Mom Mom loved my husband Ed. She was rather cranky in general, but if she liked you, you were set. She took to Ed immediately, as did my whole family, and he was quickly granted Saint Status. This both pleases me and alarms me. Not that it’s a contest, but their loyalty and devotion are firmly in Ed’s corner. I bet that if I turn up dead under suspicious circumstances, they will all whisper, “I’m sure he had good reasons.”
One thing Mom Mom warned me about was not to “brag” about my marriage unless I want some village hussy setting her sights on my man, and even though that strikes me as old country crazy superstitious voodoo, I do try to tone it down most days. Plus, have Frank and Kathie Lee taught me nothing? You just don’t go around dispensing unsolicited marriage advice; that never ends well.
But in honor of Valentine’s Day, I will say this: My almost twenty year marriage is hands-down the best thing in my life. It is a daily source of joy, comfort and strength. I wake up every day feeling happy, lucky and grateful. Sure, that feeling usually disappears most days by 10 am, but I greet each day thinking I am the luckiest person in the world to wake up next to this wonderful man. Life hasn’t always been easy, it hasn’t always been fun, but it has always been good. What’s our secret?
Our secret is we have no secret. Sometimes we call it divine intervention, sometimes we call it dumb luck, but the truth is there is nothing that we do or don’t do other than being ourselves. I could never sell a marriage book or be a paid speaker. I have no tips or helpful hints. I just happened to have married someone who, against all odds and evidence to the contrary, still thinks I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread. Still thinks I’m beautiful even though there is much, much more of me to love than in 1991. Still thinks I’m smart and funny and good, even though I am rarely any of those things very often at once.
And I married the smartest man in the world. He will argue that he isn’t, since he’s humble, too, but he is to me. But more importantly than being smart, hardworking, and successful, he is good. He is a really good person in a world where there just aren’t that many really good people. He has a pure and generous heart and always does the right thing, even when no one is looking. He can fix almost everything and create almost anything and handle chemistry and calculus like it’s nothing. (If I was more entrepreneurial, I could rent him out). He is my number one sous chef when I cook, but he knows his way around the kitchen well enough to earn Executive Chef status sometimes, too. He is still as handsome and strong as ever, and he still fits into the same sized pants as when we met. There is so much more I could say, but one needs to keep the village hussies at bay.
So maybe the secret is to marry someone you truly admire and who admires you in equal measure? Or maybe it’s all a big roulette game, and we blindly lucked into the exact right combination at the exact right time? I’ve learned not to question it too much and simply enjoy the ride.
Sometimes a girl just gets lucky.