Save Energy…Don’t Smile
Some good friends of mine will be celebrating their twentieth wedding anniversary this weekend. I woke up today thinking that this is an amazing accomplishment. Why?
“Love isn’t about fate and magic bracelets and destiny. It’s about finding someone you can stand to be around for 10 minutes at a time.” – Schuyler Fisk as Lane Leonard in Snow Day
Now, I don’t know anything about magic bracelets, but I do know that the number of people who can stand to spend ten minutes with the person they’ve been married to for twenty years is not-so-many. I also know that you don’t always have the energy to give your ten-minute-partner their ten minutes. This is bad news for any relationship. You MUST save your energy. Ten years ago, I wrote about this problem in a failed attempt to get a job as a ‘sort of Erma Bombeckish’ columnist.
To my friends on their twentieth anniversary: for you I spent two hours rummaging through the attic to find this. I can’t decide if it’s awkward, or awkwardly cute. As much as it pains me, I’m not going to edit it. The dream I had on my honeymoon is real.
There are energy candy bars, energy drinks, energy magnets, and energy meditations. There are energizing lotions, bath salts, and naps. (The ‘power nap’ is an oxy-moron if you ask me.) You can even go to an ‘oxygen-bar’ and get yourself energized with fresh-pumped oxygen. I have a husband and three small children, and the last thing I want is to get myself energized. Honestly, I’d just like to get eight straight hours of good old-fashioned sleep.
The last time I had a good night’s sleep was on my wedding night. We were so exhausted we fell asleep without so much as a goodnight kiss. In wedded bliss I dreamed…the worst case scenario of course!
I was standing under a beautiful tree with massive, sprawling branches. I held a baby on my hip. My husband was standing across from me with, ‘the other woman’. I had a long stick in my hand and I was drawing a grid in the dirt. Inside each square of the grid I drew an X, and gave each X a name: work, friends, family, the kids, the dog, the car, more work, colleagues – the list went on and on. Finally, when I reached the last X, I scribbled it out furiously and said, “You didn’t save one for us! At the end of the day, there was nothing left!”
I told my husband of the dream as soon as we woke up. After his initial word of wisdom, “Wow,” we decided that the dream was an omen. We now knew our pitfall and could avoid it. A plan to save our marriage was put into action. (One day after it began!)
We made love every morning. We ate all our meals together, having titillating conversations all the while. We read to each other. We held hands and kissed in public places. When it was sunny, we went for long walks on the beach. If it was raining, we lay in bed and counted the seconds between the lightning and the thunder. We made love every night. We officially established an energy square that was ours, and ours alone.
Four days later, the honeymoon ended and we went home.
My husband and I still try to save a little energy each day for each other. Here is one example of the ‘energy conservation’ methods we have found useful:
If I catch myself about to smile and exchange pleasantries with the grocery clerk, I stop myself so that I’ll have the energy to smile and exchange pleasantries with my husband in the evening. If my husband’s boss is talking to him, he tunes out and merely nods in response, thus saving enough energy to listen and respond to the pleasantries that I very nearly gave away to the grocery clerk.
Little did I know on my wedding night how important my dream would be. And the other woman in my dream? There is no other woman. My husband would never have the energy.
Happy Anniversary my friends! Enjoy it and spend ten minutes together!