As I observed the couple at the next table, I had to work to keep my green-eyed monster at bay. They were thoroughly enjoying one another’s company in the newness of their relationship. They were seemingly unencumbered by the issues facing a 19 year marriage.
Her investments were hers alone, and could be discussed objectively with her companion without the reservations one uses when another’s feelings must be taken into consideration. There was no talk of family strife or arguments about what parental position to take with the children, whether or not a new car should be purchased or any other of the daily minutiae befalling a married couple.
They were clearly on a third or fourth date and were enjoying one another immensely. This is such a rare environment. The window of happy discovery is open for such a short time. The one aspect of their dinner that hit me the hardest was their ability to “kanoodle” in the corner without thought to the others around them. Such behavior, while offensive to some, sparkles with bright champagne bubbles. Oh, how I miss the bubbles!
I think the bubbles of my relationship lasted a great deal longer than most. For what seemed like years, we rarely disagreed and rarely existed in each other’s presence without being hand-in-hand. Maybe that makes me miss it all the more.
So, the evening wore on and I sank a little deeper into my jealous depression.
Then it came time for them to leave. Their conversation turned to hesitant future possibilities of their relationship and I felt the uncertainty with which they spoke. Then came the decision. His place? Her place? Her kids were home.
I never found out the resolution of their evening.
After they left, I found myself feeling less sorry for myself and more sorry for them. I have a beautiful family with a loving husband and father of 19 years. We share a history that is long and storied and can evoke emotion with a shared look because we know each other so well. Our laughter comes from shared experiences that can never be replaced or recreated. There is no uncertainty about our relationship. There are incredible benefits that can be derived by spending years together on the Rollercoaster of Life.
Being able to trust that he will be there to hold me during the weepy part of the movie, or to be able to read me so well that he can draw a hot bath and dismiss me for the evening after a particularly trying day with the children. To be able to go out on a date in our hometown and recount endless stories that occurred at hangouts, intersections and houses through town.
And best of all, when we get to the end of the night, no discussion is necessary because we are going to the home we created together.