I had to take the littlest to the doctor last Friday. I have spent way too much time at that office and I am on a first name basis with everyone. It was a slow day, so when our visit was finished, I stayed in the back for a few minutes chatting with the staff. The lab tech commented on my weight loss. I have been counting calories for the last six weeks, so basically, I have been hungry for six weeks, but nine pounds have come off. (I am convinced that I am one of two people in the entire world that actually gain weight while training for a marathon.) When I was leaving, my kids’ pediatrician said, “Mark is lucky to have you.”
So then the next day, we had a staycation downtown to celebrate Mark’s birthday. I wore a dress that was tighter and shorter than I feel normal in, and I got more of the same “Mark is lucky to have you.” When I told Mark that I feel weird wearing dresses that cause people to turn their heads, he said, “I bet people must think that I either have a lot of money or…(something I do not feel comfortable writing in my blog)…to have a wife that looks like you.”
And then today, I showed a patient a picture from Saturday night and she said, “Mark is lucky to have you.”
And while all the compliments on my trimmer body are flattering and well-intended, the only thing I can think is that Mark IS lucky to have me, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the way that I look. He was lucky to have me when I was 25 pounds heavier and my value in this marriage has a lot more to do with my mad cooking skills, my wit, my patience, my compassion , and the fact that I am hilarious (though Mark will not admit the last one.)
Of course, looks matter to an extent. There has to be some level of attraction for a relationship to get off the ground in the first place. But after 10 years of marriage, I can tell you that during the hardest, grittiest parts, our appearance mattered very little. It did not matter when we were dealing with me having post-partum depression after the birth of our first child. And it did not matter when Mark was laid off when I was 7 months pregnant with our second child, and again when I was 1 month pregnant with our third. It did not matter when I spent my entire second pregnancy angry at anything that breathed, especially Mark. It did not matter when my I lost my brother and normal functioning was impossible for me. It did not matter on any number of Mondays when we are both exhausted, the kids are being a handful, the dishwasher needs loading, and the laundry needs folding. But what does matter is our commitment to each other and to this family. And if I was 100 pounds heavier, I know Mark well enough to know that he would still be patiently loving me.
In my younger days, I went on dates with A LOT of men. Mark is the only man that has held my undivided attention and who has deserved me. So if you ask me, I would say that I am the lucky one.