keeping score

I’m a sucker for the Oscars. I like the speeches, especially: all that open appreciation of loved ones.

I watched Sunday night’s telecast through till the very end, so that I could see who won best picture. I haven’t seen Argo, but plan to. I have a soft spot for Ben Affleck. He’s got a manner of talking that is vaguely familiar to me (my husband is from New England?) and his wife, Jennifer Garner, reminds me of my brother’s wife. Silly, I know, but all of this makes me feel like I “know” them, or at least, would enjoy knowing them.

Affleck’s speech, Oscar in hand, was lovely, didn’t you think?

“I want to thank my wife, who I don’t normally associate with Iran, but I want to thank you for working on our marriage for ten Christmases. It’s good, it is work, but it’s the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with.”

The way he spoke to his wife, seeing her reaction: she understood what he was saying, even if it perhaps sounded slightly awkward to the some of the rest of the world.

My blogging friend noted an article on his speech on her facebook page. The article expounds on the work that is marriage, and defends Affleck’s use of the word–not as a “negative” or “too personal” take on marriage but a true, necessary take on marriage.

In a nutshell: marriage is a series of choices, made many times a day, to commit to the concept of “Us.” The effort required to make those daily choices: that’s the work. Those choices add up, so that over time there’s this virtual tally sheet with two columns: “Us” and “Me.” In a marriage, you don’t want “Me” to have the lead. A tie maybe, but never the lead.

Here’s to me always losing by a nose.

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