What Buying A Car Taught Me About Marriage

Wading in Big Shoes: What Buying A Car Taught Me About Marriage
Buying a car is tough. Not as tough as buying a house, but it's enough to keep you up at night.

For the past few weeks, all of Brad's and my spare time has been consumed by the task of finding a new car. Just coming out of a lease deal, unfortunately, I'd forgotten how much of a pain actually buying a vehicle is. Apparently, you can't just walk up to a counter and say, "I'll take that one. Knock off a few thousand dollars and throw in a free sunroof while you're at it." Well, I suppose you can if you're in the position to pick any brand-new car off the lot, but our decision to go the pre-owned (i.e., used) route narrowed down our choices quite a bit.

This past weekend, we (praise the Lord) found a great car that I love and Brad tolerates. I'm relieved to finally have the car-hunting game behind us for a while, but I have to admit--I was surprised to find how much I actually--dare I say it?--enjoyed the overall process. Yes, there was plenty of stress and a few moments when we weren't sure how everything was going to pan out. Somewhere in the midst of it all, however, I realized how incredibly lucky I was to be experiencing this whole crazy thing alongside someone who was in the same exact boat as me--my husband.

We've been married for four years now, but the day Brad and I signed the papers and forked over money for our car also happened to be the anniversary of our tenth year together. As we looked over the car one last time before making our decision, Brad jokingly asked me, "So . . . what's ten years? Silver?" Ten-year anniversaries actually call for tin or aluminum or a TV antenna or something, but the car was silver . . . so I laughed.

This is what being married is.

That phrase is one that's popped into my mind several times over the past few weeks. I first said the words out loud while Brad and I were on our way to a car dealer a couple weeks ago, wondering what on earth we were going to buy. It wasn't a glamorous outing, but looking for a car--that's a real "married" task. Not picnics or roses or vacations or diamonds, just plain-old shopping for something that would inevitably cause a couple of headaches by the end of the day. These "plain-old" activities are what turn into the very best memories.

Years from now, I hope I look back on this time and remember how I learned to better embrace the monotony of "married" tasks. I hope I remember a newfound patience as my husband and I learned more about each other during those countless rides from car dealer to car dealer, weighing our options and budgeting as members of the same team. I hope I remember how cool it was that when I lost my cool, he had my back (and vise-versa). As individuals, we're far from perfect. But together, we just work.

Most importantly, I learned to better appreciate my time with this guy . . . the good, the bad, the mundane, the exciting. Every day is a gift. And every day I get to share with him is one to treasure.