lateral moves

I admit to some cynicism over the fact that his wife is, as I expected, younger (33), but I found what he had to say about marrying at an older age enlightening:

I have a wife I love. But unlike people who marry at 22 or even 32, with some part of their adult experience still unformed, I have never thought that Lucy completes me. Or even that I’m happier than before. With no one to do it for me, I had already jury-rigged a life: a career, a circle of friends, a library card that I had every reason to believe would sustain me to the end — and happily so. Marriage at 40 is a lateral move.

I’m reminded of this whenever Lucy and I fight, because our fights are not the fast-moving thunderstorms of youth but the daily drizzle of realizing you did all of this before on your own, from cooking to cleaning to driving cross-country, and never once criticized yourself. You never held up an ostensibly washed dish to yourself and said, “Do you see what I see?” You never asked yourself to roll up the windows, turn down the music, and watch the merging traffic until you sat there, tense in the silent car, thinking, “I knew road trips and you’re no road trip.”