2010-10-14 / General Stories

A Perfect Storm

Like nature itself, marriage has cycles. I write this column the day after the 29th anniversary of the day I married the most sweet, infuriating, wonderful, irritating man I’ve ever known.

On this same day, there was a storm of epic proportions that blew through our small town. It was magnificent and exciting, scary and destructive.

We woke up that morning without a clue that there would be a storm or that it was our anniversary. We’d forgotten so many anniversaries, because there really was only one, in our 29 years together, when we had planned something exciting: A mini vacation somewhere warm and tropical. That was our 25th anniversary - one I will always remember.

Even then, it was very difficult to find someone willing to mind our kids while we snagged some much-needed alone time, so we pretty much gave up on that idea.

Sometime, around lunch, my computer reminded me that it was our anniversary. I laughed, thinking that it was a good thing that we both forgot. Then I called my husband to wish him a Happy Anniversary.

He hedged, “Isn’t that tomorrow?”

Nice try. “Nope. Not according to my computer.”

My husband has long been of the opinion that computers are infallible. It’s the person driving the mouse that needs adjusting. So, though he may have questioned my calculations, he didn’t question the validity of the computer’s calculation.

We made plans to have dinner out together that night. It would be a very short dinner because my 13-year old is old enough to be left in charge for a short time, but he’s not necessarily responsible enough to refrain from torturing his younger siblings while we are gone.

It’s these kinds of small irritations that lead to the inevitable storm. While the weather started rumbling outside, the annoyances of parenthood, the stress of our jobs and responsibilities, and the pressures of life in general combined to put us both in a fine temper when we met up later to dress for dinner.

As the weather reached a crescendo outside our windows, our voices became loud and irrational. We questioned each other’s intelligence. We took cheap shots at each other. We cursed at each other, including words we didn’t think the other would know. We made references to the rear end of certain animals. We questioned each other’s parentage and subsequent doubtful legitimacy.

For a few moments we couldn’t stand each other. For a fraction of a second we wondered if it was all worth it.

The wind and rain raged outside. It threw down limbs and overturned lawn furniture. Tempers flared. Hurtful words whirled around us. If there had been something breakable within reach, I would have thrown it. If he wasn’t such a good man, he might

Then, as quickly as it came, the storm let up. It teared and pouted in fits and starts, just as we did. The thunder grumbled in the distance as we lay our heads down to sleep that night.

The worst was over, the storm had abated, but we carried within us, throughout the night, the hurt it had caused and the hope it had inspired.

We awoke to a calm, clear, beautiful morning. The grass was still wet. The dead limbs had shaken free. The air was fresh and clear. The evidence of the storm was there; both the good and the bad. Still, it had passed, just as it had so many times before.

It was a new day, a fresh beginning. We hugged for a long time. We healed each other’s hurts and whispered words of encouragement and promise. Then, we started our marriage all over again. just as we had so many times before.

Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author & speaker. You can reach Laura at lsnyder@lauraonlife.com Or visit her website www.lauraonlife.com for more info.

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