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A Mountain of Nachos
by Bekah Holland
MARRIAGE - apr 2024 - in this together.jpg

Okay, I’ve got a confession to make. My entire article last month was a lengthy ode to not being a spring-cleaning, curtain-washing kind of girl. The words “I’m going to spring clean my heart instead of my home” ring a bell, unfortunately. In all honesty, that really is my mantra.  Not the “spring clean my heart” thing, because that’s in the running for one of the most annoying things I’ve ever said. And of course, it’s on the internet, so it will live forever.


But truly, I am not usually a person who remembers to scrub baseboards or one who stops stuffing more junk into my very overloaded junk drawer/cabinet/closet.  That said; it is right now, 7:14 PM on a Saturday (which is also five days after this article was “supposed” to be submitted…again). 

I am sitting down for the first time since 9:30 AM.  Why, you ask?  Well, the short answer is, I have issues. The longer answer is that less than three weeks after I proudly spewed my anti-spring cleaning rant, I just spent the last few days cleaning out every drawer and cabinet, rearranging my pantry, purging all (fine, some) of the things that don’t bring me joy or that have been living hidden in the back of dark closets since my last existential crisis.  And, just for funsies, I painted my kitchen cabinets.  I degreased and cleaned shelves and made all the drawers pretty and organized (yes I know that’s only going to last until tomorrow, if I’m lucky, because we still live here). I cleaned the laundry room, which has been more of a room-sized junk drawer as of late, washed approximately 37 loads of laundry, mowed the lawn, and pulled some weeds. 


But just to put your minds at ease, I did NOT wash my curtains and the rest of the baseboards in our house are still filthy.  So I’m only kind of a hypocrite. Insert all the eye-rolling here. Also, I’m exhausted and my back feels like I’m closer to 83 than 43, if that makes you feel any better. 


My reason (excuse) is that I just lost my job, which sent me into a downward spiral of thoughts ranging from I’m easily replaceable no matter how hard I try, to, we’re going to end up living under a bridge giving my kids yet another thing they’ll have to work out in therapy.  So, given that I have absolutely no control over my life, career or finances at the moment, and also am raising teenagers (which is self-explanatory), I just wanted to take back a little bit of control over something.  Anything.  And I guess cleaning is my version of penance.


Do I feel better? No. Yes. Maybe? Has my husband watched the person he blindly pledged his life to, back when I still appeared somewhat sane, work like a person possessed? Yes.  Even knowing full well he can’t help me (see my prior control thing) or get me to slow down because, as I mentioned, he’s been following my particular brand of crazy for the last 18+ years, and has learned when to push me a little and when to just try to sleep through the worst of the mania, waking up in time to scratch my back, tell me everything looks amazing and then not visibly roll his eyes or give me a deserved “I told you so.” Probably because he doesn’t want the crazy directed at him, which is a fair concern. But also, despite all of it, he loves me.  


I don’t know if I’ve ever told him how much I appreciate that about him.  He’s a brilliant man.  Like, actually brilliant.  He knows when to call me out on my mess, when I just need to yell toward someone, or when it’s time to bring in reinforcements, in the form of besties, sisters and mom, in no particular order.  And he ALWAYS knows when the answer to my problems will likely be found at the bottom of a margarita glass and a mountain of nachos.  I LOVE that about him! 


I guess this is marriage, though. Not the kind we see in movies and books.  But the kind where you learn to love someone, not just at their brightest and shiniest, but even when they are manic cleaning everything in sight while blasting a mix of 90’s rap, Taylor Swift and music made by people who sound like they didn’t get hugged enough as children. It’s loving them when they re-arrange furniture or switch the silverware drawer again, requiring a great deal of patience, given the fact that he is the kind of person who believes everything has a place, and that’s where it goes.  Every time. No matter what and it lives there for the rest of time.


How does someone who always puts their wallet and keys on the shelf where they belong and has an actual up-to-date list of every user name and password for any site he’s been on since dial-up internet, end up falling in love with someone who has found their car keys in the freezer on multiple occasions and uses the Find My iPhone app at least twice a day?   No idea, but I firmly believe that first of all, God has an excellent sense of humor and second, maybe we find a little balance in each other. 


He keeps me grounded and I remind him he can fly.


And regardless of our many, many differences, we still manage to find our way back to us.  To our safe little bubble where the worries of the world and the endless challenges we face fade away.  Where teenage sarcasm, messy lives, and endless demands for attention can’t find us. For a little while, anyway.  It’s the place where we remember that we already have everything we need.  A little sunshine, a lot of laughter, and a love that is not fragile. 


Is it perfect? Nope. Do we know each other’s buttons and still push them?  Yep.  But at the end of every day, I can’t think of a safer place to be than in the arms of someone who loves me, out loud, no matter what. Even through DIY projects gone wrong and missing, well, everything.


So, if you’ll give me a little latitude here, I’m going to do something a little different and finish up by writing a little something directly to the man who still loves me so well. 


Babe, thank you for all the times you’ve bitten your tongue when the words “I told you so” are trying to fight their way out.  Thank you for always checking for creepy crawly things outside when I’m too scared to look.  Thank you for reminding me that I’m enough, even when the rest of the world is trying to convince me otherwise.  And thank you for loving me, through all the crazy, through all the tears, and all the in-betweens. You are the calm in my storms and just in case you need a reminder, if I had to do it all again, I’d still choose you.  Every. Single. Time. For always. 

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