We had a relatively minor but rather interesting intrusion into our lives this past weekend. And as part of that fun we were asked the question (and I'm paraphrasing here) -
"What makes Team Schmitty work?"
I immediately deferred to Jen and left her stranded to field this query solo. My mind was swimming. Mostly because I am immediately reminded of a couple of folks ("friends" at the time) who were so convinced that my marrying Jen was the most egregious of life decisions, that they individually (and independently) wrote me letters telling me as much. That's right. Jen and I weren't going to last. Our relationship had no chance.
And we've toasted to those doubters on every September 13th since. Touché.
What do the kids say? Haters gonna hate.
But back to the question at hand...and to the person who asked it. I kinda feel I still owe you an answer.
First, Jen and I had the good fortune -- life's great benefit -- of having incredible role models. Our parents and four sets of grandparents. Literally hundreds of years of marriage and rock solid partnerships. We are lucky in that respect. They left us the treasure map. Life's building plans.
But here's the thing. Those "friends" of mine we're kinda right. I wasn't ready for Jen. My private life was in major upheaval. I needed some ripening and Jen pretty much had the unfortunate front row seat to watch me gain my footing...for the first several years of our marriage (heck probably even a little bit still to this day). She didn't deserve that. But true to form, with complete grace and unwavering patience, she waited me out and eventually I caught up to her. And even with all that mess I still truly believe our meeting and it's timing was Providence. My faith tells me that it could not have happened any other way.
But again, back to the original question...the one thing that rang true for me the very first day we met...the reason why we work....quite simply, she is my compliment. She balanced the equation for me. We became fast friends and are even better pals now. I like who I am when I'm with her. I am better because of her. We have many of the same interests but approach those interests in our own unique way. So every life experience is a new adventure. And, so far, any adversity has brought us closer - individually fragile but together we own it.
Are we perfect? Um, quite humorously, no. Absolutely not. But we do pretty good. It works for us as individuals, as a couple, as working professionals, as age group triathletes and as doggie parents (woof!)
Now, if I could only convince her to come wait in line with me to see the next Star Wars movie in December...then maybe we'd really have something special ;)