Coming back from the honeymoon can be a very weird thing, especially if you went immediately from your wedding to your honeymoon.  (Some people wait a few months.)  You’ve been on this roller coaster ride called getting ready for the wedding for a few months, a  year or longer.  You experienced increasing excitement/nervousness/wedding high in the weeks leading up to the big day, then in the few days leading up to the big day.  You picked up your dress, paid your final payments, hung out with your ladies, had the oh-God-can-you-believe-we’re-getting-married-in-whatever-amount-of-days-or-hours talk several times with your fiance and family and friends.

Then, it happens.  The wedding is upon you.  You’ve got your rehearsal dinner.  IT has begun.  And not the creepy clown.  Some people do a full-on weekend of celebration.  Your wedding day is full of emotion, full of family and friends – it’s surreal and flies by.  You and your new hubby sweep off to your honeymoon for days or weeks.  You’re in a romantic setting where you place your hands side-by-side to see your wedding rings next to each other, you tell people you just got married so you can hear them congratulate you, you kiss, you share drinks with little umbrellas in them, you consummate your marriage in all kinds of ways.  You swim with the dolphins by day and dance by night.

Then, you come home.  You get picked up at the airport and drive home.  You pull up to that same front door that you’ve pulled up for who knows how long.  You get out and roll your luggage to your front door, looking around and thinking that you’d rather be going back to your hotel room.  The same people you see every day are around.  Nothing has changed around you in the world at home.

You walk in and your place is a little musty from leaving all the windows closed for so long.  It’s dark so you’ve got to turn on the lights.  There’s no food in the fridge, so pizza it is.

And then you see it.  Your dress.  Hanging up.  Or maybe thrown over your bed.  The dress that you said, “I do” in.  And maybe you see your flowers because you decided to hang them upside down before you left.  And they’re all dried out.  They don’t have the life that they did on your wedding day.  A sadness sweeps over you that it’s all over.  That you’ll never wear that dress again.  Or, if you do, never in the same context.  All those months of planning and arranging and talking about what was coming…and now it’s just dried flowers and a white dress.  You want to cry a little.  You’re wondering if it’s wrong to be so sad at this moment.  You certainly don’t want to deal with the question of whether or  not to throw out your flowers.   When you think about hanging up your dress, you don’t think your closet is worthy of it.  Can it really just sit in there next to all your ordinary dresses?  But you don’t just want to leave it where it is.

And then you look at your husband.  And you realize you’re married.  To this guy.  To the man you want to spend the rest of your life with.  And it’s one of the first times you realize that marriage isn’t going to be flowers and pretty white dresses.  Sometimes it’s a musty smell, dead flowers, pizza and American Idol.  Every day can’t be lunch on white sandy beaches.  Sometimes it’s ordinary.  And, in this moment, you see that both can exist and you can still be you.  And you can still be a team.  And you hug your husband.  And he hugs you.  And maybe you cry because you’re sad and happy at the same time.

And you roll your luggage into the bedroom.  As you begin to unpack, he goes to check his email.  And it’s just everyday living.  And then you pull out that bag you had to buy to hold all the other stuff you were buying on your honeymoon.  And you go in and show him how ridiculously ugly it is.  And you two laugh.  And you’ve got your first honeymoon joke, refelction, memory.  You’ve begun creating memories and inside jokes as a married couple.  It’s little, but it’s huge, too.

Once you unpack and he’s done checking his favorite websites, you look at eachother and discover you are…hungry!  It’s been a long day of travel and the end of many days of excitement.  So, you call up to your favorite pizza place, order your favorite topping and settle in to share a relaxing evening before heading back to the daily routine of life.

And your marriage really begins.