My father tells the story like this: he and my mom had been married a few years, and she was quite the wife. Plus, she’s beautiful. So one day, he came beebopping into the kitchen, grinned at her, and said, “Hey, sweetie,” he winked, “You happy?”
My mom whirled around, gave him this *look*, and said, “HAPPY? No, I’m not happy! I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe divorce was wrong. No, I’m not happy.” And she stalked out of the room, leaving my father deflated, to say the least, and bewildered.
So often, the two people in a marriage see the two different signs of the coin. My dad thought things were great, because of the kind of person he is – remembering all good things. My mom is much more realistic.
Their marriage weathered many years of childrearing and relationship storms. It was a good decade before my dad had the courage to ask my mom that question again, and he’s quite the man’s man.
It was their anniversary, and at the end of a romantic evening together, my father stuttered and stammered out, “So…um….sweetie…are you…? Do you…? Um….”
My mom quickly reached over, took his face between her hands, looked him in the eye, and gave him the sweetest smile. “Joe, I am so happy,” she said. “So happy.”
Listening to this story on a recording yesterday, crunching away on a carrot stick, my eyes just filled with tears. Now that I’m married myself, and I realize more clearly how transient a thing like happiness can be in a marriage, this little tale of wedded bliss is just that much more blissful.
And I am happy.