for release January 18, 2002
by Melodie Davis
In the Mood
We remodeled our bathroom a few years ago, which took two years. But at long last it was done.
Except for two pesky towel bars that we needed to put up. Goodness knows we certainly needed the extra racks in a family with three teenage girls and a seemingly endless need for showers and resulting wet towels. Many times I plotted to slap those bars up myself; but I didn't know how to put in the expandable screwy thingies in the studless places. And then my towel racks would have come down almost as soon as they went up.
Several times my husband started to do the job but lacked the right supplies or the final motivation. So we limped along. I pestered and whined occasionally, but we got by.
Finally my husband had a day off with no special plans, and without even a nag from me, suddenly he was in the mood to put up the rest of the towel racks. And he needed me to hand him the level, a screw, the wall anchors. Sure I was busy -- most moms I know are always busy. But I gladly squeezed in his gopher tasks with my own "to do's."
In 25 years of marriage, you learn to seize the moment. Actually marriage itself begins with a huge episode of seizing the moment, otherwise also known as taking a leap of faith. How do you get to the place where you get the nerve to make a relationship permanent? I don't know a person alive who is not or was not somewhat spooked by the thought of choosing a life partner.
But, the thought of marriage needn't be so frightening that it scares you off forever. It's kind of like the thought of having a baby. I remember before I had children I couldn't imagine going through it and surviving. But then I realized that millions have done so before me and I found that quite reassuring. The same with marriage: while divorce rates are bad, millions of couples have lived 40, 50, 60 and more years together as lovers and great friends.
We know that many young adults today are so spooked and scared that they put marriage off for years, or just opt to live together. Sure it is scary to choose a mate and commit yourself 'til death do you part.
I remember after having gone through numerous dating/love relationships during my teen and young adult years where the timing, or the person, never seemed to be right. In many cases, "no" was not only the right answer, it was the easiest answer. So it becomes easy, safe and comfortable to not take a risk and move into marriage. When Stuart, my eventual husband proposed, it was hard for me to say yes, not because of lack of love but because it was easier to just continue on as things were, safely single.
But I got to the point where I felt that God's timing was finally right. We were also compatible, good friends. I knew I could continue the rest of my life always saying no and moving on. I would be safe, but I felt like I wouldn't truly be living.
And so, I seized the opportunity. Married life became its own adventure. You get to the place where you realize there will never be a perfect mate and that you're not exactly perfect either, and so take the plunge. Now, you still may have to live with too few towel racks in your bathroom for a couple years. But you learn to be thankful for what you've got instead of chiding him (or her) for what they're not. And when he comes along wondering if you've got time to hand the hammer or drill you learn to seize the moment -- and the man!
For a free booklet, "Creating a More Loving Marriage," write to: Melodie Davis, Another Way c/o Name\Address of YOUR newspaper; or e-mail: Melodie@mennomedia.org.
You can also visit Another Way on the Web at www.thirdway.com.
Melodie Davis is the author of seven books and has written her column since 1987. She taught feature writing and has won awards from a number of organizations including the National Federation of Press Women, Virginia Press Women and the American Advertising Association. She and her husband have three growing daughters.
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