As a child, I loved suckers. Whirly Pops, Dum Dums, lollipops, and even the cheap kind you get after a shot at the Doctor’s office . . . all suckers. At least, I thought I loved all suckers.
One day while visiting Grandma’s house, I sprinted in from the other room as fast as my two-year-old legs would allow. A wide look of disgust was smeared across my chubby face. All the attention rested on me as I raised the red Tootsie Pop I had been sucking on high into the air—all right, about two feet into the air.
“Mom! There is POOP in my sucker!”
I soon learned that it was delicious poop, and in fact, not poop at all.
When it comes to marriage, we all find some poop in our suckers: marriage always brings surprises. As a two-year-old without any tootsie-pop experience, I couldn’t have known that the inside of my bright red sucker wasn’t bright red. And as newlyweds (or even not-so-newlyweds), we can’t expect to know our spouses all the way through.
For example…When I looked into Katie’s eyes and said, “I do,” I didn’t have any idea that she wouldn’t want to go running with me on a cold, winter morning. Before we got married, I seemed to think that when you are married you want to do everything together. Not so. Similarly, Katie thought that I would love spending hours with her in stores, trying on clothes, and wearing everything she thought was in style. Little did she know that I wouldn’t be caught dead in manpris.
The point is: Everyone sucks a little bit!
Robert C. Dodds defined marriage well when he said, “The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together.” I’d like to add to his words. “The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together [even when you find a big chunk of poop in your sucker]”. Don’t get me wrong! Marriage is beautiful and wonderful, and sacred, and even magical, but it’s never perfect.
I can vividly remember the first night that we didn’t fall asleep wrapped in each other’s arms like in the movies. But even though it was different from what I had dreamed of my whole life, it was real. And I have realized that I’d much rather fall asleep back-to-back if it means falling asleep next to the woman of my dreams.
I wish I had every answer in the world, especially answers about marriage, but the truth is that I don’t. What I do know is that we can choose to make the best of every situation presented to us. So when you get married and find a tootsie roll center in your sucker, it’s not the end of the world. And hey, you might even end up liking tootsie rolls. I sure do.