Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Public transport activist

I was waiting at the bus stop a few weeks back when an older gentle man approached the stop to look at the bus schedule.  Actually 'gentleman' might not be the right term, as he looked rather rough and ready but had a kind smile.  I smiled back and told him the next bus should be there any minute as it hadn't come yet but was due to arrive a couple of minutes ago.  

Somehow, we got chatting.  He was gruff, but a nice fellow.  It was plain to see he had seen his share of tough times, some self inflicted and some not, but I found him endearing. 

After mentioning he had six daughters who he didn't hear from very much, and that those daughters had three different mothers but that he was single after all that, he left me with one piece of advice. 

He stated very matter-of-faculty;

"Trust me, do not get married."

I chuckled a little and said his advice has come a bit late. He nodded knowingly and said;

"Ahhh, a newlywed huh?"

I smiled and informed him we have been married ten years now and have two beautiful sons. He commented on my age and then told me that ten years is something he never managed. He then asked me what was our secret. 

I found that weirdly uncomfortable.  Being asked by someone so much older than me for marriage advice.  I actually don't know what I said at all.  But I have found myself thinking about this exchange since.  

I am incredibly happily married, and I am more aware than ever that that is a rare thing.  Our relationship is very real.  We have our 'off' days, and our days when one of us is doing a lot more than the other because the other hasn't got much to give that day. 

 We fight.  Not crazy screaming matches, but we certainly don't always see eye to eye, and that's ok.  I can recall about six weeks ago we argued over math.  Like actual math, which neither of us are particularly good at.  It's funny to me now because it's so ridiculous, but I also know it wasn't about  math really, it was about one of us not feeling listened to and the other not feeling understood.  And that is why it's ok that we fight sometimes, because we are able to sort things through and get to the bottom of it without it being scarring.  In fact, we seem to end up stronger somehow.

My main 'secret' is that Anthony is my best friend in every way possible.  He is my favourite person to spend time with and he truly loves me, the me who is daggy and in my pj's at three in the afternoon.  He loves the real me. How can you not be happy with that! 

I feel as though I have marriage the way it was intended to be - a joy, a support, a challenge a very small percent of the time, and a safe place to grow.  Perhaps that's why my bus buddy couldn't give his recommendation to matrimony, he hasn't yet found what I feel so lucky to have.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

My name is Earl

Anthony and I went through a phase where we loved the show "My Name is Earl".  We watched every episode.  For those who aren't overly familiar with the show, Earl is a low-life who through a weird set of occurrences adopts the belief that if he does good things, good things will happen, but if he does bad things, bad things will happen to him.  His belief in Karma leads him to making a list of all the bad things he has done in his life and he sets out trying to make up for all of them. 

Earl and I share a couple of things in common. Firstly, karma has come back to bite him in the bum.  My previous blog post demonstrates how karma has taken care of me recently also.  Secondly, Earl cannot for the life of him take a photo with his eyes open.  Throughout the series, he tries, but it never happens. 

Over the past few years, I have realised I have the exact same problem!  Upon becoming aware of my inability to keep my eyes open at the right moment, despite everyone around me in the photo being able to do it, I have since earned the nick-name Earl when referring to photographs of me.  

I have had a quick look to provide evidence of this problem, and as you will see, this has been an issue since birth for me.

(This may look like a typical baby-sleeping-photo, but there is a good chance I was actually wide awake and the curse had already begun manifesting itself already)

(My baptism - not being particularly reverent or anything, just bad timing.  Note the rest of the people in the photo with me all seem to have their eyes open)





And these are just the few I have close by. But it seems I have passed on the curse to my children too.  

I'm just trying to be a better person. My name is Earl.