The usual, good-natured weekend smack down: What movie to watch. I crossed my eyes and feigned lunacy. “If we watch one more man-movie, I’ll go crazy.” I made a vain attempt to swipe the remote from my husband.
“Hang on, look, it’s Superbowl commercials!” Being the remote master, he quickly selected to preview a half-dozen Superbowl commercials from years past.
I’m not a football fan by any means, but I have been known to sit through a couple for the sake of memorable advertisements. In fact, I wager that more people have memorized famous, Superbowl commercials than can recall the winning teams of the past 25 years.
Often it’s the tiny favor, the 30 second commercial break, the quick kiss goodnight that lingers in our minds. Memories of sticky notes on the refrigerator, a chocolate kiss on the pillow, a glow-in-the-dark rose from the gas station replay for years.
My husband’s love language isn’t gift giving. But last night I came home and there was a Diet Sprite squeezed between the ketchup and milk the refrigerator door. He’s not very intuitive about household chores (to this day he can’t remember what day the trash collector comes.) But every single time we move, my night in shining armor, unpacks, reassembles, organizes and arranges the whole house. He speed decorates in the time I dig out the coffee pot.
Life isn’t about the number of Superbowl wins, but the most memorable commercial breaks.
That’s my paraphrase of the common saying,
Life isn’t about the number of breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away.”
In the dailiness of life, there won’t always be time for a romantic getaway. Valentine’s Day may come and go leaving you little to show for it. Maybe you don’t feel like you’re winning in the game of marriage. Perhaps you don’t even have all the rules figured out. Let it go. Relax.
In my experience, the most precious memories are seemingly insignificant. The weren’t made on the perfect Valentine’s Day. I don’t even remember my husband’s most generous gift or sacrificial act. But, I love that he brings a Diet Sprite home sometimes. I am touched when he wrestles on the floor with my puppy. My heart tingles when he remembers to walk around the Jeep and unlock my door from the outside. And my heart still flutters when I hear him call me, “my wife.”
Let go of the pressure of the most romantic holiday of the year. In the long run, you will remember bologna and cheese sandwiches on the floor that night the power went out. Forget about making the most perfect dinner. The kitchen disasters will provide laughter for years to come. Quit worrying about planning the best vacation ever. The coffee shop you’ve been to 100 times will become most dear.
The most beautiful aspect of marriage is the familiar and the small. Longevity is found in a few burned dinners and lame gifts. It is the comfort of knowing what to expect, the relief of no longer performing, the peace of belonging.