I had a revelation last night about marriage that I told to my Future Husband – after April 18th, our successes and our failures in life will be irrevocably tied together. And I’m gonna be honest with everyone here … that scares the piss out of me.
FH and I are at a weird time in our lives right now – we love each other dearly and we’re hurtling toward our wedding day, which will be one of the happiest days of our lives … but this joy is tempered with a lot of fear for our economy and what it will mean to (further) join our households together. A major employer in our town announced more layoffs yesterday, FH’s permanent job is still tied up with corporate tape and although my job(s) seem secure, all I have to do is drive to Wendy’s and see that bearded guy holding his sign “Family At Home. Laid Off From Job” and I think to myself “that guy probably thought his job was secure.” Then I have a bit of a panic. And sometimes I do wonder how less panicked FH and I would both be if we were single during this economic crisis and not thinking about the future – new shingles, a new water heater, an eventual child to torment our Evil Cat … But because we’re together and because we’re happy with the path we chose, we reassure ourselves that things can be put on hold. The roof should be checked out for energy efficiency reasons. A water heater might also be a good energy efficient change for our home. The green carpet can stay in the kitchen until the next owners take over the house if we so choose. And the most expensive proposition in our future? We don’t have to have kids … not now, not ever if we decide that’s what we want to do. (Somewhere I hear our mothers shrieking … don’t worry, we won’t keep from spawning forever … just until we stop panicking about the future.)
There’s going to be a passage read at our wedding that talks compares marriage to separate cords and how when brought together, they are stronger together than just one. And that is how FH and I feel about each other. And although both of us were pretty damn gloomy last night, we both realize that our lives are still filled with opportunities and that we can still balance what we want to do without going into debt and while living responsibly.
While I was writing this, a thought crossed my head … last night, while FH and I were talking, I was remembering a passage that I read from Stephen King’s book “On Writing” and how he talked about the early days – before he could conceivably buy a small island with the royalty checks from all of his writing. This was when Mr. King and his wife, the novelist Tabitha King, were married and started having kids. This was before he wrote his debut novel “Carrie” and they were stuck in a series of small trailers; small crappy apartments and seriously worried about where they were going to get money for antibiotics for their child’s ear infection or how they were going to replace the transmission in their car. In those days they held on to each other when life was uncertain.
I wonder how our relatives coped during the Great Depression. Were they more stoic than we were as a nation? Were panic attacks the same back in the day or were they worse? How did people overcome a feeling of hopelessness?
I don’t know if I would give all of this as much thought if our wedding wasn’t 23 days away. There’s a part of me that is so very much looking forward to everything that is going to happen, but then there’s another part of me that almost feels guilty about feeling this much joy when the world is so uncertain.
But weddings go on. Births happen. Lindsey Lohan will continue to fight with her girlfriend, Samantha (supposedly LiLo is feeling the crunch of the economy right now … funny, isn’t it?).
I know how lucky I am – but I wonder when the bad news is going to end.
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