The NYTimes piece by Alain de Botton, "Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person," has been circulating, and with my anniversary coming up -- I got married to David Scott when I was just 23 years old – I’ve had to ask who broke Alain de Botton so hard. (Gotta be some folks out there personally squirming.) Maybe it's the fact that de Botton chose the plural we -- the "we are all doomed" we -- that just felt so overbearing, but I'd like to say that we're not all doomed to disappoint each other. What's amazed me in these decades of my marriage to Scottie-boy is that I've had the privilege to know this other human being deeply and he astonishes me -- his depth of love, his tirelessness, what he says, how he says it, his humanity, his worldview, his connectivity with the people around him, his humility. He hasn’t shut down. He’s become more expansive, more loving, more interesting and complex and thoughtful. He's kind and sturdy; he'll lift you up. Not just me. I mean you -- family, friend, stranger going through a hard time. You.
Is he also a jackass? Yes. Am I also a jackass? Absolutely. (And I’m also a dipshit, as those who know me well can testify.)
But my point is this: the WORLD disappoints me. Life sometimes terrifies me. But, my God, going through it with this man -- this hilarious and tender-hearted and rock-solid human being -- it's more than I ever expected.
We've been sad together, mourned and tended and laughed and shouted and hooted and fallen on our knees in thanks. I fell in love with him before we had our four kids, but I love him even more fiercely because of the kind of father he is. He’s also my creative and business partner so we work together, long hours, which are made easier because we work for each other.
I’m the one to turn out the light late at night. And I usually look over at Dave, and, when he’s sound asleep, he still looks exactly the 25 year old guy I fell in love with. But I'm so glad he's no longer that guy because the opposite of de Botton's piece is just as true. Sometimes we marry the right person and they become righter and righter and righter over time.
Take heart, de Botton. Take heart.