I’ve been in a weird place for the last couple weeks. A quiet, introspective place. I haven’t even been writing much, for the blog anyway, just putting up old drafts that were written months ago. This afternoon I was watching some stupid sitcom on TV about divorce and getting married again. The show was nothing remarkable but it did manage to dredge up a few memories.
When the couple was splitting up their belongings the soon-to-be ex-wife pulled a strange bowl out of one of their boxes. It was an ugly ceramic nacho bowl shaped like a sombrero. It was one of those novelty items, something a tourist would pick up on for five dollars on a trip to Mexico. In the show it was only on screen for a second, it wasn’t even a conversation piece, but I about had a heart attack when I saw it.
When Cat and I got married her father gave us that bowl. Not something that looked similar, that exact same bowl. It had been a running joke, it had been given to him and his wife when they’d gotten married. His wife hated the thing, because it was ugly, and was happy for an excuse to part with it. Cat didn’t like it either but we hung onto it for years, only touched when we packed to move each time. Eventually, we gifted it to Cat’s brother when he got married a couple years ago. The tradition continued. What was so shocking to me was that I have never seen another one like it anywhere. Similar ones, sure, but not that exact model. And there it was on the TV.
In the second part of the show they made a big deal about the groom having trouble writing his own vows. That’s probably something that most guys would have a hard time with. It reminded me of getting prepared for my own wedding so long ago. I wrote a poem that was quirky, self effacing, funny, and sentimental all at the same time. Probably one of the best things I’ve written. For our first anniversary I printed a copy, signed it with a little heart, and gave it to Cat in a nice frame. That feels like centuries ago, the memories are thin and watered down.
In this strange place I’ve been, these memories were bittersweet. I have no longing for my old marriage but there were some good things. Nowadays I wonder if I’ll have any of those again. There’s this childlike quality to our feelings and thoughts when we’re young, they’re so intense and pure. It allows for a naive happiness and optimism that seems impossible to me these days. I’ve pretty much decided I’m happier on my own, that relationships aren’t worth the effort most of the time. And even if I did, am I too cynical and jaded to have those simple happy feelings again? If that sounds depressing, it’s not meant to be, I’m just trying to understand and adapt to where I am now. Childhood is over, what is this adult life going to be like?