There is a lot of 'future-talk' these days. He has suggested that if we were to get married, we should live in his condo for a year or so to save up for a house. The idea scares me (not the marriage - but living in his small condo) because my best friend moved into her husband's tiny house in 2002 and they are still there -- now with two children!!
My chief complaint is that there are only two closets... a coat closet and a walk-in closet in the master bedroom (the spare room doesn't even have a closet - it was designed to be an office.) I suggested that if I were to move in, we would have to redesign the closet space to accommodate both of us. So last weekend, he bought an elfa closet system and we installed it together. Amazing! He keeps opening the closet doors and saying, "Wow!"
The redesign required completely emptying his closet - removing the old builder-grade shelves and rods - installing the new system - and then organizing his stuff back in the new closet.
In the process he uncovered something he picked up years ago in Korea when he was sent there for a few months on his first job out of college.
They're called Marriage Ducks. A traditional gift for a Korean couple, each duck represents the bride and groom - and is a symbol of the status of their marriage.
I was touched that he thought to buy the ducks back in his early twenties - clearly expecting marriage at some point in his life - and that now after many years this hopeful souvenir might turn out to be meant for me/us.
Traditional Korean Weddings always include a pair of Korean Wedding Ducks. Ducks mate for life, and are revered by the Korean people as symbols of loyalty and fidelity in a marriage. After the marriage, the Wedding Ducks are placed in the home of the newlyweds. If the ducks are facing each other, nose to nose, then the marriage is happy. If the ducks are facing away from each other, tail to tail, then the couple is fighting. The female duck has blue and red strings tied around her bill as a reminder to keep silent and always support her husband.
He surprised me further by taking them out of their box and setting them on the fireplace mantle, nose to nose, above our hanging Christmas stockings.
The next day I was especially crabby - due to outside forces. With the fuel from all my negative energy I ended up cleaning most of his house. The circumstances that made me angry kept swirling in my head as I thought of all the sassy retorts I could fling at those who irritated me to this state. I evaluated my crabby mood and thought about the ducks - and how it would benefit me to keep my mouth shut rather than spout out all the complaints in my head.
When Mr. Burns returned home, along with all the cleaning I accomplished... he noticed the female duck and the string I had tied around her beak, then burst out laughing.
I don't know if it was the cleaning and burning off my angry jet fuel that improved my mood for the rest of the day - or my acknowledgement of my big fat mouth.
But I think the ducks are a great idea.