Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Couple's Retreat: Post Two

While here at the beach I am asking my friends to tell us why they got married. This is from Sarah Wiley.

I remember being young and making a list of the characteristics I hoped to find in my future husband. Smart. Kind. Good sense of humor. Ambitious. Honest. Cultured. Righteous. Nothing too groundbreaking, but nonetheless important. Over the years as I got older I started to form this picture in my mind of what I thought that man would look like. Tall was a must (I am 5'9"). Probably a lawyer like my dad or business man of some sort - something conservative and respectable. So as I started college I figured my job (in addition to my education, of course) was to find this man that fit that picture. I dated a few who seemed like they'd be perfect. But something just didn't click. They were so boring.

Scott and I had known each other as friends since high school. He'd come up from California to visit friends in Provo and I'd tell him all about this picture of the man I thought I was looking for. Little did I know he was hoping he'd be considered, but realized he wasn't exactly what I was describing. He's not completely tall, and he's a musician - not a business man. But we continued our long-distance friendship and talked on the phone every moment we could. My roommate would say she could tell when I was talking to Scott because I was always smiling and laughing - he is really funny. And I'd come home from these boring dates with the supposedly perfect guys and call him first to report.

I remember sitting in a high school auditorium watching a Tori Amos concert and looking over at him and being completely overwhelmed with love. It took my breath away and made me stagger and swoon a little. Afterward I went home to analyze - pro/con list and all - because that's what us over-thinkers do. When I looked over my pro list, I saw: smart, kind, good sense of humor, ambitious, honest, cultured/artistic, righteous -- every one of those qualities I'd listed as a young girl was there. I realized then that this picture I'd created in my mind had muddied the view so I couldn't clearly recognize that he had all the characteristics that I knew were important to me, just in a slightly different package.

I didn't want to be a young BYU bride. We dated for a long time, during which time I remember having nightmares where I'd marry one of those other "suitable" guys and be bored out of my mind and have to face eternity hating the music we'd listen to in the car and having to force a laugh at his dumb jokes. At the ripe old age of 21 I was finally ready so we tied the knot. Now 14 years and 4 kids later I absolutely love the life we have created together. The picture of our life is so different than what I'd imagined back when I was a girl, but the happiness and fulfillment that I hoped for is all-encompassing. And it's definitely not boring.