Real people argue. Real people fart. Real people burn breakfast. I'm firmly resolved that these three items could populate a new chapter in the book of marriage preparation.
This Sunday, I woke up with a grumbly tummy and a hungry husband who was convinced that there was simply nothing to eat in our cabinets.
After an argument over the fact that "nothing to eat" is all relative (i.e. "We have plenty of food to make breakfast. Just because we don't have snack-y food doesn't mean we have NOTHING to eat!"), I set out to make waffles. We were short on pancake mix, so I tried to halve the recipe and came out with oily goo. Apparently 1/4 cup of oil is not half of 1/3 cup. I never said I was good at math. We had no milk. No homemade pancakes or waffles. Batter in the trash can.
No milk = no cereal. No bread = no toast. Damn.
So, with the only two eggs we had left, I decided to make a cheese omelet for the very hungry hubby. Um. Have you ever burned eggs? I did. I'll tell you that browned eggs stink. They smell like rotten stink. Omelet in the trash can. Oy vey.
I was distraught, mostly because there was some truth to the statement "we have nothing to eat" and partly because I absolutely destroyed breakfast. I failed at breakfast and felt like a failure of a wife. Hence, the defensive argument we then had about the frequency and cost of grocery shopping in our household. Hence, the inevitable tears and loud sighs that ensued. Hence the making up (well, at least there is an up side).
Here's the truth they might not tell you in marriage counseling: your partner is more than your best friend. If all you want is a best friend, do not say, "I do." A husband isn't the same as a girlfriend or good friend (you need those, too.) You don't get a bracelet or best friend pin for being a good wife. Marriage is not just about romance and fun (but it should try to be!)
Your partner sees the worst, the most vulnerable, the non-public "you." He knows that you burn eggs and ruin pancake batter and squeeze zits and leave shoes askew all over the house. He's the person who knows what your farts smell like, because people fart. You argue tooth-and-nail, you fight and bicker. This is what people who know these things about each other do, for goodness sakes. This is part of the honor of being in it for the long haul.
But even knowing those intimacies, you share deep mutual appreciation. I mean, I appreciate and, well, love the little drool spot on Patrick's pillow when I make the bed. That is HIM. I love this person, not the idea of him or the fairytale of our "perfect" life together.
Hello, people. The truth is that fighting and farting and burnt eggs happen. These things do not make us failures at marriage, because that's what marriage is (better or worse). My husband may be pretty close to a best friend, but he's actually my Ultimate Extreme Friend.
There's another bonus to this truth: botched breakfasts sure make for a good laugh.