Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wooden spoons

Torsten and I received a generous gift card to Williams-Sonoma as a wedding gift, and that's when we learned something about high-end kitchen stores. You might receive a gift card in an amount that is very generous in absolute terms, but at Williams-Sonoma? That gift card will give you the option of purchasing three small kitchen implements (say tongs, a serving spoon, and an apron), or subsidizing the cost of something much more expensive.

After some debate, we went for Option 2, and subsidized the purchase of a lovely electric griddle that is doubling as Torsten's Christmas present. Except that, of course, being the non-traditionalists that we apparently are, we aren't keeping it boxed up until Christmas. It's so big and heavy, and does not need to be hauled to a different state just to be unwrapped and hauled home, especially since it would have required the majority of a roll of wrapping paper just to be neatly packaged.

So, since we aren't waiting until December 25 to present it to him as though it were a surprise, we instead opted to get the most use out of it that we possibly can. After all, that thing has a lifetime warranty, so the longer the lifetime, the more you get for your money, right? Does anyone see a flaw with this logic? I didn't think so.

Last night we used it for the first time and made fried rice, hibachi style. I cooked the rice before Torsten got home and then when he arrived he heated up the griddle, scrambled an egg on it, poured on the oil, and we dumped the big pot of rice on top. Torsten started mixing everything up and then I grabbed another wooden spoon to help, and we stood on opposite sides of the griddle, placidly stirring the rice and occasionally tasting it and suggesting additional ingredients to make it less bland.

The rice turned out well, and as we sat at our table next to our Christmas tree, eating the rice we had cooked together on our new plates, I thought about how much I love being married. Because I do; I love it. I never would have expected to love it so much. Actually, I never would have expected it to feel any different than just living together and being committed to each other for life did. Truly, I thought it would be the same except that we would have the security of knowing that we had the legal backup to formalize the union and protect our rights to one another, that we can apply for a green card for Torsten.

But it's more than that. We talked about it in bed. I brought it up first: I said how strange this is, but I almost feel that I love Torsten more now that we're married, and how I never would have thought that could be, I never would have thought that I could love him more than I already did before we were married, my love for him was already unquantifiable then. And it is still. And yet I can tell, my love for him is more than it was, not in quantity but in depth and richness and satisfaction, in my view of our future and our union and our shared life.

I love him romantically, physically, respectfully, happily, utterly. And I loved him like that before. But in a way my love for him feels more complete now. It almost feels to me that you couldn't not love your spouse, just because they are your spouse, no matter who they are. It makes me understand that sometimes an arranged married can be a good one, if it starts off with these feelings of goodwill and anticipation and completion.

It does feel different to be married, and I never thought that I would say that. On a rational level I still see marriage as a social construct, as something that ensures legal rights but doesn't really change a relationship. And I would never say or think or feel that any couple that isn't married has any less love for one another, or that their love is incomplete, just because they aren't married.

And yet, here we are. And I thought I was the only one, I thought it was strange to feel that way, but when I told Torsten about it while we were lying in bed, he said he felt the exact same way.

I love him so much. I could spend forever standing at that griddle, stirring rice with a spoon, as long as he were there too, his spoon from time to time softly bumping into mine.

37 comments:

Jessica said...

You are so sweet =)
I didn't expect this post to go in the direction that it did - and it was very touching! Thank you for sharing

Janssen said...

How sweet and lovely; I'm thrilled you are so happy together.

Nilsa said...

That's awesome you have an even stronger connection to Torsten now. I think I felt that way about Sweets for the first couple weeks after we returned from our honeymoon. But then, as real life took over, we went back to being our happy selves (not necessarily our happy, crazy in love selves). And that's just fine. I'm down with the consistency of feeling strongly for the man I married!

Colleen said...

This was such a beautiful post. I honestly "tagged" it in my favorites as "vows" so I can look back on it when I'm writing my wedding vows (I am getting marred in a year!) So beautiful! Thanks!

tara said...

I love it when married people admit that it's different to be married. It's almost as if,overnight, you are closer to each other, and your priorities are lined up in a simple way that you never thought possible before. It's fantastic and I love to see other people who feel the same way that I did when I got married!

Kyla Bea said...

That's so sweet! I don't feel differently towards Mister now that we're married - but I do feel like we went through something big together and now we can just relax. I think we're more ourselves now that we don't have THE WEDDING looming (even if it was looming in a nice way). But I am completely head over heels.

I like how this started out being about appliances. = )

Pickles and Dimes said...

This was so beautiful. I just love the image of you and Torsten contentedly making dinner together.

I know what you mean about gift cards to pricy stores. At first you're all jazzed, then you go inside and realize you can buy one fork.

Ms. R said...

I do think that marriage changes things - and all for the better. We are racing towards our 5th anniversary and all I can say is every day the bond is stronger.

Mandy said...

Thats so very sweet! I am happy for the two of you.

And, I completely agree with your logic -- use that griddle! :-)

Heather said...

Yep, I felt just like that after I got married. We're coming up on 3 years of marriage and I still feel like that!

I add a tiny bit of sesame oil and fish oil (along with soy sauce of course) to my fried rice for flavour.

DCMomma said...

You guys are so cute. Enjoy!

Sizzle said...

I hope that someday I can feel about someone the way you feel about Torsten. It's incredible.

Maxie said...

This was quite adorable :-)

And also... the mere mention of hibachi rice has my stomach growling.

artemisia said...

Okay, Jess? THIS MADE ME CRY.

This is awesome. He is so lucky to have such a thoughtful, contemplative spouse.

Even though I am ambivalent about my own self getting married, one thing I do like about the union is that it really demonstrates the commitment portion of the relationship. That very divine commitment, of standing next to someone and every day DECIDING to love them. Even when you are hurt by them, disappointed by them, or even feeling distant. That you decide to love them, just the same as you decide to love them on the days where they are perfect. You know?

THAT part of marriage I am not ambivalent about.

I may steal this comment for a post idea later.

Cheers to you and Torsten's wooden spoons!

Tia said...

I agree with you 100%! We're now 7 months in (as of today!), and that feeling is still there.

Meredith said...

"I love him so much. I could spend forever standing at that griddle, stirring rice with a spoon, as long as he were there too, his spoon from time to time softly bumping into mine."

That is such a beautiful sentiment. Sigh (and perhaps a sniffle).

Chris said...

Um hi, tear. :)

sassafras said...

It does feel different, doesn't it? I was surprised by that but I LOVE it.

We found the same thing at Williams Sonoma...and went the same route.

Penny said...

And all that from a griddle!

I should get one.

3carnations said...

Very sweet post, and a lovely contrast to my complaining-about-my-spouse post from today. :)

heidikins said...

I love this post! You are so incredibly romantic, and I absolutely love you and Torsten together.

Williams Sonoma, griddle, tear or two, happily ever after...check, check, and check.

xox

d e v a n said...

Aw. :)

Catharina said...

Wow, that sounds wonderful! It really is the little things in life, isn't it?

Julie said...

I'm so happy for you! I'm sure you've already heard this, but married life just keeps getting better. We recently celebrated our 12th anniversary and I love Sid more now than I ever thought I could be capable of.

Alice said...

this is why i think it's so awful that gay people can't get married most places. because everyone should be able to write the post you just did, no matter WHO they marry.

Lindsay said...

I 2nd what Alice said about gay people. I also 2nd what you say about Williams Sonoma (we went the tiny item route - I love my strainer I got there with a wedding gift card). And I have an AMEN on the being married thing. It's really sweet and better than I ever thought it would be. Every Saturday when my husband and I putter around town doing stupid random mundane tasks, I am all, isn't life wonderful?

Non Sequitur Chica said...

Awww you are too cute.

Princess Pointful said...

:)
This is the sweetest.
I am so happy to hear that it does work out this way in real life!

sid said...

Hmmm that's interesting. I guess marriage makes it seem like the two indivudals are more committed to each other. And you've basically stated to the world that you're committed to each other.

Jody said...

I'm so happy for you and completely understand what you are talking about and the thing is somehow that love continues to grow over the years. I've been married 12 years and am amazed still by how my love continue to grow for my husband. Whenever some says to me, "Well, we live together so I don't see anything changing once we're married" and I always think "You'll see"

anne said...

Maybe because we have something like 35 days to go - this made me cry! So sweet. And so nice to know as well.

bessie.viola said...

This made me feel warm and cozy inside, like a fire in the hearth.

Also, it made me cheesy, apparently. :) Thanks for the reminder to give my husband smooches tonight! I remember these feelings - they haven't gone so much as they're neglected sometimes.

Awesome post.

kilax said...

I knew you would be this content! I just knew it! Awww.

It's amazing that you actually feel somewhat different, isn't it? You just feel... more complete :)

nicoleantoinette said...

I work at Williams Sonoma! And yes, the expensiveness of it all...

And this? is why I'm interested in and drawn to marriage.

Hiya, I'm Kristie. said...

What a sweet way to write about how you love your husband. Someday I hope to have that.

jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wedding dresses said...

You're so sweet!