Married to the Chair for 3 years!

May 08, 2013
Tagged with: Married to the Chair for 3 years!

We just celebrated our 3 year anniversary though if you ask us we would say it feels more like thirty! (and of course we mean that in the most- I’ve loved every minute of what feels like thirty years with you babe –kind of way!) We had no idea what type of adventure we were heading out on back then but, as I sit here reflecting back on the last three years, I have come to realize some humorous and some humbling truths about our life Rainbontogether. For those of you who don’t know, we weren’t one of those couples that dated for years to help add to the thirty year feeling. My husband and I had known each other for a few years prior but started dating and were married within 7 months. Previous to that point in my life I was completely capable of deciding what was for dinner or what I wanted to do at night. Over the past 3 years and 7 months I have become completely incapable of making my own decisions. “What do you want for dinner” or better yet “where do you want to go for dinner” can actually become a heated discussion as to who chose last time and who’s too tired to choose this time etc… etc. When one is lost in the blurred vision of young love one could never imagine “what do you want for dinner” being a question that could turn into a debate. This indecision, however, has rolled into multiple areas of my life. For example, the other night we were out buying me some new running shoes and I simply couldn’t decide which ones to buy. I sat there – with one of each shoe on my feet- looking to my husband for an answer. Who simply stared at me in wonder as to why I would ask a male paraplegic which shoes to buy for a female runner. Needless to say we left the store (an hour later) empty handed. I lived on my own for almost 15 years before I got married – surely during that time I purchased a pair of shoes and decided on dinner all by my big girl self.
The question, “what do you want to do for date night” has led to other eye opening self-realizations. For one, I will forever view movies from the front row, unless it’s a girl’s night out at which point I get giddy if we actually get to climb up a row or two and sit in the middle of the theater, but not on date night. On date night I have to remember to wear my contacts instead of my glasses because from the vantage point of the accessible seats if I wear my glasses I am so close to the screen I actually have to move my head around to see the whole picture through my glasses. Also have you ever noticed how people who use the accessible seats aren’t allowed to have more than one or occasionally two friends? They always put the accessible seats in groupings of two or three which always makes it awkward when we go to the movies with friends. We have to sit in the row divided by 5 feet of empty space or they have to go sit elsewhere in the theater which kind of defeats the purpose of going to the movie with friends.
But I can put up with the front row when I think about all the “PERKS” of being with a chair; for instance- parking. Who knew all the times needing accessible parking would actually come in handy. Exhibit A –Black Friday shopping! This past Black Friday we pulled up to a Wal-Mart in “Country Town” North Carolina, and there were cars parked everywhere… all over the grass and the curbs and we thought for sure we would never find a spot. But as we drove up to the accessible spots, positive we wouldn’t find any available much to our surprise the very first one was open. Another time we were headed to one of those adventure mud races (me to compete and the hubs to be my biggest fan) and as we rolled down our window and asked the parking attendant where the accessible parking was, his face was priceless. We got passed down the line from one parking attendant to the next as they didn’t really know what to do with us. We were supposed to pay $10 to park and then be shuttled by school bus to the race location but of course none of the busses were accessible and so we were led right on up –past the $10 parking spots and hundreds of people waiting in lines to board the buses – to the very front of the race where only ambulances and those who I presumed to be race directors were parked! As we finished the race, caked in mud and as the rain started pouring down, I just smiled as we took the 20 foot “hike” to our vehicle, loaded up, and headed out as the hundreds waited in the pouring rain for their bus ride to their cars.3bon
One humbling realization I have come to over the past 3 years is that apparently I have only become more selfish. You know- gotta look out for Numero UNO! I thought marriage was supposed to make you less selfish but not for this girl. If it is cold or raining I am going to bail on my husband, hands down, every time. It simply takes him too long for my liking to get out of the car. I get out of the car sprint to the back to get his chair out and bring it to him, occasionally waiting to see if he can actually reach it, and then I am off like a sprinter at the sound of a pistol to the nearest shelter or warm location. By the time my husband reaches wherever it is I have run off to, I profusely apologize for leaving him literally “out in the cold” and vow not to do it again. But without fail the rain will again come down and I will be putting my running shoes on once more! My husband on the other hand is the exact opposite. He will sacrifice whatever it takes to make me or my family happy. Like going to 3 different stores to get me the perfect flowers for our anniversary (which means he has to get his chair out, push around the inaccessible garden shop, get back in the car, take his chair apart, and put it back in the car and repeat that 3 times). Or going to get me coffee because he knows it’s my favorite even though it’s virtually impossible for him to push his chair and get the coffee to me without spilling. But probably the best example happened this year on our trip to Disney World. My niece’s favorite person is my hubby, hence, much to her daddy’s dismay, she wanted to ride with no one else on every ride at Disney and my hubby obliged on every ride, even the go carts. What I didn’t think about before hopping on the ride with my older and taller nephew is that my niece might not be able to reach the pedals, but just seconds after the green light flashed, that became very apparent… so for the rest of the half mile or so track my husband spent it bent in half under the hood of the cart pressing the gas with hisdisbon hand for her. When we got off the ride I said I was sorry I didn’t even think about her not being able to reach and he said that’s ok I figured she wouldn’t be able to. Lesson number 400 million in humility when being married to a chair.
Needless to say, it has been a very fun and adventurous 3 years and while I am sure I have 400 million more lessons to learn and a lot more realizations yet to come, I know that God has given me this man as my perfect mate for life and I look forward to the rest of our adventure!

Author: Kelly Bonner

  • Elizabeth Vander Kamp

    Kelly, thank you so much for the educational and entertaining perspective on marriage and the chair!