When did hard work become a bad thing, an unromantic idea?
Ben Affleck accepted the Oscar for Best Picture last weekend and thanked his wife. He thanked her for their life and for working with him to keep their marriage together and to raise their children. I’m paraphrasing of course, but that was the gist.
There were several comments that his words were unromantic, or that an acceptance speech was not the time to bring up the challenges of marriage. Some even suggested there were problems in their marriage.
I heard the speech on Oscar night. I cried. Now, I’m a little emotional these days, but I thought it was one of the most genuine and loving speeches I had ever heard. He was flustered and rambling and clearly overwhelmed and grateful for his wife and their life.
It’s easy to say, “you are my universe”, “you complete me”, “without you my whole life would be a steaming pile of crap”. Any guy in a tuxedo can spout that out to an audience and he’s a hero, but Ben goes the “thank you for working” route and his marriage is in trouble or he’s not romantic. Silly and ridiculous.
Marriage is work, hard work. The hard fought battles over real things, the silly bickering over stupid things, the careers, the compromises, the families, the money and time, the things given up reluctantly and willingly. Add to it the people that choose to have children, raise babies to adults, and it’s damn near life threatening if you’re paying attention. So when two people make it, when they get past the sweat and tears to a moment when one can watch the other stand and bask in success, it is nothing short of wonderful. The honesty in his speech should be celebrated.
Work, good work, is so romantic.
People that think marriage is all roses and sweeping gestures minimize the depth of love, the commitment it takes to keep all the balls in the air. If it were easy, everyone would grow old together.
My thoughts from the laundry room. Let’s Go to Bed.