Friday, January 8, 2010

My New Year's Resolution

Over the holidays, I read the novel Olive Kitteridge, which I think has changed my life. I know it's early days to be saying that, but it really feels that way. I feel like Scrooge after Marley's ghost leaves. I've been visited by the Ghost of Old Lady Regret and it has made me a better wife. That's what the story is about. Olive is a moody, difficult, sometimes bitchy woman. She has a sweet, long suffering husband husband named Henry, and she doesn't appreciate him. And in the end, after all they go through, she regrets the fact that she didn't appreciate him. The last page of the novel left me with tears running down my face. I took it to Rock, intending to read it to him (that's what we do, even though we read wildly different books), explained the basic set up that he needed to know to understand what I was going to read, read the first two sentences and then dissolved into tears so hard that I couldn't continue. I just handed him the book and said, "Here, just read the last page." He read it, then looked at me, and said, "And what does that mean to you?" And I flung myself into his arms, sobbing, and said, "Appreciate my good husband now." And since then, I've turned over a bit of a new leaf. I'm working to be more considerate of Rock and the children. I can be a bit of a spoiled princess. I was an only child. And my parents are completely inconsiderate. My mother because there's something wrong with her. My father because he's allowed to be. First by his parents, then by society. It's time to break the cycle and do something different. In the last few weeks, Rock and I have gotten closer. As I've been nicer and more considerate, so has he. It's true, you reap what you sow. The other day, something was said about bras (I don't really remember how that came up in conversation), and I was lamenting the fact that I only have one really comfortable bra. He told me to go buy another one just like it and I complained that I had been looking for one, but was having trouble finding it because I wanted a particular style and there weren't many available. I didn't really expect him to have much interest, but I told him that I was looking for a racerback style and then pulled up my shirt to show him. "Oh! You want a Y harness instead of an H harness!" he said. And I stopped and laughed, and said, "yeah. I do." See, he was a paratrooper. And parachute rigs come in Y harnesses and H harnesses, so he actually understood exactly what I meant about bra straps. Where bra straps meet parachute rigs, that's where my marriage lives. And where I want it to stay. That's my New Year's resolution.

16 comments:

Tess said...

I really, really like this post. What a great resolution.

Pickles and Dimes said...

I agree with Tess. I loved this post and I love this resolution. (And I loved the discussion about Y straps!)

Alice said...

this is a wonderful post. and i agree, a wonderful resolution!! makes me want to read this book..!

Shelly Overlook said...

I want to read the book too!

Janssen said...

You've convinced me! I'll read this book!

Jess said...

Not to make it all about me, but I read this book and I didn't have this reaction at all, and now you've convinced me that I've become complacent about my marriage. Oh, dear. Except really I know I'm not. But I think it's great that this book reminded you of this. So important for many of us.

Shelly said...

Tess - thanks!

Shelly said...

Shauna - Thank you! I think that's the funniest thing about my marriage - the similarities we find between military things and girlie things.

Shelly said...

Alice - Thank you! And I think you would really love the book.

Shelly said...

Shelly - I can't recommend the book enough!

Shelly said...

Janssen - Awesome! I think you'll really like it.

Shelly said...

Jess, darlin, you can't compare yourself to me at all. Rock and I have been together for 11 years now. You and Torsten are just starting out. When Rock and I had been together for just a couple of years, this book would not have affected me this way AT ALL. But it spoke to the situation I am in right now, because it starts off when Olive and Henry have been married for a long time and have a teenage child, which is not too far in my future for me to relate to. I found this book so easy to relate to because I could project myself onto the main character, even though she's older than I am, and WAY bitchier. I could still see myself in her.

Malnurtured Snay said...

I think I gave that book to my aunt for Christmas.

Kate said...

I love it when books touch a part of my insides.

Shelly said...

Mal - Ooh, how did she like it?

Shelly said...

Kate - Hey and welcome! Yes, that is my favorite part of reading - learning something about myself or my world.