Being There

Our youngest on the Shelby Street Bridge in our hometown, Nashville TN

Our youngest on the Shelby Street Bridge in our hometown, Nashville TN

If I could paraphrase the goal in one phrase it would be this: to get where we are going together.

We had a succinct beginning on December 16, 1989, but nothing since then was predicted.  We couldn’t see Columbia, SC via Williamsburg, KY through Crawford, TX from the altar in Nashville, TN.  We couldn’t see emergency c-sections and umbilical cords knotted and wrapped around baby’s neck.  Couldn’t see graduate schools and career disappointments.  Couldn’t see arguments epic. Couldn’t see a hole in a neck cut open to save life.  Couldn’t’ see dehydrated faith and long stares into nothingness.  Couldn’t see a borrowed house. Couldn’t see old friends leaving and new friends arriving.  Couldn’t see Anglican.  Couldn’t see trying this hard.

And we couldn’t see how satisfying the view would be when all the hard mixes with all the good and we notice ourselves lovingly paying attention to each other because it would suck to be alone on this veranda.

“Will you keep blogging now that the year of Tired Dating is over?”

Probably.  Maybe.  We’ll see.

But, this blog was never the goal. was merely a delivery system.  “Tired Dating” was an artistic label we attached to our married life entering our 23rd year together.

We captured our domain, set up the blog and managed the process. Amazed by clicks, views and visitors in the thousands, we originally thought only stray family members would happen by.  This has been fun, a good outlet, and an opportunity to communicate some marital authenticity that is evidently needed in a world with scarcely little.

But, this blog was never the goal.

The goal was, and is, something that cannot be tracked by WordPress analytics.

On many days I absolutely don’t understand why Aly thinks what she thinks.  And she says the same about me.  We aren’t trying to figure each other out.  Anymore.  Maybe we are trying to accept who the other is and just keep moving, not knowing where, but doing so together.

That’s what we said we would do.  Get there together.

Wherever that may be.

Congaree National Park, 20 minutes from our front door, Columbia SC

Congaree National Park, 20 minutes from our front door, Columbia SC

Naked Glass Walking

“What do you wanna do?” is the champion of frustrating questions in a relationship. And the predicted follow-up, “I don’t know…What do you wanna do?” is a close second.  Having been caught in this incessant vortex of accommodation to no fruitful end, I resolved to start our dating scenario on a decisive foot, declaring to Aly,  “Alterna-cirque is in town. Tonight after dinner we will attend a burlesque show with belly dancers, fire breathers, and women who will politely and professionally take their clothes off as they walk on shards of broken glass.”

And she was game!

We drove to the theater, umm, warehouse, and noticed a much younger and obviously hipper couple walking toward their car, he with keys in hand.  I rolled my window down to ask a question at which time nervous Aly put the death grip on my arm and whispered, “don’t talk to them.”  She is sometimes fearful of my disposition to seek a laugh, sure that I was about to ask these strangers leaving the venue, “Did you see any boobies?”  All I wanted to do was ask for their parking place, and when I did, I found out why they were leaving.  SOLD OUT!

Missed it by that much.

So we went to see the anti-feel good movie of the year, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  Given the vivid depictions of rape, animal mutilation, and anal probed tattooing, it is safe to say burlesque would have been the tamer of the two.

But it really didn’t matter.  After twenty-two years and three kids together, we have seen it all.  We have celebrated everything shy of winning the lottery.  We have slumped beside the graves of close friends and closer family.  We have cleaned all manner of bodily waste and re-gurge, and nursed everything from a yanked uterus to an unhealed emergency tracheotomy neck hole.

Burlesque is nothing compared to a marriage as strong as ours.  We could eat burlesque for breakfast, if we wanted to.  Anal probed tattooing though?  Well…not so much.

Good date.