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Interlube - Honeymoon Plus One

This is like a check-up for us. A chance to poke around the engine, maybe replace the oil, change a seal or two...

Very well then, let's pop the hood.

This is the intro in one of my top guilty pleasures to watch and I find it fitting to use it here to do something similar. A checkup on the relationship, to see where we have been, where we are and where we're heading. Like John and Jane in the film, I too need to ventilate a bit to stay healthy, balanced and motivated in my commitments to her.

The first month in Iraq was really our honeymoon phase. It wasn't without its hiccups and my choice to keep the budget low was perhaps not her favorite idea, but every fault was quickly forgotten in embraces of love and care. After that, throughout Turkey, our respective quirks started to be less charming and more frustrating to the other. For a long while, keeping the suspension was fine by me, but after Mardin, I grew tired of the unpredictability. Her sore back only got worse as time and distance rolled by, to the point where we had to have it straightened out several times. I know that she blamed me and she was right too. Could I have done more for her? Maybe. Probably. Definitely. But I never put her troubles out of my mind and I kept searching for solutions.

I will admit that I sometimes wished she was different, someone that she is not and can never be. I have wished that she had more drive herself, that it wasn't me leading and directing all the time. She doesn't like to make decisions, nor is it natural for her to take control. Whether I want to or not, I am always on top.

But I have to give it to her, she is responsive. While she may not propose solutions, she never complains over mine, no matter what they mean for her. And for all my shortcomings as a partner, I never considered another. In her roughest moments, torn apart, broken, exhausted, my thoughts and emotions were always with her, looking for the best way to get her well.

And I always defended her without hesitation. "She's not right for you", they said. "She is too short". "She is too wide". "She will slow you down". She's cheap". "You deserve better". But even when I knew their opinions to speak truth, so too did my conviction that staying committed is the right thing to do. To continue using lines from my guilty pleasure Hollywood flicks:

We ride together, we die together.

More than two months after we set out, I finally was able to give her what I promised, what she well deserves. Like me, she's function over form - thank God for that - but even so it is definitely a facelift. She carries herself and me with a new pride, her back is straight in every sense. People may say what they want, but a nice rack in the front can really be a wonderful thing to behold, and now she truly shines from all directions. It wasn't cheap, but well worth the investment. The things we do for love...

She is short and she is wide, she's black and she's beautiful, and it is with no little pride that I call her mine.


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