It is 7:30 in the Hunter house and Lizzy in our music room practicing arias. It was just a second bedroom that I thought should become our den with some animal heads on the wall and maybe a battered leather sitting chair. But then we bought an electric piano and Lizzy started her nightly practice. Now it is a music room. I would say, proportionately speaking, it is more of an opera room than anything else. We should have bought a harpsichord instead of a piano. An 18th century European man with a powdered wig and white stockings would feel very comfortable at our house in the evenings. To be fair though, we do have a few animal mounts in the porch closet and I am allowed to go look at them at my leisure.
On the whole, we have adjusted to married life very well. We've finally entered into a little bit of an established routine, which I think classifies our existence now officially as "married life." For the first several months we were newlyweds and still classified as "one person joined by God and constantly mystified by any objection to the other's previous habits." There were the kinks to be worked out over toilet seats, weekend trips, loud snoring (my soft palette is as unyielding as Neville Chamberlain), coffee strength, and dog rearing. But any good journey has obstacles to overcome. And we are far enough in now that I'm able to see that's where a lot of the fun is. Without learning the compromises of marriage, I might never have invented my toilet seat compromise device, which elevates the seat to exactly 45 degrees at all times.
And now we are enjoying the fruits of a smooth functioning married life. My friends and her friends have now become simply our friends. When I have a bad day at work, she is cheery for me and when she can't master an especially challenging musical piece, I will sing it for her to show her how gifted she is. As I meet the doctors that I will work with in a refractive surgery fellowship, she (thanks to years talking with opera donators) is inevitably well-acquainted with their hobbies of opera, European travel, vineyards, dressage, and monocle wearing. Together we are more than the sum of our parts.
She's done singing now. We're going to watch Jeopardy.