A friend told me recently she'd learned to hula hoop--a pink hula hoop she'd taken to her back porch and practiced until she was able to keep it from clattering to the ground. "What possessed you?" I was thoroughly intrigued. I'd tried to learn years ago, but had given up. She answered, "It's about letting your body lean into the motion of the hoop." "Buy why now?" I asked. "Well," she said, "My life is chaotic. I'm not entirely happy, and there was just something so inviting about that large, bright, pink hoop in the Rite Aid that seemed fun. I bought it on a whim, and now I hula hoop every night."
I liked her spirit. The way of a child. I thought back to my childhood. I rode my purple Schwinn Sting Ray with the banana seat everywhere. I periodically decorated it. I decked out the handle grips with streamers and placed crepe paper in the spokes. The decorations didn't last long, but for a while they looked festive. I wondered if I could apply that same thinking to my marriage relationship. That relationship is chaotic, not always happy. Recently I wrote in my journal: Marriage is confusing to me in some ways. Disappointing. Hard. Not what I expected. Not what he expected. Feeling misunderstood. Being judged unfairly. Judging unfairly. Pride unleashed--both of us. Wonderful, memorable trips. Tender moments--many. Boredom. Good sex. No sex. Lovely food. Beautiful man--loving his hands, his skin, his eyes. Eclectic mix. Love.
I began to think that often marriage is something like decking out your bike--placing a big bouquet of roses on the handle bars--translated hiding a letter in my husband's luggage before a trip, sending him a love text unexpectedly, or telling him a joke at dinner and laughing and laughing and laughing together, his eyes crinkling into green slivers. That's the spirit! I'm standing up on my pedals, sailing down the hill, the crepe paper in the bike spokes whistling. The streamers flapping in the breeze.
Pink hula hoops and bikes festooned with roses make things better--much better.