I occasionally read the blog of the 92nd Street Y. Apparently I think I live in New York. But thanks to them, today I found a link to the site Long Married Couples and the project As long as we both shall live.
The project started for Robert Fass with his parents in 1997 and has grown to include many couples with at least 40 years of marriage. The photographs and conversation snippets are wonderful and inspiring. It makes me think of my sister’s wedding, where there were three or four couples with over 50 years of marriage.
It comes during a week when I’ve been thinking a lot about what it takes to make marriage work. No good reason why, really, but I have. A lot of my friends are either married, engaged, or in serious relationships. I’ve been watching enough to know that a wedding is not an elixer. I know that sounds trite, but people forget.
All we have to do, they say, is have a beautiful wedding. A perfect relationship will follow. No way. I think about myself and how accustomed I am to life alone. What will I do when there is another person around? Especially when it is more than a roommate. Keep in mind, I haven’t had a serious relationship since mumblemumble. I’ve never lived with anyone romantically. I’ve never had to make financial decisions that afftected anyone other than me and my cat. If I want to stay home and stare at the wall, I can. If I want to have dinner out, I can. If I need to put my credit card in the freezer, I can. If I want to put my entire tax return on my MC bill, I can. If I want to online bank, I can.
If I want to cook with onions, I can.
Apparently a lot of my marriage worries are about money and onions/garlic/scallions. But really, I spent some time talking with an introvert friend who married an extrovert. How challenging–when introverts recharge by being alone and extroverts recharge by being with people. I hope I marry an introvert like myself–because the balance he needs has been hard to find.
I worry about other things, other ridiculous things.
Will there be enough wall space for my art and his art? Will there be enough shelf space for my books and his books? Will he want to alphabetize when I want to make them fit? What if he is a Mac user and I’m still running Windows XP? What if he’s allergic to my cat?
UPDATE: Robert Fass, the photographer I mentioned at the top, told me about a book for introverts who are in relationships with extroverts. You can find more information at http://theintrovertadvantage.com/