My 2nd wedding anniversary is in one month, and to no-one’s surprise – I have some things I need to say.
1. The “H” Word
That word still freaks me out – husband. It makes me feel like Mother Hubbard, old and haggard, living in shoe (please, dear God, at the very least let it be designer). It makes me feel self conscious because many people don’t know me and when I say the words “my husband” their facial expression gives away the flurry of thoughts and questions and judgments tick-tick-ticking away in their minds.
They assume I’m younger by my height, assume I’m older by my tone, assume I’m childish by my laughter, assume I’m ancient by my love for rocking chairs. But that’s not the point now is it? For a while I didn’t even wear my wedding ring, some days I still forget it. And no, there’s no unconscious message there about regrets, or about me needing to escape reality – relax on the psycho-babble. I’m just forgetful, and my anxiety makes me think of everything, and nothing at the same time. Also it’s heavy – so let it go (I say to myself).
Oddly enough I find that people take me more seriously with the ring on. Maybe they see it as a marker of “adulthood” or a sign that maybe as a young, fertile woman I have my priorities straight #sarcasm – and that’s usually their cue to interrogate my obvious next step: motherhood #moresarcasm.
That being said it is also extremely odd that they cringe when I say the word “husband” – or is that me cringing? I don’t know why it is, but sometimes I’d rather just say my husband’s name than say the word “husband”. It brings less questions, less expectations. It simplifies the whole scenario and stops me from having to explain the whys, hows, and whens. As a woman I think the experience is different – for one, I feel a lot more scrutinized when I use the word “husband”.
Suddenly I’m not Hannah, I’m not a business owner, I’m not a teacher, I’m not a person. I’m a wife and with that comes certain expectations. Maybe I shouldn’t be making decisions so hastily, maybe I shouldn’t be so boisterous, maybe all of a sudden I’m too active.
“You should probably take a break from work if you’re tired – you probably have housework to finish too, right?”
“What do you mean you’re not cooking today?”
“Are you sure you don’t have to check with your husband first?”
“Why is your last name still Sammy?”
“Well now that he has a stable job, you don’t have to work as much.”
Jesus Christ – it can’t just be me, right? Is anyone else seeing what I see?
2. On Feeling Trapped
It’s so weird that I was in a relationship for 3 years prior to getting married and only started feeling nervous during the first year of marriage. Suddenly I was housebroken while everyone else was living an exhilarating, emancipated life on the outside. I blame Buzzfeed and their stupid headlines:”10 Things You Should Do When You’re Single”, “Why Getting Married Early Is A Mistake”, “Top 5 Regrets of Newlyweds” – okay I’m exaggerating but that’s what my brain translated. All those articles that praise being single like it’s such a liberating, trendy, new-age phenomenon, while relationship-shaming everyone else…fuck you.
So yes, I experienced that trapped feeling, but not because of anyone or anything, except myself. Somehow there’s this belief that all life stops when relationships start. “Live while you’re young”, be free, #omg #squadgoals #singlelife #dontneednoman #independentladies. Your 20s are for taking risks and travelling and apparently having one night stands. Somehow many believe that getting married young means you stop being an individual, you’re growing up too fast, settling down beings you’ve settled, and you’re no longer able to “live”. Wtf does “live” mean anyway?
Since I’ve signed my death – I mean marriage certificate – I have started a business, created career path for myself, made enough money to pay for my Master’s degree out-of-pocket from said business, completed 3/4 of my Master’s degree and still going strong, and I’ve traveled more in the last two years than I have in 21 years prior to getting married. Marriage, for me was the ultimate test of independence, not a forfeiting of the idea. So suck on that, Buzzfeed. Fuck you and you’re idealistic, oversimplified, facade; your brainwashing, pseudo-journalism about what everyone should and should not be doing at *insert age here*. I’m a fucking millennial, I don’t subscribe to labels, I’m too entitled for that.
Granted, I know that was extremely dramatic. Sorry Buzzfeed, I was making a point. For what it’s worth, your test to find out what Disney Princess I am was pretty spot on #merida #nohardfeelings.
3. To My Wonderful…Simeon
I know, right? Who would have thought I could talk about anyone but myself?
To the person who has always treated me like…a person, an individual, an equal: what can I possibly say to you that you don’t already know? You have done nothing but work with me, as my teammate for the past 5 years. I can honestly say that you are what keeps me sane, you balance my every action with an equal and often refreshingly opposite reaction. We are two completely different people who, everyday find a way to be on the same page.
Thank you for never expecting me to be anything other than myself. Thank you for being able to appreciate that I will never be a traditional wife. Thank you for seeing my strength and defiance as beauty, and not a threat. Thank you for always washing the wares, God knows I wasn’t cut out for that kind of manual labour. Thank you for laughing the loudest at my dry, and mostly offensive jokes. Thank you for telling me when I’m speaking too loudly about someone who’s close by. Thank you for listening when I’m raging for no particular reason. Thank you for telling me, ever so kindly, when my crazy is showing.
You are the water that cools my flames. You are the delicate birdsong that leads me out of my suffocating thoughts. You are a silent wind, on a still, dark night that lulls the restless wolf to sleep. You are the graceful, subtle thunder that centers the irrational lightening storm in my mind. You are the first drop of rain on the calloused, crumbling soil of my soul.
Happy 2nd Wedding Anniversary (in one month).
Thanks for reading everyone.