Plural Dating

When Alyson and I married twenty-three years ago we were the youngest of adults, both a few months past our twenty-second birthday.  From our vantage point now, I would say we were kids at the altar.

Now, we have kids of our own, and with each passing day they live closer to their adult years than their childhood ones.

My sweet wife is now the shortest member of the family. Again.

And while that may seem like a strange way to begin a tome about our most recent Tired Date, a double with fun friends, I know of no other way than to name the overwhelming context of our lives right now: time flies.  And it is scary.

It’s true.  We are afraid.  Granted, we love Jesus.  We pray to God.  We worship regularly.  And as yet, we haven’t found the magic button that eliminates our fist clenching frustration at bouncing checks.  We lament some of our dreams more apt to be crossed off the list than realized, much less attempted.  Our career angst is palpable.  Our retirement plans are but a whiff of smoke in a wind tunnel.  And the kids, well, we have never been here before, raising a middle school-er, a high school-er, and a collegian at the same time, so wondering if we are doing it right is a daily question.

So while you may think our double date with Chris and Lisa A. was just that, a momentary diversion from the rote survival of every day, think again.  In a way, it was salvation, and I do mean the eternal kind.  See, without divulging any of their stuff, I will tell you here that doing life with people who are walking a similar path is not only a good idea, but essential to health.  And that is Gospel, because at its very core it is communal.  The best marriages I know aren’t lived in a vacuum, but rather, in community.

With Chip and Jo…we had no idea how tired we would all be twenty three years later.

Comfort of any kind starts with the elimination of loneliness.  I cannot imagine doing life without dear couples that have accepted our invitation to live seasons with us and have invited us to do the same.

While I won’t list the brilliant names of friends dating back to 1989, I will say an existential ‘thank you’ to all of them by way of thanking Chris and Lisa for going to dinner and a movie with us while embodying the spirit of what we love in all our dearest friends: authenticity.

And Chris, in closing, I do want to thank you for an act of friendship that no man, let alone any person, has ever provided me.  When I was looking at our photos from Saturday night, I noticed a special gesture on your part.  While I took the picture at the movie theater, you placed your hand on my seat to keep it warm.

Real men keep their buddy’s seat warm

Wow. No fear, a tad creepy, but oh so authentic.  Thanks man.

6 thoughts on “Plural Dating

  1. Pingback: is monogamy best? is polyamory wrong? « power of language blog: partnering with reality by JR Fibonacci

  2. Well, to me you are still kids. I have known you since you was around seven years old. Your dad and mom were our best friends. You grew up (was growing up; you still haven’t grown up.:) with our girls. Those are sweeeeet memories. That is what life is about, sweet memories. I can’t believe you have been married 25 years. Neither can I believe that I have been married 52 years.

    I hate to burst your bubble but all those things that are scary to you now really don’t get any less scary. You just get older and have more experiences to draw from and you don’t let it bother you as much. Oh! And the dreams that haven’t come true, the promises made and broken and the disappointments is a part of growing older. ***This is the real world not Heaven.*** Sandra and I are reminded daily, even hourly, that we are still on earth and as long as we are alive and living on earth…. STUFF HAPPENS!

    So here’s wishing you two a Blessed Anniversary. Hope you have as many as I have.

    You know the Woods love you…

  3. You were at our wedding 25 years ago TOMORROW — 7/11!! Yes, you were but a young thing then. Ted and I, not so much. :) Kind of freaky that you’re at 23 and we’re at 25 years. Your wife is as amazingly fresh-faced and gorgeous as ever and your children are beautiful — no surprise there! But, as a footnote, I remain the tallest member of the Murphy family. We love you all!

    • Janet…me too! I remember your wedding well. I flew home from North Carolina summer job. Alyson and I were broken up at the time, however, we saw one another at the wedding. you and Ted are one of those couples who have shared your lives with ours. thanks. we love you too. and thanks for reading Tired Dating.

  4. Ha, got a good laugh out of the “seat warmer”. I remember you being at our wedding as a youth, but you were really watching 2 young kids at the altar, too!! We celebrated 30 years this past April. PS. I bought Kenny some bacon flavored toothpicks the other day – I had no idea there was such a thing.

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