Jared Felkins: Marriage, like tattoos, should last for a lifetime

After 13 years, I think I’ve got this marriage thing pretty much figured out.
Oct 25, 2013
Jared Felkins

“Sometimes I bust out and do things so permanent…like tattoos and marriage.”

— Drew Barrymore 

After 13 years, I think I’ve got this marriage thing pretty much figured out. 

Now I know that’s a pretty bold statement, especially coming from the guy in the relationship. I’m not entirely sure what my wife will say about all of this, but I remain confident in my previous statement. 

The parent thing, on the other hand, I might as well be a newborn child. But that’s another column for another day. 

Now, for both my fans who regularly read this column know I have three dads. Beyond that, I have one mom, a half-sister, half brother and kind of an ex-step-mother. In other words, Christmases – if we are fortunate enough to make all the gatherings – resemble more of a strange orphanage reunion than family get-togethers. 

But, dadgumit, we’re all family, and I love all of them. 

That brings me to my immediate family. Years ago – even before I entered into the vows of holy matrimony – I made a promise to my future bride and myself that divorce wasn’t an option. It was only strengthened when I became a parent. 

Now that doesn’t lessen the amount of love for my crazy family situation where my parents, all four of them, are concerned. My heart is full. In fact it overflows. 

I guess it just boils down to the old adage about those not learning from history are destined to repeat it? Maybe so. 

Whatever the reason, I am totally and completely dedicated to my marriage to my wonderful Mary, though I don’t always show it. 

Take for example this week when the school called me in the middle of a staff meeting to say my son wasn’t picked up from tutoring. I immediately called my wife, but her cellphone went straight to voice mail. 

Concerned, I ran out the door, headed to the school and then to the house to make sure everyone was OK. When I arrived at the school, I found my wife had already picked up our son. My concern quickly turned to anger. 

I burst through the door to find the family safe and sound, but my blood pressure was far from it. Turns out Mary came home from work with a migraine, laid down, overslept and rushed to the school to get our son, beating me there by mere minutes. Oh and her cellphone died somewhere along the way. 

I’ll admit I was a little rough on her. 

That is, until the next morning when I overslept on the very day our 5 year old had kindergarten awards day at her school across town at 8 a.m. I awoke at 7:40. 

Mary had to leave work, come home, grab the girls and rush off to school. She just made it in time. 

My responsibility then turned to our son to drop him off at his school late and then rush to the girls’ school. Luckily, I also made it just in time to see the awards presentation, introducing myself as “Mud” to some friends of ours when I arrived. 

My only response to my wife, “Well I guess everyone makes mistakes.” I just got that look. You know the one, guys. 

In any case, if we can live through moments like those and still manage to laugh at ourselves at the end of the day, well I call that a strong marriage. And I’m ready to prove it. 

The other day, I was thumbing through Facebook and uncovered a unique event that brings together tattoos and the fight against cancer, though I think the organizers should maybe rethink the name. 

Inked 4 Cancer [Awareness] will be Nov. 23 at Bright Ideas Tattoo and Piercing on Sparta Pike in Lebanon. For $25, the tattoo artists will ink a cancer awareness ribbon of your choice, and the proceeds go to benefit families of cancer patients and the American Cancer Society. 

Cool, huh? 

So I’m now committed to go get my second tattoo, and likely my third. Oh, and we’re not going to talk about the first one. That was a mistake made by a 17 year old a long time ago. 

You see, my wedding band has since gotten too big. It keeps slipping off my finger, and I’m afraid I’m going to lose it. Besides, it’s kind of bothersome at times. 

So as my third tattoo, I plan to see if the folks at Bright Ideas can draw me up a more permanent wedding band. After all, I said I was committed. 

I hope everyone can make it out Nov. 23 for the Inked 4 Cancer [Awareness] event. It’s just a really neat way to give a little, but mostly receive a mark for life. 

Come to think of it, that also pretty much describes my marriage. I said I had figured it out; I didn’t say I was good at it. 

Jared Felkins is The Democrat’s director of content. Email him at jfelkins@lebanondemocrat.com or follow him on Twitter @paperboyfelkins. 

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