Flutter and Mystery

Marriage Day

Marriage Day (Photo credit: Fikra)

Krya Sedgwick, actor and wife of fellow actor Kevin Bacon, mentioned in a recent interview that she still gets the romantic butterfly effect when she sees her husband.

“When he walks into a room…my heart gets a little fluttery and I think, ‘Oh! He’s so cute. He’s so hot.’ “

Married now for 23 years, her revelation that her husband still does it for her and that,

“He’s still a mystery to me,”

because she learns new things about him even after so much time together actually made the news outside of the ladies magazine circles.

With marriage and monogamy in the “not cool” or “so grandma retro” menu columns these days, it’s not hard to see why Sedgwick’s enduring fascination with her husband astounds the public as much as the discovery of a long-lost pre-historic fish off the coast of New Zealand. It’s a Ripley’s Believe or Not item in a culture where the majority of adults define themselves as single and those who do couple default to common co-habitation with the occasional side order of child or two. Marriage is viewed as archaic, useless and the death knell of sexual/romantic love.

Which makes one wonder why gay people clamor to marry, doesn’t it?

Except I don’t wonder.  Marriage comes with all sorts of nifty legal attachments which protect couples in case of emergency and it bestows a sort of maturity and realism that many adults today prefer to pretend isn’t necessary because it interferes with the American notion of freedom to pursue our largely solo happiness and stay eternally youthful – if only in our own minds.

But that’s a topic for another day. Today’s topic is flutter and mystery.

While I am not at all surprised by people who are surprised to find that sex settles into the comfortably known after the honeymoon period of a relationship logically and predictable moves on to the build stage, I am not at all sure what is meant when some talk about cooling passions or loss of romance. I suppose that some people don’t understand that love has stages and that “wooing” is a different phase than “falling in love” and then “love” itself. It’s not as if we are well-schooled in relationship. In fact, beyond the plumbing aspects (if that), young people must most often rely on their parents (iffy), peers (iffier still) and the media (downright disastrous) for their relationship education.

So while the legion stares in wonder at the Sedgewick-Bacons, I just nod sagely. I get this.

Even after five years – which is still pretty young even if you morph by the dog year standard – I find my husband a near endless source of fascination. How could I not? He is me and yet not me at all. Just when I think I know everything, it turns out I knew nothing at all really.

Rob fascinates me. Our relationship still tickles and amazes me. Our life, though perhaps on the surface routine enough, is like a present within a gift within yet another festooned party box.

I feel flutter. I am drawn to the enduring mystery that is like a game of Clue that changes, and yet doesn’t, with every dice roll.

What I don’t understand is how so many people don’t understand.

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3 responses to “Flutter and Mystery

  1. Although I don’t think that I can express myself near as eloquently…..thank you!! I understand! 26 1/2 years for a first marriage ended too soon, and now 3 weeks into a brand new marriage (although we’ve been together 5 years)………the level of respect, commitment, and just plain love is a wonderful thing……..I never understand those that say they don’t want this type of relationship……..

  2. While my marriage does not yet have the stamp of 20-years plus, we are most definitely past the romantic-falling-in-love stage. We have seen each other through stomach flu several times. We have been through a rough pregnancy, rougher still inlaws and outlaws, blended seven kids into one family and had our share of disagreements about parenting them. We have seen each other at our best, and at our worst.

    Yet I, like you, am still intrigued by this man I sleep next to each night. Yesterday evening he confided to me that he has set off a corner of his work cubicle to begin sketching again. I had no idea he even liked to draw. I recently started going through a very frightening and possibly fatal health scare, and I think we have both surprised each other with our reactions to it. I have taken to staying up until all hours, which perplexed and even angered him until I explained in tears that I am afraid to go to sleep, afraid I will never wake up. He responded to it by deciding we should have another child, a response I am utterly baffled by and still trying to comprehend. So even though he knows I love supersweet tea and prefer my cheeseburgers with mayo, and I know exactly which of his coworkers he does and does not enjoy working with, we are still mysteries to each other in a way that I find intriguing and fascinating.

    Flutters? You bet. When he walks in at the end of the day, my first thought is always still a quote from one of my favorite love films: “you’re so cool.”. I don’t expect that reaction to be fading anytime soon. I choose to remain intrigued by him, and vice versa. I enjoy our level of comfort with one another, without taking for granted that there are no grand new landscapes in this man’s mind for me to explore.

    People seem to be shocked when certain Hollywood marriages fall apart, based on the amount of time they have spent together or the amount of publicity focused on their love story. I confess I found it difficult to be shocked when Jesse James happily betrayed Sandra Bullock, or Ashton realized that women his own age were a bit less high maintenance than the youth-obsessed, neurotic older woman he had married. It is not that hard to predict. You watch their body language, their expressions when they see each other, the level of respect that they show even when their SO is on the other side of the planet shooting a film. You see how much of their “romance” is on display for the world to revel in, versus how much is kept private and respected by each side of the couple. Headlines can proclaim the imminent downfall of Brangelina till their ink runs out …what I still see is a couple who cannot take their eyes or hands off each other.

    I guess I was blessed to be raised in a home where my parents truly did have unconditional love and commitment, so I recognized the potential for it in DH when I saw it. Does that mean we are guaranteed to make it? No …but it cuts the odds considerably in our favor.

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