A little while ago I asked that you spare us a minute and vote for us in a contest my husband was inspired to enter for "Best Couple Ever."
Very sweet of him, and very sweet of you to oblige us.
I've found myself reflecting on this notion of the "best couple", a silly notion, and a title impossible to bestow because although voting is anonymous, some of our generous friends and family have let us know we have their support despite being from very fine couples themselves.
Love is not a contest.
Marriage, as you may know, turns out to be this incredible, complex little thing, each one so unique that you can never truly know what it's like if you're on the outside looking in, and even the two people in question can spend a lifetime trying to figure it out . Even as insiders we sometimes struggle to uphold the very values and goals that we ourselves aspired to in the rose-coloured vows that we took. Married or not, any long-term relationship takes some work.
Love and marriage do not exist in a vacuum. Ours exists within a framework of all the successful relationships around us, and even the ones that have come to pass. In fact, I think I've probably learned more from the "failed" relationships, my own included, because these have all started out in the success column and slowly (or explosively!) made their way into the black. Is it luck? Experience? Willingness to look the other way? Settling? Grit? Fate?
I am probably too old and too married to still not really know what love is. I only know how it feels: like I'll take the bad times because of the good. Like I'll do whatever work is necessary to keep that fluttery feeling. Like I belong curled up in his arms. Like my life is terrific without him, but way better with.
Are we the best couple ever? Probably safe to say we are not. But we are getting better, because every day I hold his hand, and every day we still choose yes.