17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

To My Valentine

Ok, I just watched BAREFOOT IN THE PARK with Jane Fonda and Robert Redford. I had a recollection of watching it some years ago, but basically the whole thing was new to me. Upon finishing, I was so excited that someone wrote a play/made a film about my husband and me. During our engagement and wedding period, his mom had always joked about that movie and I thought she was merely referring to our lifestyle: LOTS of stairs and a teeny tiny apartment (just like our Chicago apt.) But it turns out that aside from Paul's becoming drunk to prove a point, DH and I are THEM.

To catch you up, if you haven't seen this gem of a film, the basic idea that stands true for us is this: We have nothing in common, only that we are married, are the parents of the same two kids, and are the same religion. We do not have the same talents, family make-up, hobbies, interests, music loves, passions, careers or age. For the last time honey, Flock of Seagulls was NOT my generation. When we began our merge as one, we only had a few duplicate CD's in our respective (rather large) collections...one that comes to mind is Billy Joel's Greatest Hits 1 and 2...come on who DOESN'T own a little Billy Joel? I had no idea who ESPN was and I think I might have introduced him to wearing millinery that was NOT a baseball cap.

Now...a slight aside. My last boyf before DH. He and I had a lot in common: family makeup, hobbies, talents, interests, same hometown, same University (no I did NOT go to BYU), friends, age etc. We had everything BUT religion in common. The story goes that we got serious enough that I gave him an ultimatum. He showed interest in the church and I made it clear I did not want him joining for me...as long as he was investigating we could stay together, but if he ever knew Mormonism wasn't for him, we had to be over. That day came. We still cared a lot about each other so we had on-again, off-again moments for a while. Thankfully during an off-again, DH entered the scene.

It's been almost 10 years since that Halloween weekend when I started my journey with DH (in an unflattering jack-o-lantern turtleneck to boot), and left boyf behind. And here's the rub, boyf STILL shows up in my dreams. Not THOSE kind of dreams. It used to really bother me whenever he would come around, but now I understand what he symbolizes:

A. I am desiring romance (boyf was romantic, DH is not)
B. I need to spend quality time with DH. Boyf reminds me that it came easy for us, and sometimes it takes a little extra effort for DH and me.
C. My subconscious must be missing those youthful years of first dates, first loves and first kisses. Let's face it...when you get married as a teenager, there is bound to be a little of that.

So, now if boyf ever comes around, I am thankful for his reminder of youth and to keep my relationship with DH alive.

Now the point. For DH and I, though we have moments when we WISH we had more in common, we have learned to complete our own picture with the other. (Here's where I get vaclempt). We find joy and happiness in our union. I had a lot of fun dating those boys before DH, and some things about those "relationships" came very easy, but no matter how long the "in common" list was with old boyfs, to me only one thing needs to be in common and that is our faith. And that is what is always left when everything falls to pieces around us. I am so glad that my 18-year-old self had the wisdom to know that and marry that wonderful man who is still my DH today.

Though they had their many differences, Corie and Paul (B in the P), stayed together, because they loved each other, plain and simple, and that's a good reason to stay together too.


  • Wonderful post! My husband and I are the same way except our differences are mainly personality traits--we're complete opposites. Although we've grown more similar over the years. The only thing we have in common is music, and even there he usually can't stand the stuff I really, really love.

    Makes life interesting.
    posted by Blogger Susan M at 2/14/2006 06:55:00 AM  

  • Okay, I am new to this blog and I apologize for barging in and posting a bunch of comments! I just am enjoying the conversations! This is somethng to think about for you Kage, when my sister met my future DH her description of him to me was "Rachel, He's like the guy version of You!" And really in alot of ways it's all too true!! We have EXTREMELY similar ways of thinking, very similar backgrounds,we are spenders not savers, we both enjoy the same taste in music, movies (excluding his love of "spaghetti westerns"), interiors, art, food, you name it. Everything but our profession. And that is great for the most part... but I think it's nice to have balance. And we try our best to work to curb our extreme tendancies. And we too will hit the big TEN this august, and I think I too have been longing for rekindled romance. We are truly best friends in love. This year I think it wouldn't hurt to take a small trip(to any white sanded tropical secluded island with no children) to maybe put more sparkle in the LOVE department. =)
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 2/14/2006 07:26:00 AM  

  • Kage--fabulous post. You've got my wheels turning to post a valentine for my hubby. We had a rough year a few years back and in that time I came across a quote from Shakespeare that said it all

    "The course of true love never did run smooth."

    That helps me remember to take the time to smooth out the rough edges and see and feel the true love underneath it all. Happy Valentines to you and yours.
    posted by Blogger wendysue at 2/14/2006 09:44:00 AM  

  • I am so glad that someone else has those same dreams, the dreams that haunt me in the night, make me question myself when I know I shouldn’t. Before dh and marriage came along life was unpredictable and exciting, never knowing who your next date was with, or who your next kiss would be. But now life is predictable (minus knowing where the next move will be). I miss the excitement of the chase, so thank you for making me want to try harder to bring a little excitement back into our busy lives. Even through all the hardships and rugged times I am glad that dh and I are together. He is my best friend; we have all the same interests and hobbies, and I love spending our time together in the outdoors. I look forward to the adventures we will share together, the conversations we will have, even just cuddling on the couch for those last few minutes at night watching t.v. (even Sports Center) and I live for the exciting moments that are to come. Happy Valentines Day!!
    posted by Blogger Jessie at 2/14/2006 03:56:00 PM  

  • Really fun Valentine's post, Kage!!! You and your DH are opposites...but together you make a fab partnership. I am always impressed by how much you support one another in your careers, w. the kids, w. church callings,etc.

    I am really curious to watch that movie now...I think I'll put it on my Netflix queue..or whatever that word is.
    posted by Blogger Jen at 2/14/2006 04:31:00 PM  

  • It reminds me of when the prophets have said if you work hard enough, you can make any marriage work. Now even though that isnt romantic, it gives hope where the world lacks. Maybe you can fall out of love, but that just gives you the chance to fall back into love again. I am grateful for the differences and similiarities that my dh offers. (Although the mutual neurosis we could do without). Thanks for the great reminder that my true love valentine is sleeping next to me at night!
    posted by Blogger ksl at 2/14/2006 05:02:00 PM  

  • Ahh, yes, this brings memories of a statistic I learned in marriage prep (and yes, I went to BYU). :) :)

    80% of our needs will be met by our spouse. Chances are 20% will be missing. Like kage, I did not marry a very romantic guy although he sure does try sometimes. After prodding. Intense prodding.

    Anyways, the trick is to remember that the 80% is worth having. Too many people leave their 80% for the 20% they used to have or have found in another (ACK! Infidelity!) and then LATER find out that once again, only 80% of their needs are met. And the new 20% they really notice missing was being met previously.

    Ahh, that 80%. I sure love mine. :)
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 2/14/2006 07:37:00 PM  

  • I must say knowing you both, you are a peculiar match. I would have NEVER put you two together. But that is the beautiful thing about it... You complete eachother. AHHHH~
    posted by Blogger Zinone at 2/14/2006 09:33:00 PM  

  • What a nice Valentine's Day post--a chance for all of us to reflect on why our dh is so super and why our marriages DO work. It was especially nice since my dh didn't get me an actual valentine (not to worry, I got my own in the form of a devil's food cake/cheesecake from Junior's--a NYC institution:).

    My hubby and I are very much alike except for a HUGE age difference (I LIVED the Flock of Seagulls, Kage), and I love spending almost all my free time with him.

    But the dreams are what I really wanted to comment on. Soon after I married, I started having the most wonderful, romantic dreams about various men (many of them famous) just ADORING me. I mean, like two or three a week, I had them. Now it's more like once every two weeks, but they still come and they're LOVELY. I just feel so safe and loved by these beautiful men. My husband is nowhere to be found. After almost 4 1/2 years of marriage, I've probably had maybe 2 dreams with him in the romantic role. He doesn't seem too worried (what are the chances Brad will leave Angelina for me?). And he needn't be since he's the real reason I have the dreams: I didn't get married until my mid-30s, so I spent nearly 20 single years with no men in my dreams. It wasn't until I married a man who adored me and made me feel so loved and cherished that I could imagine what that felt like.

    So thanks to my valentine for making my dreams come true.
    posted by Blogger newmom at 2/15/2006 03:07:00 PM  

  • awwww newmom, that's so sweet!
    posted by Blogger marian at 2/15/2006 05:37:00 PM  

  • You are from Utah, right? I live in Texas, and some of the Utah Saints call living in Texas 'living in the mission field'. Sometimes I get the feeling that some of my friends from Utah are in a 'programmed' marriage, the way I kind of feel yours is. Don't be offended, I am just basing this on the info in your post. My background is this: I did not go on a mission because of worthiness issues, which was surface-related; it was a lot deeper than that. During that time I met my wife who was a non-member, we are now married, she converted to the Gospel, we are sealed, kids, etc. I know the Brethren say marry our own kind, religious-wise, but is that suggestion based on social ease? I don't know. The older I get, the stronger my testimony of the Gospel grows, but conversely the 'maxims'of the Church I grew up with fade. I don't know; I think many people of other faiths weather those times when 'everything' falls apart without our faith. Although romance isn't everything in marriage-relationships, a marriage without romance to me would be hell. I don't think those aspects of our relationships change in the eternities.
    posted by Blogger White Man Retarded at 2/16/2006 11:49:00 AM  

  • Patrick Henry,
    "You are from Utah, right?"
    Shiver. I have never lived in Utah. I am not FROM Utah. I did not attend school in Utah because I did not want to marry someone from Utah. When I was young I totally stereotyped people from Utah to be close-minded and cultural conformists. I have had experiences to confirm this , but I no longer stereotype EVERYONE from UTAH to be a certain way. I probably won't ever move there by choice because I feel uncomfortable whenever I go there. I prefer the "mission field" as you and others call it, and I also prefer a very urban environment, which SLC cannot give me.

    I think many people of other faiths weather those times when 'everything' falls apart without our faith."
    I am not suggesting that those of other faiths do not weather the storms of marriage, but rather for me, I needed to have faith IN COMMON with my spouse, no matter if we were Buddhists, Catholics or Mormons.

    "Sometimes I get the feeling that some of my friends from Utah are in a 'programmed' marriage, the way I kind of feel yours is."
    I am not exactly sure what you mean by 'programmed'. If you mean that there is a formula that many people follow: grow up, go to school, go on a mission, marry an RM...yes many people follow that path. And maybe that is "socially easy" in UT or elsewhere. Perhaps many people marry for the wrong reasons or marry the wrong person for the right reasons. Is there only one true love for you? How do you know when it is right? Are we pressured by our mormon culture to marry too soon? Do some couples marry in the temple UNworthily b/c of the pressure from their culture/family?

    In the environment that I was in at the time of my wedding, I was a total misfit. I was the only girl in my freshman class at school with a 1 carat diamond ring on my finger, hyphenating her name for clarification/grading purposes. I was the "only" one who did not join a sorority and live on campus. I don't meet many girls or mormon girls who married at barely age 19 and someone 6 years her senior. In NYC where I live, the moms that I meet at my daughter's ballet class are at least 10 years my senior, so for me, where I live (not UT) there is nothing socially EASY about the life I have chosen. I stand out and I am different. I happen to like that.

    As for romance. I knew EXACTLY who I was marrying in the romance department. I do not regret my decision. I love my husband. I felt inspired to marry my husband, and I love him so much more today than the day I married him.

    And did I mention I am not from UT?
    posted by Blogger Kage at 2/16/2006 12:11:00 PM  

  • No, I said Utah...
    posted by Blogger White Man Retarded at 2/17/2006 07:04:00 PM  

  • I can't believe I am actually going to defend Utah people. I am! Over at FMH I defended the criticism of Utah people...hmmm...

    Anyways, I have lived in Utah for almost 9 years and trust me when I say I live in the HEART of Utah Mormon World. My dh and I bought a home in one of the kindest and oldest neighborhoods in Provo.

    This is what I have observed about the marriage phenomenon (is that spelled right?) in good ol' Utah:

    --There are 3 generations living in our neighborhood
    --These 3 generations LOVE living here (that's why they're here)
    --These Mormons are trying their hardest to live the best they can
    --Service is way up high on their radar
    --The children grow up alongside other children with the same values and the same types of parents and the same types of grandparents
    --Those children grow up to marry those children they grew up with.
    --Those now married children move into the same neighborhood with their parents and grandparents because it's a WONDERFUL place to raise your children.
    --The cycle continues

    It's not too different then some tribe in Africa somehwere.

    Seriously, I don't know what's so wrong with Mormons marrying Mormons(patrick henry). Especially since this counsel came straight from the top. People raz on Utah Mormon culture all the time --what's funny is most of the people who raz on it have never once lived here. They base their opinions on their time visiting family or friends --and a few maybe spent their 4 years of college at BYU. I would never presume to know what it was like to live "in the field" since the closest was my 2 week vacations to Canada every year.

    These families that surround us are wonderful, wonderful people and they don't "Program" their children into doing anything. We all have the same problems that inflict other wards around the "field" (infertility, inactivity, pornography, divorce, teen pregnancy, wayward kids, etc.) but it just might not inflict as many people.

    Okay, now granted, a lot of these Utah teens "wait" for their missionaries and then get married to them soon after they get home. However, the trend is changing dramatically --kids now-a-days are terrified of marriage. I see it in the eyes of all the YSA that come to our ward during the summer. Everybody is telling them that they shouldn't get married too old, or too young, or too soon, or too late, or to a non-member, or to an unworthy member, blah, blah, blah. Oh, and you might get divorced.

    Parts of Utah Mormon culture are quirky, yes, I totally admit that. This is what I was defending over at FMH --Utah Mormons have a different cultural thing -- and it's not that different from what goes on in strong Mormon communities in Idaho. But most of the culture thing truly is a blessing. Why do you think so many people come to BYU all the time? And then stay? (btw--my dh is from Cali).

    Let's stop playing the "Utah Mormons are crazy" game. We're members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints whether we're in Utah, London, Tokyo, or Costa Rica. Or Texas. And we all marry whom we want to marry and hopefully life is good after that...:)

    (Phew! Enough from me!)
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 2/18/2006 07:19:00 AM  

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