I've always wanted to know what the Marines are saying when they shout, scream, say or whisper "Semper Fi." I webster-ed it today, and am so happy to know it means "Always Faithful." I have since decided I am, in fact, deep in my heart, a Marine. The sissiest, wimpiest, lamest, most pathetic Marine ever. But a wanna-be, at least. And I think "Semper Fi" is now my motto for both my marriage and my life.
Isn't Semper Fi a nice thought? Always faithful? I think it's beautiful.
I've been thinking about the Double B for about the last fourteen hours straight. I think of him a lot anyway, 'cause you know... I'm in love. And I think he is so funny. And also because sometimes I want to punch him in the face. But this time it's because as we were chatting last night he made me quite introspective and then I dreamed about him all night. Not romantic dreams, more like "Where would I be without Ben" type of dreams. So many that I would wake up and have to give myself Benny-style pep talks, like "He is fine. You are fine. He made it safely to work. You can't worry about things like this. He is fine. He knows you love him." That type of thing.
The Double B and I have discussed the male/female difference many, many times in our marriage. In fact, I would say it is one of his favorite subjects. (Please note the heavy sarcasm dripping off of my vocal chords as I say this.) If I really want to afflict him, I make him think about things like that... how we are different, why we are different, why society makes us different. He just loves the brain stimulation. We have also frequently discussed what the female body has to go through versus what the male body has to go through. For instance: monthly rage and discomfort, the vicious beating of pregnancy, labor and delivery, post-partum issues, saggy bellies and stretch marks, fairly common hysterectomy, menopause, and swing-low sweet chariot boobs where they were once happy and perky. Just things like that. Versus... the risk of early balding? Hm... I have asked the universe and my mate many times "So what is the males affliction?" And he says, quite seriously, that the male punishment is putting up with his woman while she suffers her various ailments. I have always thought "Puh-leaze!" about this logic. But last night while I was cleaning the smell of a weenie roast off in the shower and he was shaving, I had to admit outright that this pregnancy, putting up with me was punishment enough. I even told him so. His answer kind of surprised me, because I thought he'd say "Oh, you're fine" or something equally pacifying. Instead he answered honestly: "Sometimes it can be hard to find the patience I need, but I try my hardest." I stopped the hair scrub for a minute and then had to be honest back and say "You know what? You are always patient and kind with me, and I really do appreciate that. I promise I will work hard to get back to normal after this is all over." I then detailed my post-partum plan of action, which I am sure he was delighted to hear. After I was finished, he just said "Actually, I am thinking about just squirting you with a water gun over and over your first day back so you can have your hysterical cry and we can try to move forward."
See? A sick sense of humor, too. How could I not be enamored with this man?
I first met The Double B when he was a senior in high school and became friends with my big brother, Matt. I thought he was so cute. But I never actually thought I would grow up to marry him. I wish I would have known, because it would have brought so much joy to my fourteen-year-old heart. But the thought never even entered my mind.
Fast forward a few years when I was home for a semester break and opened the door the first day he was home from his mission and had come, once again, to see my brother. I always joke that my reaction was "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!" But that really was in a way my reaction. My jaw fell open and my stomach hit the floor. Because here was the ultimate hottie, both kind and good. And my hair was greasy and I had a hole in the bum of my lounge pants. I never thought I would get to grow up and marry him.
Fast forward a few years to when we gave birth to our first child and he wouldn't leave my side afterwards -- not for a second -- because I was his first and foremost and he loved me too much to not be right there protecting me.
Fast forward a few years to when we just couldn't see eye to eye and he slashed my already devastated feelings and I actually yelled something at him. The one and only time ever. And he let me cry and then the next day we worked to pick up the pieces.
Fast forward a few years to the combined fifth-Sunday lesson he gives where he tells the room that one of the happiest day of his life was our wedding day. When he doesn't remember what was said, but he remembers what it felt like to look into my eyes. His other happiest days? When our children were born. And I wanted to cry, because he didn't know I got to hear that, I was standing in the hall. But I had always felt exactly the same way.
Fast forward just a few nights to when I'm washing my hair in the shower and he tells me honestly and kindly that maybe I'm not always the easiest to live with right now. And we're getting a little bit older. His hair is going gray pretty darn fast but he still looks HOT, and my body looks down-right frightening and he still says I'm HOT. In three weeks we'll celebrate our eighth anniversary, and you know what? It feels like I couldn't love him more.
But I think somehow I will find a way.