You know how with marrying someone, they tell you to marry someone you can grow old with? I always thought that was so sweet, this idea of slowly passing the years together and becoming that cute old couple that holds hands and smiles at each other, toothlessly, but with love. Pinterest has only increased this belief, that growing old is something that happens in color coordinated outfits with bubbles and beautiful landscapes in the distance. And people wearing fake mustaches. Whatever.
My point is…
I thought I knew what “Marry someone you can grow old with” really meant. I didn’t have a clue.
I do now.
It means marry someone who loves you enough that your changing body won’t matter to them. That you can thicken and widen and sprout hairs where there really shouldn’t be any. Marry someone you can fart and belch and sometimes throw up in front of. Sometimes, dear god, all at the same time.
Marry someone you can be at your worst with, like while talking to them and your eyes sting so you rub them and they listen to you until you’ve said all you needed to say and only then do they say: “You’ll probably want to wash your face. You wiped mascara all over your eyes and even down your cheeks.” Marry that someone.
Marry someone you can swear with and fight with and ignore sometimes, and still have everything be okay. Marry someone you can watch clip their toenails and say “Gah!” and run from the room but still kiss them later. Marry someone like that.
Marry someone who picks out the peas from your beef burgundy and it makes you mad and you say “But you said you like peas” and the say “I do, but only a little bit” and then you say all snotty-like “How much is a little bit?” and then they say “I don’t know. It’s gotta be balanced” and then you grumble and eat all the peas sometimes saying “I like the peas” even though, really, there are too many goddamned peas.
Marry someone who is too tired to fight about politics and religion with you or who shares your ideas on politics and religion. Marry the someone who says after weeks and weeks of stress “Let’s get drunk” and you can laugh with because that sounds really good, even though you won’t do it because being hung over is too much work.
Marry someone who holds your hand and tells you everything will be okay even though you both know that’s not true, unless you change the definition of okay.
Marry someone who loves you not in spite of your flaws but because of them.
I didn’t know any of this years ago. But I know it now, because when I married Kealoha, I married the kind of man I could grow old with. Not the storybook old, the real kind of old. The I-need-medication-now kind of old.
We’re not storybook perfect, but we’re real, and we’re in this together.