy aside, we really hit it off. We were married within ten months, and I was not pregnant. While eight years may seem like a long time in today’s world of marriages with shorter lives than Tootsie Pops, the length of our relationship is something I usually don’t think about. Depending on the day, it feels like we have been together for twenty-five years, or one month, and I mean both of those in good ways. I knew that my husband was the right partner for me early on, and I continue to want him in my life for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with the calendar.
First of all, we laugh a lot. Just a couple of days ago, we were almost crying laughing in church because the chorus was singing a Bob Marley song. We go to a Unitarian Church, or as we call it The Church of the Misfit Toys, and we are always amused by song choices among other things. I’m pretty sure that the older couple in the pew behind us thought we were drunk, but that is OK because we were having fun. Our shared weird sense of humor comes in handy, especially now that we are raising a teen.
Technically, Sergio is my son from my first marriage. He was 7 when Chris met him. Chris has never used stepson; he refers to Sergio as simply “my son.” My husband proved himself to be good father material very early in our relationship. My son was sick, so my then new boyfriend stopped by on his way home from work with a bottle of Sprite because he knew that it was the only thing my son would drink when he was sick. When Chris arrived with the Sprite, I made Sergio come out of his room to say hello. As luck would have it, my son barfed on the dining room carpet shortly after greeting Chris. I quickly escorted him to the bathroom to clean him up and help him change his shirt. By the time I got back to the dining room, the puke was gone. Chris was on his knees blotting the carpet with paper towels and holding a spray bottle of carpet cleaner in his hand. That’s when I decided that he could be in charge of all things icky.
A few months later, Chris once again proved his talent for dealing with gross things. We were at Bonnaroo, which is a very crowded music festival that takes place on a farm in Themiddleofnowhere, Tennessee. It is not the place for a neurotic, claustrophobic neat freak, but I went anyway. Shortly after we got there, I discovered that Port-O-Potties were my only bathroom option for the next three days. I wasn’t counting on that. I stepped in to the first available stall, armed with a small pack of Lysol wipes, and I immediately stepped out while gagging and dry heaving. “I can’t do this,” I told Chris. So, he did what any absolute prince of a man would do, he took the wipes and went in to the stall. He came out about two minutes later and pronounced it ready for me. I went back in. He had cleaned the seat and threw an enormous amount of toilet paper in to the potty itself, thus covering all evidence. This is when I knew that I should marry him. Shortly after that, we got engaged.
Since we got married, we have lived in three states, gone through a number of stressful events, including health issues. Just recently, my husband had the pleasure of giving me shots in the stomach because I had a blood clot. To me, that is more impressive than any bouquet of roses, or box of chocolates, or even the Chanel No. 5 gift set Chris got me for Valentine’s Day. Love is about taking care of each other, listening to each other, and dealing with the icky side of life, sometimes. Time is almost non-existent.