Monday, 7:30pm. The lights are dim and my eyes are heavy. My fingers seize as if punishing me for forcing them into movement just a little while longer on this mild Spring evening, but when my brain starts to flutter and my soul starts to itch, there’s no stopping me.
We’re watching Bojack Horseman. A witty, illogical animation that’s perfect for a time like this, when the day is drawing to a close and we need a warm buzz to flicker our imagination before our eyes close on another routine. He looks at me, mimics a joke spun from the dialogue, and we look at each other wearing goofy smiles, before throwing our heads back and cackling.
Two months of marriage. What’s changed in two months? Our taste in adult animated comedies? Nah. My eyesight, actually.
A recent bout of headaches and fatigue had prompted me to get my eyes re-tested. I was seated in the corner of the waiting room when I encountered a very sweet, very cheery optometrist assistant. Her eyes were like small twinkling moons and her smile resembled that of your favourite kindergarten teacher. As she punched my details into her computer she noticed the diamond-dotted pieces of gold wrapped around my left ring finger and mirrored them with her own. Turns out we were both newly-weds, equally eager to hear intricate details about our special days which vanished so quickly before us. Turns out we had a lot in common.
You know when someone makes you feel so comfortable in conversation you find yourself nodding along to every word that trickles from their lips? This was one of those times. After busy chit chat about dresses and colours and honeymoons she asked me something more personal. She asked if my husband’s behaviour had changed. Had he become more thoughtful and attentive since tying the knot. In the moment I shrugged, and muttered “I guess?” – merely because I wanted to agree with her – she was so kind and gentle, and buzzing with enthusiasm – I didn’t want to derail this rainbow-happy train stocked with wedding surprises waiting to be reopened. But if I’m to be honest, he hasn’t changed at all.
I think about the whirlwind that was the last two years of wedding planning and I find the details are blurred. Something that was so clear, methodical, and embedded in my thought process for seconds, minutes, hours, days on end. The anxiety, the tears, the confusion, the dull buzz of opinions, direct deposits and tedious details… I had become accustomed to living on edge – something that didn’t look good on me – much like the giant, white princess dresses I’d tried on in bridal stores months prior.
What did suit – the weightlessness and elation I experienced when the time came for me to walk towards my soon-to-be husband on that perfect September day. It was like my surroundings had faded to black and white and the only brush of colour was my man – in his blue suit – standing just a few feet away. There has been no greater feeling in my lifetime thus far, and the sheer thought of those few seconds sends my heart racing and I pull my mind away, so to prevent drops of liquid forming in my eyes.
In a world where we question every decision, every word, and every person… in a time where we shield our feelings, thoughts, and ambitions… what’s real and genuine can disappear from our eyes in an instant – just like drops of liquid when we distract our minds and bodies from experiencing emotion.
Our wedding was a reminder of the wonderful life we are already living. A reminder of the years we’ve spent growing together as a team – a reminder of where this team is headed, and a reminder that day-to-day clutter will never distract from our mutual appreciation for witty comedies – or each other.
So no, getting married didn’t change my husband, nor did it change me, nor did it change us. We’re just more of the same, only a little less distracted and a little more focused on what truly matters in our world. So maybe it’s our world that’s changing – and by golly that’s a change we’re ready for.