The election was a little bit like hearing your friend got run over by a truck. There was no diagnosis and long soft slide into illness. One minute you were planning a vacation together and the next your pal was gone.
Then enter the holidays. There were friends and family to invite, menus to plan, and silver to polish. Somebody had to carry in the wood for the cheery little fires you were imagining. And someone else had to stack the pumpkins and rearrange the cornstalks which were looking a little tired after the snow. Keeping busy is always a good prescription for getting by a hard thing. So we jumped into plans with a steel will this year. There would be new desserts and some seafood on the table for a change. Old toys would be carried down from the attic for the children. Liquor would be stocked and plenty of it. Some things got forgotten. Of course they did. “Pecans! Did anyone remember the pecans?” Uh-oh where was the good salt? My husband makes the last minute runs while I got things mixed and baked. There was dough rising on the counter when he got back and we together we carried in bags, unpacked, stirred the sauce, chopped the celery.
Now my husband is calm. He has years of steady reactions and gentle moods to prove it. I am exciting. I have years of a wide range of emotions on my resume alongside some high boots and red lipstick. This looks different in my fifties than it did in my twenties. These days I invite more people than we have chairs and make menus that include eighteen sides. I also tell everyone they can bring their dogs so we have twenty-eight paws in the house. He runs back out to the store on multiple errands for that one more thing I forgot, mixes the drinks and keeps all the dog bowls full. He also makes sure we have a steady stream of good music. Then late at night after the guests are all in bed, we wash and stack and feed each other pie and sometimes his hand brushes my hip. Accidentally? It’s happened too often by now to really still count as happenstance. I turn around and kiss pie off this good man’s face as Ella sings about our crush.
This is what pulls a couple together. These soft moments when you remember what good partners you are. Then in a flash the dogs are all around your feet and they need to go out one more time. The dishwasher needs to finish getting filled. We both start laughing and finish what needs doing. Forget about the electoral college. This is the story of, this is the glory of … love.