I was perusing the 15 Coolest Marriage Equality signs on Likes.com when I came across #9, a sign that reads: Attention Heterosexuals – We Want to be Miserable, Too!
Who hasn’t seen a version of this sign before? We’ve all chuckled over that famous Chris Rock quote that goes, “Gay people have a right to be as miserable as everybody else.” But, here’s the thing: there’s something really special about marriage, about a life-long commitment to love a partner no matter what. Isn’t that why we care so much about marriage equality?
Last summer, I gave birth to my second son. Six weeks later, at my postpartum check-up, my doctor announced I had developed a gnarly case of The Baby Blues. I spent the next few months functioning slightly below par, which would be great for, say, Tiger Woods, but wasn’t great for me. I cared for my children with as much gusto as I could muster, I cried (a lot), and whenever I got tired of crying, I yelled at my husband – usually at the top of my lungs, usually while unleashing a laundry list of complaints.
If this sounds unpleasant, then I’ve transcribed the events accordingly. I’ve always loved my husband, but these were some really fucking dark months.
And, here’s what’s really cool about a marriage: the more I pulled away, the more my husband reeled me back in like the floundering trout I’d become. When I yelled, he listened. When I cried, he rubbed my back. When I had insomnia, he took over nighttime baby duty every night until I got better. Ben could have walked away. I wouldn’t have blamed him.
Instead, he made a choice to love me, even when it wasn’t convenient or idyllic or easy. Now, as little green buds peek through the mulch, as my postpartum depression fades into just another one of the billions of memories we’ll stockpile through the years, our love is strong again.
The events that transpired may have felt miserable, but our marriage wasn’t miserable. It was more regal and pristine than the image I have in my head of Matt Lauer riding a horse on his Southampton horse farm that never was.
Keep the funny marriage equality signs coming. I like them, especially the ones about how gay marriage killed the dinosaurs and straight people are to blame for homosexuality because they keep having gay kids. (True and truer.) But, let’s all keep in mind that marriage has the potential to be nothing short of wonderful.