We wrote our own wedding vows. Contrary to what you might expect, mine were full of well-considered guidelines of behaviour for our future, and special k vowed to love me beneath a mountain, by a forest, under a moon.
One of my vows was this:
I will not mistake success or failure in our lives for the success or failure of our marriage.
Today I went for an interview at the Big Issue for a part-time editorial position. I didn’t get the job.
When special k came home, he cuddled me for a while. He told me that it isn’t nice to have someone say, “No. Not you.” Then we cooked dinner together. We carefully planned how we would stuff the zucchini flowers with mozzarella then dip them in beer batter and deep fry them. I watched with admiration as he added the pasta to mushrooms and tomato cooked in shallots and garlic, and he cheered me on as I fried the prawns.
We were closed in the kitchen in the kind of warm camaraderie that autumn brings. I tentatively allowed myself to think, “At least I still have this,” which was when I remembered my wedding vow.
It’s an odd feeling, an odd equation that the human heart makes. I did not succeed today, it says. Therefore I do not deserve the unreserved comfort and enjoyment of home.
I knew, when I wrote that vow, that it would be a hard one to live by. But today I did, and I feel triumphant.