The Labour of Love

I was having a drink with one of my single friends the other day, listening to her complain about the trials and tribulations of online dating: sorting through the lies in the profiles, sending messages to prospective dates, wondering what it means when no one responds. “It’s just so much work,” she sighed.

I have long been the only still-married-never-divorced one in my social circle, and I’ve heard all the horror stories about the online dating experience. But this one made me pause. Dating is so much work?

You know what else is lots of work? Marriage. Marriage is a ton of work. Endless, difficult, unpaid work. It’s an ongoing series of compromises and accommodations that frequently has one or both of us thinking evil thoughts about the other.

But it’s not all bad. He might leave toothpaste in the sink and socks on the floor…but he also leaves me the last piece of bread because he knows I like toast for breakfast. He might keep me awake with his snoring…but he’s the first one up if one of the kids has a problem. He might do a half-assed job of wiping the kitchen table…but he does the dishes every night.

And it works both ways. Who else would put up with my leaving the bedside light on to read into the wee hours? How many other people would tolerate my planning every vacation to focus on the stuff I want to do? Who else would accept my anal-retentive need to control everything?

So this Valentine’s Day, I raise my glass to the love of my life, who makes me madder than anyone, and who is with me for the long haul.

And then we’ll get back to work.