Lyn’s Essays: On Marriage (Year 3)

I can remember thinking, more than ten years ago, that I wanted a relationship like the one described in the Liz Phair song “Favorite”, in which she compares her lover to a well-worn pair of underwear.

Don’t look sexy, but it just feels right

not too dirty and it’s not too tight

why I never threw it out, I’ll never know exactly why

keep it in a drawer beside my bed

it’s faded pink now, but it used to be red

starting to fray at the seams, but I know that you still love me like you did, like before

like we will be doing it once more

In Year 3 of marriage, I think I got my wish.  Joel and I are comfortable with each other now in a way I’ve never experienced before and have trouble describing.  I wouldn’t say we finish each other’s sentences, but we do follow each other’s train of thought, and often I notice Joel pointing out something I was about to say.  We don’t argue the way we did when we were starting out.  We know each other’s signals and nine times out of ten, when one of us starts to push a button and the signals begin, the button-pusher says “Hey, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you, let’s try this a different way?”  It’s been long enough since I raised my voice at Joel that neither of us can remember how long it’s been (I just asked him, no idea).

To use another clothing image, the relationship is like a good pair of jeans.  Great for everyday wear, and broken in.

In some ways, I feel like we still act like it’s new.  We talk about our love most days, often more than once in a day.  Joel still does ridiculous things like goofy dances and acting out stories to get me to smile.  I still tease him.  And from an economic perspective, we’re still behind the curve – neither one of us has made much career advancement.  We’re in a one-bedroom apartment with a cat while our friends are buying houses and starting families.  Spiderbee continues to buzz out of reach.  But every night we tell each other how we feel, what we are grateful for from each other, what we need from each other, and what we are sorry about.  And every day, we are in love.

Leave you lying on the bedroom floor

leave you hanging on the bathroom door

take you for granted, but I’ll always know exactly where you are

lost you once, you were hard to find

got you back, you didn’t look like mine

thought we were falling apart, but you make me feel so pretty like you did, like before

like we will be doing it once more

Oh baby, know what you’re like?  You’re like my favorite underwear

It just feels right (you know it)

Oh baby, know how you feel? You feel like my favorite underwear

and I’m slipping you on again tonight

rock me and roll me, hold me tight

tear me apart and make me new… like you always do.

Here’s to another year together.


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