The Slant Walk at Miami University
Mike and I have been married for almost 15 years now, which means this is our 14th year of receiving our annual Valentine’s Day card from our alma mater, Miami University. Mike and I are what’s known as a Miami Merger, meaning two graduates of the school who have married. For some reason, Miami has an unusual amount of mergers … must be something in those Bagel & Deli sandwiches.
So, 14 years and 14 totally unique, always creative cards. I love them so much and I save them all. This year’s card features a poem and the Beta Bells. I especially love the last few lines of the poem:
From the roots of our Merger to everything after
Together we’ve stood, one heart made from two.
A midnight kiss on that prettiest campus there was
Makes another memory of Me and yoU.
Our engagement picture, when we were mere babies.
I’m so glad I gave that boy in Beavis and Butthead boxer shorts down the hall a chance. I wrote last year on this day that the longer we’re married, the harder it can be to give sentiments of love and kindness to each other. I wrote Mike a Valentine’s letter and I vowed to do better. I’m not sure I did such a good job.
I look back over the last month and want to hang my head in shame. He’s been my caregiver during my surgery, and a very good one at that. He’s in one of his most stressful periods of work ever and not once have I heard him complain about the extra burden a gimpy wife has placed on him. It’s been incredibly busy around here since the holidays and I’ve been terrible about making time for him.
You see, I’m a rather selfish person. Oh, you might not notice it, as I’m that troubling kind of selfish that doesn’t want to disappoint others. And so I do for others things I might not do for my own family. I fulfill commitments, I make time for my own selfish pursuits, but many times I put my family dead last. Don’t they understand that after doing for everyone else I need some “me” time? They can wait, I’ll feel more recharged tomorrow and then I’ll do something special with them.
This is such a slippery slope, as who knows if we’ll get that tomorrow? Accidents happen. Illness happens. Marriages, even the best ones, can crumble if left untended.
So what can be done? Unplug, for one. The internet and all its diversions will still be there tomorrow.
I love this list of 100 Ways to Make Your Marriage Rock from We Are That Family. Let me start with #14: I have one of the kindest, funniest, young-at-heart spouses around. Kids love him. He gets invited to stranger’s weddings just for the entertainment factor. He takes care of people. He’s a keeper.
Realize that your spouse is not your soulmate, that no one can ever be perfect for you. We are full of flaws. Lucky are we to find a partner who overlooks our faults with grace. We need to love and care for the person we actually married, not wait to give love until that person becomes the person we think we deserve.
Valentine’s Day is just another day, really. Yes, let’s do something nice for the ones we love on that special day. But let’s also make it a priority to show love and kindness to the ones closest to us every other day, too.