November 12th, 2008

Mask

Married Life

Yesterday was my one month anniversary of my marriage to Jared Axelrod. In the month following my marriage, many friends and family have asked me how I've enjoyed married life.

Since Jared and I lived together before marriage, and since we've been eating, sleeping and buying furniture together for about five years now, little has changed in the past month. I've even been wearing the ring since Jared asked me to marry him on my birthday, which was over a year ago, so there's not even been that change now. We got a lot of really nice presents from our friends, so we have a wine rack and an espresso machine now, so that's been nice - but that's just things and not really substantive changes. For changes in our relationship, in the character of how we live, in who I am as a person, I haven't noticed any change.

That is, until about two weeks before Halloween.

See, that's when we went to Joanne Fabrics, which, when I wasn't looking (which was for about 10 years), became a craft supplies mega store. They have just about everything you need in there for your crafty project. Especially if you are making something comfortable, homey, holiday-oriented or adorable. They've got it. While waiting to get fabric cut for a costume project, Jared sent me to find foam (an element from which many of our projects are formed), in the annals of the giant store. As I walked around the store, I found an aisle filled with scented candles.

"Hmm," I said to myself, "scented candles are nice."

It's not that before I was married, I didn't like scented candles. Who doesn't like a nice scented candle? But something was different that day. Instead of simply thinking that they were a nice, I felt thrilled by the idea of burning something waxed, jarred and scented in our house.

I had to smell them all.

Then, after our business was concluded, I asked Jared to smell my favorites.

"Aren't they nice!" I said. meaning not nice but wonderful, fabulous, a perfect investment.

"Sure, he said.

"Smell this one again." I said "Sugar Pears. We should get it."

"Okay."

"It's SOOO good." I said, cradling the candle to my breast.

He smiled at me, with that lovely smile that lights up my head. "It's nice." He said, sympathetically. He could see that I was being moved by some unseen force.

"SO good." I repeated, hoping to make him understand how much better this would make our house, and indeed, our whole way of life.

And though that was the first time, it wasn't the last.

In every store with a scented candle section, I've felt drawn to smell and touch the candles, to sample melon and vanilla and lavender, cinnamon apple. I've wanted to buy so many, but I've forced myself to put them down, back to the shelf. But I want them, I really do.

So ladies, be warned. Marriage will make you love scented candles such like you never have before. Suddenly, the urge to put scented candles in all the rooms of your house will be strong within you. You'll start thinking to yourself that perhaps each room should have a scent, something that corresponds to the room. Something refreshing here, and soothing over there. You'll have to smell a lot of candles, of course, and maybe mix up your own scents? The very thought is both intriguing and appalling.

I found myself trying to justify my obsession - when we have guests, I want the house to smell nice, I think. Except our house doesn't smell bad, with two people and no pets, there's not much too smell bad. There is no fuel for bad smelling. But still, I want the candles. Within a period of a month, I now have favored scents.

Green or Sour apple is good, as is melon and the aforementioned sugar pear. Vanilla can usually be relied upon to be a good, dependable scent. Conversely, anything labeled night breeze or night winds, or some crap like that is going to smell really bad. Cinnamon apple is some kind of crap-shoot - sometimes it's a stinking pile of rotted fruit, and sometimes it's a lovely pie baked in an old fashioned farmhouse. Every time to reach for the jar of cinnamon apple, you're rolling the dice between a pile of grabage and a homecooked pie.

I used to look at candle stores and wonder how they stay in business, selling candles in the information age. Now I know. It's marriage. It makes you want scented candles in every room in your house. I want them in jars, with lids. Fancy jars that fit my decor. I don't even know what I'd call my decor, but I know I want my candles to work with it. Now I understand the candle store, they feed off this desire, they've built their business on it. They know what the modern married woman wants, and it's scented candles.

People tell you a lot is going to change when you get married. So far, I've experienced very little difference between the fun of living in sin and the fun of being married. I'm still in love and living with a wonderful man in a nice house. I have the same job and ambitions. Then the candles thing happened, and I know something is different. I'm a married woman now, and I have candles.