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Monday, October 1, 2012

When A Dirty Toilet Becomes A Metaphor For Your Marriage, In A Good Way.

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I am exhausted.

I'm sitting here at midnight writing this post, completely dumbfounded that it's October already, waiting on the blankets from my son's bed to be finished in the dryer, as he had an accident all over the only two blankets he can/will sleep with.

He's reverting, by the way. I wrote that post too quick.

The cold is settling in, now, into my home and my bones and everything points to the notion that this winter will be a long, hard one, and with each decreasing moment of sunlight in the day I know it, from a place long left dormant throughout human history, a collective consciousness and understanding of the earth and our connection to it. The knowledge makes me antsy and angsty, not trusting these mild Autumn days for what they appear to provide. I am always eight steps ahead, trying in vain to constantly live up to my Girl Scout upbringing and to be prepared, always prepared.

I need to tear up my summer garden and burn the debris, but I just haven't found the will just yet. I don't know that I can quite handle the barren corner of landscape as the foreboding presence of the next thing, the bleakness that appears after that newness and cleanness of the first snow disappear.

We've been talking a lot, lately, about getting older and what that means and who we think we might be in the next ten years. It's scary, because we don't really feel any more prepared than we were ten years ago as bright-eyed freshmen in college, but we are all too aware of the consequences and fallout of the choices that lay before us than we were back then.

We also just can't stay out like we used to. We get tired before we get drunk and that, that is a major buzzkill. We crave more culture and community than we do booze and going out to be seen, which is awesome but also isn't because culture does not come cheap, not when you have kids and bills and this existence that somehow feels so alien to what you were when you met seven years ago, but at the same time is so comfortable that the glare of the neons and the din of the terrible thumping music finally illustrate how vapid it all was, back then, in a scarily blissful kind of way.

But we can talk about my revelations on self-medication in an over-prescribed culture another day.

There was a moment the other day, when I went to use the restroom after returning home from taking both kids to the pediatrician for Tova's second-year checkup and had a complete tampon failure while wearing light grey skinny jeans and was simultaneously a 14 year old girl dying from self-imposed shame and a woman wise beyond comprehension with having to juggle two toddlers and crotchal bloodstains and questions on my daughter's development all with class and dignity because what other choice did I have? Things happen; it's best to just roll with it.

So I was there, at home, trying to figure out what exactly went wrong when I lifted the toilet seat to find an ongoing issue from Kyle's use of the toilet. He was standing right there, talking to me about his day and Tova's check up and I just stared at the porcelain bowl in our bathroom, knowing that usually I would be pretty upset at the state of things left in his wake but realizing, this is it. This is your life with this man and your children in this house.

And sometimes that will mean there is shit stuck on the back wall of the toilet and you will have to clean it up, even though it wasn't yours to begin with.

And the simple absurdity just struck me, about how when I signed up for forever I really didn't have a concept of what that meant. I saw major life moments, like children and ... children, and the dreams that accompany a young mind on the precipice of Beginning Adulthood, but in the span of it all it is these moments in between  the filler so often relegated to a situational gag joke in a movie or sitcom, that actually is just as much your life as the big moments are, if not more.

This feeling of anticipation, of waiting for the next Big Thing to come along, it's pointless, really. Because all life is really is contained in the single moments in which we exist, going from one mundanity to the next without any regard for the beauty of the simplicity of it all. And that marriage isn't comprised of the big milestones and anniversaries, but of these tiny moments where you see that shit in the toilet and instead of exploding because you've asked that he, for the everloving last time, PLEASE clean up after himself because you are not his maid and seriously EW GROSS, you shrug and hang your head a little and politely and un-passive-aggressively ask him to go get the toilet brush and cleaner and he does as he sincerely apologizes because he just hadn't gotten to taking care of it himself, yet, but he does when he returns with the necessary tools and look, it wasn't a comment on his commitment to you or any indicator of the state of your union, just a dirty toilet.

And that's being grown up, in a committed relationship with someone you somehow know everything and nothing about, all of the time.

That's it. Nothing more. Nothing less. 

I've been missing these little moments, these ins-and-outs of our day to day, because even three years out I still reel, I still nurse wounds and I still peer over these walls around my heart at him with more questions than I have answers and I just wait for something, anything, to make it all make sense so I may finally be at peace with it all and move on, as they say.

Except, there really isn't moving on. All there is is right here, right now, and these silly stupid moments that when added together, comprise the fabric from which we as partners and a family are cut and made.