I'm watching "Rich Bride, Poor Bride" on WeTV and this bride is agonizing about her wedding dress, and four gowns into the decision calls her fiance for permission to spend an extra $2,000 on the dress she loves and must have. His (irritated) response was, "whatever you want". Ahhhhh...weddings. Or should I say, "Wedding$$$"?
I tried on ONE wedding dress, and it was the dress I wore on my wedding day, and I'll share that the total cost of the dress was less than the extra cost our TV bride was considering. Funny thing is that I absolutely wanted an ivory gown, but the sample was ivory lace over light gold satin. I loved it! I knew then it was THE dress, after looking at literally hundreds of dresses online and in every bridal magazine I could get my hands on. And just like I knew I had the dress of my dreams, I knew when I met my husband that he was THE ONE. Everyone thought I was crazy (including me LOL), but when you know, you know.
But I'll be honest. I never believed in love. Not really. Love - true love - was something other people experienced. I floated through my previous relationship, trying to convince myself I loved the man I was with, for six years trying so hard to make it work, wondering why it was so hard. There was a huge cultural difference (my ex is from a traditional Indian family) and that was at the root of some major issues we had over the years. But it wasn't until I met my husband that I felt that jolt of, well...to this day I can't really describe it. I remember lying in bed that night and wondering why, for the life of me, I couldn't get the thought of this man out of my head. I remembered the temperature of his hand when he shook mine, and every note of his cologne. And his red shirt and jeans; standing in the cold outside the club with no coat on and not the least bit cold. I remember being enveloped by him in that shirt keeping me warm against the bitter January morning air. I sleep in that shirt, and every time I put it on, I remember the day my life changed. Sappy huh? That's me.
Anyone who has met my husband knows he commands attention. Mr. Tall, Dark & Handsome, but I don't think it was his look that attracted me. There is greatness in this man, and it can't be denied. Of course I am biased, but back then something just bowled me over and honestly I've never been the same since. I don't love him for his greatness, I love him because he unlocked something in me that lay dormant. It was as if he was the catalyst for my becoming. And he fit. In an odd way his fit was the way he's challenged and pushed and stretched me beyond what I thought I was capable of. It was exactly what I needed at a time in my life when I had not only settled but given up. In some ways this great man of mine is so simple and in others so complex, but altogether wonderful. It's the sum of all these parts that I love. And to this day I still lay awake at night, unable to get the thought of him out of my mind. I miss him when he leaves the room. I smile to myself when I think of him. My heart beats a little (well a lot) faster when I hear his voice. Still. After almost seven years. Seven is a number of completion. January will make seven years that we have been together. And seven months of marriage. We've had our share of issues. It's been a roller coaster ride, but I wouldn't give him up for anything in the world. He is the center of my earthly life. My companion in everything. My confidant and my very best friend.
What started as a giddy, head over heels experience has rooted itself in my heart, and he knows my commitment and devotion. He knows his place in my heart is secure. That he is safe and nurtured in my arms. He knows I weigh every action with the question of how it will affect him, and if it's not beneficial to him it's not going to get done. In an age when women are so flippant about men, expecting the worst, it's hard to stand the test of a relationship. I have conversations with women who speak of men with the lowest expectations...and not to say that there aren't problems, but I think oftentimes you get what you expect. You can speak or even think doom into a relationship and I can say I've been guilty of that. But knowing who I have in my life and how blessed I am, I can do no less than love him with all of me. And even when I think I don't have any left, I find more to give.
He's the one...the only man I can really say I ever honestly loved. I can be myself, open, vulnerable, complete in myself and still his "other half". I can be me. And there is nothing like that feeling when you know you don't have to pretend with someone or sacrifice who you are to make them happy.
I'm amused by these people on these wedding shows. Spending money like it's unlimited and trying to make the day memorable. But more than anything I want my marriage to work, so the sky could have fallen in on my wedding day for all I cared, as long as at the end of the day my covenant with God and my husband was sealed. And I do everything in my power every day to nurture this love and build on the foundation we built together. I'm watching brides melt down on what is supposed to be the happiest day of their lives. My photographer marveled that I was ready at 4:00 for my 5:00 wedding. I wasn't playing. I was ready, body, mind and soul for that day. And the limo driver couldn't stop commenting on how calm I was, jokingly asking if I wanted to bail and telling me it wasn't too late. I've only been that resolute on two days of my life - while in labor with my daughter and on my wedding day. I didn't bat an eyelash on either of those days, because I knew it was right. And when you know, you know.