Friday, September 18, 2015

What I Learned in the First Year of Marriage

I have received a berthing work assignment out at sea from the wife, (not homework, because on a ship I am working at the closest thing I get to home) to write what I have learned in one year of marriage. Without having a lot of time to think about it some kernels just float to the top. So, Here we go!







One thing that I have learned is that video games are a double edged sword.
We both like to play coop video games like Mario Brothers, and DK on the Wii. Where this is a truly great bonding experience it does have some problems. First and foremost is that the yoke is never equal when playing games like this. It has been true my entire life, when playing coop someone is always better and carries the team. That's just the way things are. The back edge of the blade comes when you are playing a game in which the other player can interfere with your character. On Mario Wii, for those of you who have never played it, you can interfere with your teammate and not only steal their items, but send them over cliffs and into enemies, block jumps, ruin combos, and inevitably waste lives running around each other like a couple of idiots. That is where the test of the relationship comes in.

Wine and craft beer will always be an adventure.
Just let me say this - if you do nothing but sit at home and drink wine, you're doing it wrong. Turns out that winos and craft brewers love their festivals. We have had the most fun going out to wineries and different wine-oriented festivals such as the balloon festival in Temecula, CA. The Sonoma County Home Brewers Competition and beer garden events also draw craft brewers and beer lovers like moths to a flame. The fun-loving groups that wind up at events like these have, so far, just been out for a good time, and don't raise much of a fuss while keeping the events civil for everyone to enjoy.

Festivals are never a bad idea.

Let me start by saying that some festivals are a flop. These flop festivals are still great to go to. Even though it may suck while you're there, they will still offer some measure of fun and bring you closer. The Renaissance Faire that Pam and I went to was one of these such flops. The PC litigations of the state they were in forced family friendly acts, which restricted the actors. The stands had some to offer but most were not up to a purchasable standard. The food and drink were outrageous for even a fair. Even though the acting was caged (and you could tell the actors wanted to do better than they were allowed), the temperature was 110 (and they were charging $4 a bottle of crystal geyser), and the joust was hilariously staged, the two of us found things to laugh about and had an overall good time. That being said, the bad ones make the good ones so much better. Between the Dickens Faire (which we will be attending again this year), the pirate festival, the balloon festival, and home brewers competition, we have had so much fun together and aggressively grown our friendship which is the building block for our relationship.

The little things get you.
Now I have heard this for years from many different people, but I had no idea how true it was or how trivial it could be. The things you will find irritating about your other half are so trivial and pointless you wouldn't even think it worth mentioning but it grinds the nerves none the less. I'll give you an example, (and Brenda I know you're reading this and laughing in 3.2.1.) I can hear the wife gulp a glass of water from the other room. Where this is not a problem, it is something that kinda tightens my jaw. Does it make me mad? No. Does it effect our relationship? No. Is it a problem worth correcting? No. However, it is a shining example of proof that the most arbitrary and pointless stuff will prick your nerves. To be fair, I know that there is a land slide of things that I do that irritates her.

Absence really does make the heart grow fonder.
In the year that we have been married, it is safe to say that we have only spent about 6 months together. My job has had me out to sea for extended periods of time, and where e-mail and satelite communication has made things a little easier, it is still not easy. It's hard not to think about all of the moments we're missing while I stare at water for days on end. I hear the stories and see the pictures from my wife going out on activities and making friends on her adventures, and think that would be a great thing to do together. On my end, I hit a nice port, and have my adventures and can't help but to stop occasionally and think, "the wife would love this." The end result becomes an amalgamation of stories from each individual that are somewhat entertaining but speak of holes created between us. These holes do not separate us spiritually. The connection between us remains strong and only grows stronger with each passing second away from each other. At times it is possible to ignore the dull ache left over from a missing part of yourself, but it will always resurface at the most unexpected moments.

The last thing that I have learned is this -
I love my wife more than I ever could have imagined I could love someone.
I am still surprised regularly by the fact that I love her more today than I did yesterday.

And for anyone who thinks the wife made me put that may need to re-evaluate the parameters of their relationship. If your man isn't this sweet, he's doing it wrong.

Do you want to see what the wife wrote about the first year of marriage? You can read it here.

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