I guess when I pictured what marriage would look like, this is what I would see: I would picture the first few years being all broke but who cares, clipping coupons and trying to save money, spending nights out drinking draft beer specials with our friends. I pictured surprise movie dates, armed with flowers picked out of the garden. I pictured late nights up talking and laughing and making love - being all red-eyed for work the next morning, but not caring in the least. I pictured lying in bed on Sundays, reading the paper together over morning coffee. I pictured rushing home every day after work, so eager to share our day with each other. I pictured hand-holding and giggling and not-so-secret kisses in public. I pictured spending vacations in a little tent, cooking meals over the fire and having sex in the great outdoors - nothing fancy, just the two of us.
I pictured the comfort beginning to settle in, leaving us both secure and grounded in that way that being totally respected and loved can make you feel. I pictured having those secret looks we could toss at each other across a crowded room - looks that only we could read, jokes that only we knew the punchlines to.
I pictured trying for children - excitedly, anxiously. I pictured raising children - excitedly, anxiously. Taking family vacations up north and road trips out west to see the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park, taking silly group photos in front of places like Mount St Helens.
I pictured watching them all leave, one by one, to college and jobs and marriages of their own. I pictured retiring, spending lazy afternoons reading and gardening and doing the crosswords together. I pictured large family dinners filled with warmth and comfort and love.
I pictured a life filled with joy and, yes, some tough times, but nothing that we couldn't handle together. Hand-in-hand, walking through life.