wedded wednesday: on baggage.

{We need to get talking about what marriage really looks like. In that spirit, we chat about it here once a week, on Wedded Wednesdays.}

 wedded wednesdays image 2

I forked over my boarding pass and got a bizarre look in exchange.

“That,” the gate agent said as he looked at my baggage, “needs to be checked.”

He lowered his gaze from my eyes to my suitcase, and then back up to me.

“Oh, it’s just a carryon,” I smiled. “It will fit.”

overhead bin

In my defense, it was technically a carryon. At least, that’s what the tag said when we bought it from Target a few years ago.

As I was packing the night before – and, let’s not kid ourselves, the morning of — I filled the luggage to the brim, then unzipped that handy little expanding panel and added a few more things. Still a carryon.

Space for tennis shoes? Barely. Space for client files? Not really, but I was sure going to make it work.

And then a journal, and a book and then another book and just one more skirt . . . but, still a carryon, I repeated in my head.

So back to my little encounter as I boarded.

“Not going to fit,” the gate agent repeated. He handed me one of those shame-on-you white tickets. Unmistakably all-caps CHECKED LUGGAGE.

Indignant, I wheeled the baggage down to the plane. I’m not a woman easily deterred. But nope, it probably wouldn’t fit. Maybe I was coming to terms with it. Oh well. Worth a try, I guess.

One final, last ditch effort: No space left in the overhead bins, is there? I asked the flight attendants. I was told I’d have to check this.

And there he was: my United Airlines knight in shining armor.

“There’s still plenty of space,” said my flight attendant knight in shining armor. “Give it a try.”

Only minutes later, I was in my seat with my luggage tucked away above me.

So it goes with marriage. Every one of us brings quite the overstuffed set of baggage with us.

In it we’ve packed . . .

. . our past mistakes, the times we’ve been hurt, the scars from being stabbed and stepped on.

. . our misconceptions, expectations, ideas, in tact and shattered.

. . memories of those we’ve loved before, if we have, and those we’ve known before, if we have.

. . our shields, our defenses, our walls of straw and wood and brick.

. . our vulnerabilities, our secrets, our fears, our shadows.

In marriage, no one has packed the perfect carryon. We all carry a little too much on. No matter your history, your background, your life before that relationship . . . we all have baggage.

In a strong marriage, each acknowledges the carryons. Each mourns the scars that made the baggage so full, but understands the role the scars plays in the present and the future.

Even the hardiest of people may never feel quite ready to deal with all that’s inside those carryons. Not every issue is going to get resolved before rings are traded or long, long after rings have been weathered and worn.

Marriage is seeing the carryon, smiling anyway, and saying yes.

Yes, there’s still plenty of space in the overhead bins. It’s love both in spite of and because of it all.

(Photo credit)

4 thoughts on “wedded wednesday: on baggage.

  1. “…understands the role the scars plays in the present and the future.” This is so true. I have to remind myself of this a lot when I think about past luggage and carry on’s my husband and I may have. Good post!

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