I Do.

Tomorrow, my very good friend S.E. is getting married. The wedding is set to be held in a garden right on the beach. It will be perfect. Obviously, my friend getting married leads me to reflect on my own marriage - a legal union that began three years ago. My own fairy tale start. And yes, the day was perfect.

Through Facebook, as the world now communicates, I sent her this message on the eve of her nuptials:

Tomorrow changes nothing. The license, the rings, the name change - NONE of it guarantees any security. Work at loving each other, every day. When the shit hits the fan, as it will do in varying degrees, just consider that even with all his quirks, the good, the bad and the annoying (let's be honest, we all have annoying ones) - HE LOVES YOU for all of yours.

"Marriage hath in it less of beauty but more of safety, than the single life; it hath more care, but less danger, it is more merry, and more sad; it is fuller of sorrows, and fuller of joys; it lies under more burdens, but it is supported by all the strengths of love and charity, and those burdens are delightful."

Who else is going to love you, as YOU, and allow you to be the real you? If he is who you say he is, then he certainly fits that bill.

And I believe what I wrote. I wouldn't have written it if I didn't. As I get older and more wise about life, and about being with someone, I've realized that while it's easy to pick out the faults of others, we quickly forget about our own idiosyncrasies that most certainly annoy the hell out of our partners. I can get pissed that he doesn't do the dishes often enough, but what about what I do irritates him? No doubt if we questioned Big Red, he'd easily come up with a list. Shit. I'm not perfect. Not even close. But that's not easy to see - at least not amidst the wild rapture of youth.

Big Red really does allow me to be ME. And while he's awesome about letting my irritating qualities roll of his back, as only a seasoned laid back human can do, there are times when he calls bullshit and holds a very shiny mirror up to my faults. It can be disarming, but it keeps me grounded. I look up to this man I call my husband. He makes me want to be a better person.

I can only hope for S.E. that within her marriage she finds the safety to be her true self, whatever sloppy, brightly colored mess that might be.

And that Mr. S.E., after saying "I do," truly does.

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