Sunday, September 11, 2011

Temple trip

We all got dressed up to go to the temple from Then and Now 13. I waited a long time again for my wife to get ready, but I played with my son while she was busy because he was in a good mood this time. Then we walked on out to the bus stop with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, and waited another thirty or so minutes for it to arrive, but this time, I played with my son some more.

The bus ride to the subway stop was very nice, but I started to get a little nostalgic as I looked out the window towards the city I used to tour back in my unmarried days. I noticed a couple of familiar buildings and mountains that I used to go to, and even parks and rivers that I never went to opened up little memories of my unmarried life locked away in the back of my mind. At the station, we got off the bus, went to the bathroom, then headed on down to the platform where the subway was headed out.

And then, it happened.

I don't know why it affected me this time, and not the last time my family and I went to the temple, but it did. As the subway car rolled up to take everyone to the next stop, the familiar mechanical whine of its brakes sounded off of the walls and echoed around in every direction. I had ridden the cars so many times before I got married that I knew the sound by heart. I was suddenly struck by a blast of nostalgia and regret for the life I had given up, stronger than I had ever felt before.

Right after, we all boarded the car, and again, another familiar sound filled the air: it was the sound of the engine powering up, and the wind outside rushing through the tunnel and past the car. I was hit by another wave of nostalgia and regret, but this time, everything went dark. I didn't see my wife, son, mother-in-law, sister-in-law or anybody else on the train; there were only the images of long buried memories from my unmarried time that passed before my mind's eye:

I remembered a peaceful ride on a bus heading slowly home at night, crossing over a bridge over darkened waters after a long day of fun travel.

I remembered a fair that was held outside of the main bus/train/subway station.

I remembered going shopping at the supermarket for the first time.

I remembered heading to the "foreigner section" of the main city with my wife (then girlfriend), and taking a very long and peaceful walk down a wide road together, and I was carrying refried beans we had just bought to cook burritos.

Dozens of old images, senses and feelings from before I got married passed by quickly, enough to make several more Then and Now posts. And then, the sound passed, and I was back on the car again. In all honesty, a very small part of me wanted to cry right there, but it only took a second to stuff that part of me deep into my stomach and lock it away. My "man" face never flinched.

The day passed quickly. We went to the temple and looked around a bit, left my sister-in-law there so she could meet someone, then headed back to the station to go home. My wife picked two fights with her mom on the way home, and they both went exactly like this:

Mother-in-law: *Annoying comment*
Wife: *RAGE!*
Mother-in-law: *RAGE!*
Wife: *RAGE!*
Mother-in-law: *RAGE!*
Wife: *Silence*
Mother-in-law: *Silence*
Wife: *Silence*
Mother-in-law: *Normal voice talking*
Wife: *Quiet reciprocation*

On the bus ride home, I did some math, and found that if my wife and I stop at one kid (and she really seems like she wants to), then I only have to live another month before I'm 20% of the way done with this marriage. Otherwise, I'm only 16% of the way done. Not exactly encouraging, but it was something to think about.

And finally, we were home.

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