Unanswered Prayers

I’m going to a wedding tomorrow.

They’re not my friends in the sense that I’ve known them for years and we spend a lot of time together. The bride is a long-time friend of my Pretty Lady so she comes pre-approved and by extension, the groom is pre-approved by her. That made it easy. When I first met them I didn’t have to decide if I liked them, the hard work was done for me. All I had to do was get to know them.

My Pretty Lady’s in the bridal party so I’m planning on spending most of the ceremony and reception not too subtly checking her out. She’s beautiful and it’s one of my favourite things to do. If I have a couple of drinks I’ll probably even dance with her. Once. I’m no Justin Timberlake so it’ll be a slow shuffle from one foot to the other while holding her close but, knowing how much I try to avoid it, I think she’ll appreciate the gesture.

Like everyone else there I’ll wish the bride and groom well and sincerely hope their lives together are all they dream about but life’s no fairy tale.

In what now seems like a previous life, I got married once with the same hopes and dreams I’m sure they have. Then I got divorced. Lo and behold, here I am a few years later happier than I ever thought possible. Some of God’s greatest gifts…

I’m not going to tell them any of this of course because nobody needs to hear, on their wedding day, that they’ll be ok if it doesn’t work out.

More generally, it’s comforting to know we’re ok after we fall but would we ever put in the same effort if we knew from the start we were working with a net? I think the fear of failure is often the reason for success.

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Most wanted man in the world

“I’m not good looking, well-built or tall
I’m not a movie star up on somebody’s wall
But when I lie next to my girl
I’m the most wanted man in the world”
Paul Kelly
Those few lines best sum up how I feel about being in love with my Pretty Lady.
I feel deeply honoured to be loved by her and to be allowed to love her. She is magnificent in every way. There are the usual reasons. She’s beautiful, funny, smart and creative. She’s also a wonderful daughter, sister and aunty, she has a sense of responsibility I’ve not seen in anyone before and is incredibly loyal. I’m not sure she always sees these things as well as I do but we probably all see ourselves differently to the way others see us.
Along with all of this there are some things I don’t, and don’t think I ever will, understand. Some of these things simply confuse me and others concern me but when all is said and done they don’t amount to much at all.
One of the things I have trouble with is crying. It’s not as if she bursts into tears at the drop of a hat, it’s just that I’m not what you’d call a crier. I have cried before and there’s a pretty good chance I will cry again but for me, apart from the odd watery eye and lump in the throat during an episode of Undercover Boss, crying is an extreme emotion. It only happens at the most stressful, sad and hopeless times.
The main reason for this is that I don’t believe emotions are constants. Happy and sad come and go in moments. Eventually they pass and in between we go about our lives on a pretty even keel. A good joke doesn’t make you laugh uncontrollably all day and likewise, dropping a cup of coffee isn’t enough to ruin all of the next week.
These two beliefs, that crying is for extreme occasions and that emotions pass, are often hard to reconcile.
Sometimes my Pretty Lady cries and my immediate thoughts are always that I might be responsible and that I need make things ok. The thought that I might be the reason for the tears upsets me terribly. I hope I always feel this way but I’m learning that a few tears are not the end of the world. The occasional cry is sometimes how she reacts to things. Again, often it’s just in the moment and moments pass.
I think the most important thing is that I’m learning that she deals with things differently to the way I do. Although slowly, I’m also learning how I can deal with the ways she deals with things. This is one of the many things I have learnt and continue to learn from my Pretty Lady. Although I didn’t set out to learn it seems she can’t help but teach me. Particularly about myself.
Being loved by, and loving, my Pretty Lady makes me a better man.