The first year of marriage was the toughest for my husband and me. I had just moved to Kentucky, the place where he was employed, after 23 years of living in New York. I was homesick for my family, I was homesick for my friends, and I was in the throes of depression (or little did I know at the time it was bipolar disorder).
It was difficult to adjust to living with a new person after having lived at home with my parents and grandma for years. He had a completely different culture and different habits than what I grew up with. This made for an interesting clash.
It wasn’t just difficult but it was… different. He grew up on pasta and mashed potatoes, and I grew up on rice and beans. He wanted a clean dining room table, and I had a stack of papers that always covered the table.
After 2 years of arguments, fighting, and a hospitalization for depression on my end, things got better. We settled into an easy routine of working together, compromising, and learning each other’s habits.
I’ve heard a lot of people say that marriage is not easy, that you have to work at it. For the first two years, I found that to be true. My husband could have easily walked away from me. I had nights where I thought about driving home or driving anywhere to be away from him. (In fact, I did try that one night but I got lost and everything was dark and scary so I turned right around and went home.)
But love is a choice. And I’ve learned that every day, we must choose to love each other. That’s what makes a marriage work. The dependence on my “feelings” of love left long ago. Now, I wake up choosing to love this man who also chooses to love me. We do not fight often, but we do not have a perfect marriage. We get annoyed with each other at times. But we work through it. If I go to bed upset, I usually wake forgetting what I was upset about.
Perhaps that is also the key to a good marriage: a poor memory.
I enjoy my marriage. I cannot imagine being married to anyone else who would treat me as well as my husband does. This is not a post to extol his virtues, but rather to praise the blessings God has heaped upon our marriage. In spite of our differences, we have been able to work together as a team, as partners, to make this unlikely marriage succeed.
I hope I’m not speaking too early or out of turn. We’ve only been married seven years, but I look forward to being married for seventy-seven more.
In August, life handed me a job description for the important role I’ve been neglecting since I got married 6 years ago: Chief Home Operations Manager (CHOM).
Congratulations! Upon marriage, you filled a part-time position for Chief Home Operations Manager averaging 30 hours per week, including evening and weekend hours as needed. Schedule is flexible based on other pressing needs and hours required may fluctuate depending on life circumstances.
The apartment seeks an energetic, motivated individual who can work well alone, is adept at managing household duties, and does not mind delegating tasks to a significant other. Candidate is a self-starter who should function well in a quiet environment without children. Detail-oriented is a plus. Primary responsibilities of the position will be:
- Caretaking of significant other as circumstances require
- Cleaning the bathroom sink, toilet, and shower
- Vacuuming the carpet
- Swiffering the bathroom and kitchen tile floors
- Washing dishes and putting clean ones away
- Wiping down the kitchen countertops
- Taking out the trash and recycling
- Overseeing the washing, drying, and folding of laundry
- Organizing out-of-place items on surfaces or other disorganized items
- Running errands outside of the household as required such as refilling stock of perishable and non-perishable groceries
Secondary activities include:
- Creating edible meals (original, appetizing, or enticing are optional)
- Scheduling of appointments and other activities
- Managing the household budget including balancing checkbooks, paying bills, overseeing responsible spending, and quarterly reviews
- Administration of insurance and medical claims
- Adept negotiation with vendors to secure lower costs on utilities, credit cards, or other other services
- Sifting through postal mail to determine junk and distribute important documents
- Occasional reorganization of closets and cabinets to make sure all items are accessible, active, and not expired
- Maintaining an pictorial archive of memorable moments
High school degree desired. BA or BS preferred. MA or PhD is ideal. 18 years life experience required; compassionate emotions, computer skills, and driving ability essential. Prior experience accomplishing household chores, using a calendar, reconciling a checkbook, and interest in home organization a plus. Good photography skills optional; will train on the job.
Wage begins at $0, regardless of experience. No reimbursement for travel. However, many hugs, kisses, and thanks are offered daily for a reward.
Affirmative Action Employer
Continuing to write about my opinion on recent political events, I turn my attention on international matters to a more domestic affair: the overturning of Proposition 8, California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. I have long held the view that:
- Religious institutions have no right to impose their views into secular institutions while claiming separation of church and state, and
- A majority group should not determine the lives of a minority group if it has no direct effect on the majority’s daily lives
I do know that it’s an uphill battle to keep the ruling overturned and that supporters of Prop 8 will do their damndest to “protect the institution of marriage” for as long as they possibly can.
Quite frankly, however, Prop 8, federal amendments banning same-sex marriage, and the prevention of even civil unions is bigotry, pure and simple. Members of the LGBT community are seen as inferior to heterosexuals and therefore, are made to suffer by not even granting them the simple right to legally marry.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Prop 8 and other same-sex marriage bans across the country (or conversely, the denial of allowing gays to legally marry) is in direct contradiction to this clause. Some might argue that this clause applies only to black people and is framed by the historicity of the post-Civil War era. However, this is the only explicit mention of equality granted for ALL citizens (born or naturalized) in the United States.
Judges who rule in favor of same-sex marriage aren’t necessarily playing favorites despite rumblings that Judge Vaughn Walker, who recently overturned Prop 8, is gay; it’s a matter of striking down any law that cuts a citizen off from a privilege of the United States—the privilege of being able to legally marry in a court of law—and forbidding the deprivation of the liberty to marry and receive all the benefits that come with marriage, in accordance with the second sentence of the Equal Protection Clause. Any judge who upholds bans on same-sex marriage is not acting in accordance with this clause and is, in fact, betraying his or her own bias in the ruling. No one is guaranteed the right to marry in the United States but all citizens are guaranteed the ability to enjoy the same privileges as one another. Denying that legal ability to any group is inequality, and under the U.S. Constitution as amended, an injustice.
So when I hear of organizations like the National Organization for Marriage that fight so desperately to maintain marriage between one woman and one man in a secular country (despite talk that it was founded on Christian principles—whatever—the U.S is not a theocracy), my blood begins to boil. If the sole purpose of organizations like this was to prevent religious institutions from having to perform gay marriages in an effort to maintain separation of church and state, then fine. But if the point is to lay some kind of hold on marriage in the secular realm as well then it’s promoting inequality—something I refuse to stand for as an American citizen and as a Christian.