Wednesday, April 13, 2011

When I Was Getting Married

As I was unloading the dishwasher yesterday I took pause and actually looked at my silverware, didn't just throw it in the drawer and hope it stayed a wee bit organized like I usually do. It is a strange design where the knife balances blade up and down, not side to side and the handles are very "rollie". Half of the pieces have substantially less shine than the other half. I recalled why and the irony made me pause for a second, really ponder how life has turned out SO DIFFERENT than anything I had ever imagined. For this is the silverware we registered for on our bridal registry. My husband picked it out and although the rolliness of it was strange it was one small but necessary win for him as we traipsed through Macy's, my dear honey forced to negotiate with a stressed-out perfectionistic 24 year-old bridezilla. One who was dictating every button, bow and bamboo placemat, and really resented having hooked-up with a guy that cared about all this stuff. I mean I was the interior designer, I was the woman! Never one to just accept my bossiness he butted in on every beep on that scanner gun and made me negotiate and (shock hand over mouth) compromise!  I could not just do what I want, I had to consider his tastes and needs and repulsions. So 10 years later we have rollie silverware, however many odd pieces left, half dull and the other half shiny.

We had registered for  something like 12 or 14 place settings and had wrapped half of it up and packed it away, saving it for the day we bought a nice home and big dining room table that cost more than a place setting of china. We would want shiny new silverware to entertain with, to match the rest of our shiny new lives. But that day has never come. As we have moved from city to city, apartment to apartment, somewhere along the line the worn-in daily use pieces and pristine bubble wrapped silverware were dumped together. I credit our 20's with the initial delay of this suburban vision of my future life. At first it was our nomadic tendencies that squashed the salmon-like instinct to return to where I came from. We spent the whole of our 20's traipsing up and down the state of California. Our college town, L.A., San Francisco, we were always searching for the next best opportunity and were hardly concerned with planting any roots. That was for later, after we were out of our 20's and had kids and dogs and maybe a parent or 2 living with us. You know, that far away future to a 24 year-old kid kind of thing. 

As the story goes I got sick 2 weeks after my husband graduated from college, we moved 20 minutes out of San Francisco proper and he started his new job. We never got a chance to pool our resources and  prepare financial security. Buy that shiny new home or have those kids. We went right from my decent paycheck and his sporadic one (commission) to his very decent check and my substantially-less sporadic one (FMLA). So as I finished putting my dishes away I pondered over the choices we have made. How much we have grown and changed as people. How spending 6 years in the big city replaced the suburban suck I envisioned spending my future in. Our nomadic nature, harmoniously compatible, is never quite settled. We are always keeping an eye on the future and next great opportunity, driving through a life that is substantially far crazier than I ever could have ever imagined. And as I reflected on this journey a deep satisfaction came over me, that I am okay with this life. I am a very happy renter with a handyman and pool and hot tub at my disposal. My dogs are my kids and we are not tied to a property or as current circumstances dictate, holding a mortgage far greater than the value of the home. And I still have that dining room table that costs less than a place setting of china but you could never tell, it still looks really good!

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