Marriage – I Finally Got it Right! 14


Carole Jean, Ben, Chelsea

Well, okay – not me, but my beautiful daughter, Chelsea, did! I couldn’t be happier. She married a true Prince. He is not only charming, but handsome, capable, loving, tender and tough. He’s got it all. Plus, he loves his mother-in-law! And his dogs. You can tell a lot about a man by the way he treats his dogs.

I recently visited the lovebirds in Spanaway, Washington, just outside of Seattle, where Ben is stationed in the Army. My friends in Costa Rica sent taunting emails about the weather, which was cold, grey, damp, and rainy. I replied cheerfully, “I have my sunshine inside the house!”

We were thrilled to do mundane things like cook dinner together, snuggle up under blankies, watching movies, and sip fine red wine while nibbling designer chocolates. The two princess-doggies, Amber and Coco, wiggled their mostly sleek bodies in between us and all five of us were as happy as bugs in a rug.

Like I said, you can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat their dogs. These two treat them like the family they are. The endless ball throwing, the running around the “loop,” in the neighborhood, and the foot-wiping when coming in from the muddy yard. I saw how they did these things – even when they were exhausted from a grueling day; they did it with love.

I saw them “do” for each other. Oh, not in an insipid way – in a way that showed me true love and caring. They didn’t know I was watching. When one stumbles, the other reaches out and grabs before they hit the ground. They don’t think about it, they just do it. I saw. Oh, and they speak their own language. I heard them say “Sor, pup.”

Huh? What does that mean? Oh, “sorry, honey.” Of course, I knew that. I knew it after Chelsea explained, “Yeah, we shorten words. Sor is short for sorry.” She didn’t have to explain the “pup” part. They call each other “Puppy.” What could be more endearing than a puppy? I’m old fashioned with my, “Darling, Honey, and Dear” terms of endearment. But that’s OK, I’m the mother. And they are my kids!

Here’s the best part: They are not perfect. When the flaws surface, they embrace one another and cajole, nurture or beat it down. Together. And they take turns.

Not one of us earthly creatures is immune. When your partner turns tail and runs, you never really had what you signed up for – you only had it on paper. I know. I just had the paper tiger disintegrate before my very eyes.

Chelsea says she’s lucky. I say she deserves this – she has paid her dues. Ben is blessed as well. I’m just thrilled that they found each other early in life. I think it’s cool that they are the same age. I have dated twenty years younger and twenty years older. It’s better if you are the same age.You grew up with the same reference points.You don’t have to explain who Johnny Carson is, or in their case Jimmy Fallon.

Oh, and there is a plan to make a baby. They already picked out a name – a name for me, that is. G-Ma. I like it. Who knows how that will evolve from the baby’s lips? I know my own mom became “Nonnie” to my kids. I have a friend who became “Tubby” to her grandchildren. She doesn’t seem to mind even though she is NOT tubby! It comes from the lips (and hearts) of her precious ones.

So, Chelsea and Ben – make the baby and I will come!

They are my hope and inspiration. I will not give up on marriage (although most of my friends say I should). I am now searching for lucky seven. I believe in marriage. Again.

After seeing Chelsea and Ben, I know what it’s like to get it right!

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