Monday, February 14, 2011

The Plunger Epiphany

One of my favorite songs contains the words, "When all that I have is all that I want." During my single years I would often wonder what that meant. Was it even possible to have everything you want? The idea baffled me. All I knew is I wanted to love someone who loved me too, someone who wanted to spend eternity with me, someone who wanted to raise a family with me. And I didn't have that.

Falling in love was what I wanted. It was what I wished for when I saw a shooting star, when I held my breath through a tunnel, when I snapped a wishbone.

Now I am married and my wish has come true. My prayers have been answered. I no longer look at couples passing me in the street and ache to know what it feels like to be held and loved. I know.

And now that I know...sometimes I forget.

Our love is everything I dreamed it would be during my single years, and plenty of not-so-glamorous things that I didn't dream about. As our years together stretch on, sometimes I forget those nights I spent crying because no one loved me, the slow dances spent on the wall, the Friday nights waiting in agony by the phone. Sometimes I forget how badly I wanted this life I have now. Sometimes I have to step back and remember the plunger.

There are lots of things I dreamed about when I fantasized about my future marriage.  Flowers, white dresses, a gorgeous husband to cradle me in his arms, long nights of romance. But I never envisioned myself making a late-night stop at Wal-Mart because my dear sweet husband had clogged the toilet and we hadn't had the forethought to buy a plunger when we moved into our apartment.

Yet there I was. I had grudgingly volunteered to stop at the store since I was going to be out anyway, and I was nothing but grumpy as I wound my way to the plumbing section to pick out my plunger. I tried to be nonchalant as I carried it toward the register, but there is something about buying a plunger that makes one feel completely conspicuous. It was as if the plunger was screaming to everyone I walked by, "She clogged the toilet!" and I wanted to shout, "No, it wasn't me, I swear!" but that would draw more attention to myself so I kept quiet.

As I waited in the checkout line, the plunger awkwardly cradled in my arms, my grumpy mood slowly drifted away and soon I was laughing to myself about the whole situation. Certainly there were plenty of places I would rather be at that moment, but it occurred to me that buying the plunger meant I had Mr. Brown Eyes, and any night spent with him, even a night spent unclogging a toilet, beats all those nights I spent alone before I met him.

By the time it was my turn to pay, I plunked my plunger onto the conveyor belt and smiled broadly at the cashier.

When I get caught up in the routines of day-to-day life, I think of the plunger. I remind myself that I would rather buy a million plungers, wash dishes for the rest of my days, and flip dirty socks right-side-out every time I wash them than not have Mr. Brown Eyes. I remind myself that all those things I wanted when I was single, I now have.

Of course there are still things that I want. A house that cleans itself. That adorable $175 dress. An all-expenses-paid trip to Italy. But those are things that would be nice. I do not stay up nights pining for them.

Because of Mr. Brown Eyes, I can honestly say that all I have is all that I want.

So forget diamond necklaces for Valentine's Day! Nothing says "romance" quite like a brand new plunger for the one you love.

Just kidding.

Happy Day of Love,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

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