To my one day, some day husband–
We are bound to look absolutely homeless for that first glorious year of marriage. In the skinny of February and the bulk of April, we’ll parade proudly in half-ironed clothing in search of sushi palaces on the days when frying pans just won’t do. And we’ll learn the art of waking up to one another. And morning sounds. And food that spreads beyond pancakes and grilled cheeses (because yes, that is all I can offer you right now).
And we’ll learn & relearn & rerelearn what it means to love one another unconditionally, even when we break each other.
I come with that promise:
that I will never try to, nor will I mean to, but I promise that I will break you at some point. Without planning. Without intention. Because that is what human beings do. As solidly as we eat & pray & worry & swallow, we break each other with things we don’t mean to do. It comes with flesh. It comes with humanness. We hurt feelings. We get real snarky. We find just how the guts seep out when we tell the whole truth to the someone who holds us for all the fragile we are beneath thicker skin.
But back to us… and that glorious stage of homeless chic.
Post me saying I will never get out of my wedding dress. Post you telling me that I am going to get cluttered in the Crazy Pile for traipsing around town in white & lace & cowboy boots. Post me yelling, I DON’T CARE. Post you telling me that you refuse to have our very first “married” fight over whether I will or will not turn my wedding dress into a school uniform.
All to say this: I’ve never been so good at ironing.
My clothes tend to clump instead of fold. I live in a world where Tide To Go pens are as essential as ice scrapers in the grey of a New England Winter. And not a single one of these things–the ironing, the folding, the bleaching or lack of it— will make me any ounce better for you. Not so much, not even close, to the ways in which I am training my heart to devour you whole when you come.
Plain truth. Square point. For the win: I want to love your face off.
I want to love you so hard that your eyes & your nose & your mouth wonder what it will be like when they fall on the floor and break from exhaustion. I want no boundaries when it comes to loving you. I want your choices from me for the morning to be a) a lot of love b) a ton of love c) so much love you barely stinking stand it d) all of the above. I promise to stick to those options– even on the days when my pants don’t fit right & I am feeling quite like Lindsay Lohan when she stands in McDonald’s lines and harasses the workers with the big yellow arches on their visors.
And I expect the same out of you.
Yes, I come with expectations.
That you will honor me. That you will cherish me. That you will understand my worth. That you will challenge me. That you won’t treat me as the lesser of you. Because it has taken me a slew of Longer Years to learn all this for myself– that I am worthy , that I am cherished, that I am not the lesser of anyone– and I am never getting back together with the parts of me who once thought I didn’t deserve these things. Never, ever, ever.
& as long as you love me, we could be starving, we could be homeless, we could be broke. As long as you love me, I’ll be your platinum, I’ll be your silver, I’ll be your gold (actually… Justin Bieber wrote that line but I got his permission to borrow it for the sake of this letter… If you play that chorus backwards it actually translates as Dear Hannah’s Husband, you got a good one. A great one.)
I’ve put away the map.
I’ve stopped charting the destinations where you & I might meet. I don’t stalk the coffee shops. I don’t pray for your lattes. & every day without you is another day to practice. Practice & practice & practice. So that when you meet me your heart will speak the truth, “She is a good human being. She honors people. She values life. She is the companion you’ve looked for all this while.”
Every day until you is another day to learn patience. Kindness. Goodness. Grace when I am feeling graceless. Compassion when I am feeling torn. Giving when I want to take & loving when I only ache. Because I think that is what you really need, what we all really need before finding the “good woman” or the “good man”: The exceptional human being. The partner to us. The better part on our worst days, the one who demands & deserves the brightness out of us on their weaker days.
The one who understands that when they get you, they get all the parts of you.
And when you get me, you get all the parts of me:
The girl with the heart the size of Czechoslovakia before the tumultuous split.
The girl who has been purged of fairy tales & whim that was never real, knowing that her time with you won’t be easy, nor honeymoonish all the time, but it will be entirely worth it.
The girl who is a recovering, raging Marxist Feminist who once boycotted engagements in protest of blood diamonds. (We’ll chat that one over someday. I promise.)
The girl who can barely bake cookies, never mind a Thanksgiving feast, but she is willing to buy a cookbook if it means you’ll feel more full than yesterday.
The girl who is learning to love the snot out of this world so that when you come & find her she’ll be absolutely ready for a sweet face like yours.