Die Expectations! Die!
I'm a tad off schedule. I typically hit Monday, Wednesday, and Friday pretty faithfully, but yesterday was a special exception. Courtney and I went to Chicago to celebrate two years of experiencing God's ability to take two misfit items and form them into something beautiful. The day was in fact a sort of microcosm of our two years together so far. We were of course excited for the day as we hopped on the train. On the way we had fun pretending we were in Europe; it helped that at the Ogden Dunes stop a German family actually got on and sat in front of us, "See," Courtney said, "There are Europeans in Europe." We arrived in Chicago, made a little jaunt to the Museum of Science and Industry where we spent the next few hours touring the captured German sub U-505, getting freaked out by the giant Tesla Coil that intermittently buzzed overhead, and creeped out by babies preserved in formaldehyde since the '30s in various stages of development, including one child who died two days before birth. It was fun, educational, entertaining, but not the sort of thing that really screams 2 years of romantic fury, which left us both sitting at the Metra station, ready to head downtown, a bit disappointed in ourselves and each other.
Then we realized what we had done.
Probably the best advice we received before getting married is that we should take all of our expectations for what marriage (or anything for that matter) should be, and who the other person should be, and shoot them in the face –the expectations that is, then make the circumstances the best that you possibly can, free of moping.
Marriage will very rarely meet our inflated expectations of what it should be. We have a way of out-imagining reality, no matter what our circumstances. As the ever wise Mr. Spock once put it, "Having is not so pleasing as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true." As we've lowered those expectations effectively, been honest about our disappointments when we didn't lower them, then accepted the circumstance and worked to make our marriage the best we could, we've made some pretty great memories. In fact, last year during our first anniversary trip to Ohio, Courtney sighed and said, "Wasn't our honeymoon just perfect?" I then reminded her about the too small we had purchased to sleep in for a night in Connecticut, and terrible last minute smoking hotel room with a hole in the wall that we had to take after I had ended up in the hospital with food poisoning.
Nostalgia helps the process.
Somewhere between the Museum of Science and Industry we realized what we had done, we repented, and we just enjoyed the rest of the evening together, free from expectations of what should so we could finally enjoy what is.
I love you Courtney.