I got married to Mr. Ex nine years ago. And on our first (and only) anniversary, in 2007, my parents gave us a 16×20 print of one of our wedding pictures. It came in a very expensive frame that was, truth be told, worth more than the print itself. I hung it on one of the walls in our house.
The same year, I won tickets to meet JK Rowling in New York City at Carnegie Hall. We made a vacation out of it and stayed in New York for about a week. I bought a lot of souvenirs over that week, one of which was a large print that I got from a street vendor.
The marriage itself was bad. Mr. Ex was abusive, I was unhappy, and probably never should have married the guy to begin with. The reasons why I did make for a very long story and I’m not going to go into that here (that’s a topic for another post). But I bring it up only because when I moved out, I took the wedding print, and its frame, with me. Not because I wanted to keep the print, mind you, but because the frame was worth a lot of money and I figured Mr. Ex would just destroy it. I also took the New York print with me, but kept it in storage since I didn’t know for certain where or how I wanted to hang it.
Since the divorce in 2008, I have changed residences six times. With each move, I have taken that frame (and both the wedding and the New York print) with me in to each home or storage unit I have rented. I didn’t even think to separate the wedding print from the frame until just before my second to last relocation attempt. Mostly because the print and frame stayed well out of sight, but also because I wasn’t sure that I knew how. But, when I was preparing to move from Florida to Kentucky, I finally managed to separate the two so that they could be transported separately. My original thought was to trash the print and keep the frame, but then thought that I might be better off to spray paint the print (so that I didn’t have to look at it) and use it as backing for something new that I’d purchase to put in the old frame.
Now, almost eight years since my divorce, I have moved into a house with someone else. Last night, while Lord Ormsby went to our old apartment and prepared it for turnover to the former landlord, I stayed in the house and continued with the unpacking process. As I was moving things around, I came across that New York print again and had a brainstorm… what if that print would go in the frame? Surely I had tried that before… to no avail… right?
But I couldn’t remember, one way or another. So I decided to try it again.
So, carefully, delicately, I added the print to the frame and secured it. Then I flipped it over. It was like the print was made for the frame… the scheme is nearly perfect. In fact, the frame looks better with this print in there than it ever did with the wedding photo.
When Ormsby came home, I showed it to him and I told him I was either very stupid (for carrying both of those things around for seven years and never realizing that they went together) or brilliant for finally figuring it out. Ormsby compared it, instead, to what happened between us: that after years of not realizing it, we finally got together, and we just… well… work. Somehow that analogy is very appropriate… because he’s right. The pieces were there ten years ago, and then seven years ago (after my divorce) and we didn’t see it…(okay maybe not quite “there” in the same sense of this frame and the print…it’s not like we talked for all of that time, and I certainly didn’t pack him up and move him to six different locations before I finally slept with him). But for whatever it’s worth, we’re here, and together, now… and we work. Just the way they we believe we were supposed to all along.
And in both situations, ultimately, the point of this isn’t whether I was stupid for not seeing it or brilliant for finally thinking of it… the point is that, regardless of how long it took, I eventually did get there.