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从未说出口的婚姻祝酒词

更新时间:2015-8-7 10:50:55 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The Wedding Toast I’ll Never Give
从未说出口的婚姻祝酒词

While away at a conference in Minneapolis, I was awakened at dawn by a call from my husband in our New York apartment. Our 8-year-old son had just roused him with the suspicion that they might not make their 7:30 a.m. flight to join me because it was now 7:40 and they were still at home.

我在明尼阿波利斯开会时,有一天清晨被丈夫从我们在纽约的公寓里打来的电话吵醒。八岁的儿子刚叫醒他,担心他们赶不上7点半来我这里的飞机了,因为当时已经7点40了,可他们还在家里。

The original plan had us all traveling to Minneapolis together. I would attend my conference, my musician husband would do a show at this cool club, and our son would get hotel pool time: a triple win.

最初的计划是我们一起去明尼阿波利斯。我去开会,我的音乐人丈夫到一个很酷的俱乐部表演,儿子在酒店泳池里玩耍:一个三赢的决定。

Then my husband was offered a great gig in New York for the same day we were set to leave, so he called to change his and our son’s tickets. Changing them, he learned, was going to cost more than buying a new pair of one-way tickets out. So he did that instead, planning to use their original return tickets, not realizing that if you don’t use the first leg, they cancel the second. That meant buying new return tickets at a cost somewhere between “Ugh” and “What have you done?”

之后,我丈夫在纽约得到一个很棒的现场演出的机会,时间就在我们计划出发的那天,所以他打电话去改签他和儿子的机票。他得知,改签机票比重新买两张单程机票还贵。所以,他重新买了两张单程机票,计划使用他们原来的回程票。但他没有意识到,如果你不用去程机票的话,他们就会取消返程机票。那意味着,买两张新返程机票的价格会让你产生的反应介于“啊”和“你到底干了些什么?!”之间。

Now, after all that, my family had missed the first leg of the new itinerary. On hold with the airline yet again, my husband was texting me sexy emojis.

现在,经过这一番折腾,我的家人错过了新行程的第一步。在和航空公司再次协商的过程中,丈夫给我发了一些性感的表情符号。

“Focus,” I replied, with an emoji of an airplane.

我回复说“集中注意力”,配了一张飞机的表情符号。

He sent me an emoji of a flan.

他给我发了一张果馅饼的表情符号。

He and I married young for our urban friend group — in our late 20s — and now, in our late 30s, we find ourselves attending the weddings of peers. My husband of 11 years and I sit at these weddings listening to our in-thrall friends describe all the ways in which they will excel at being married.

在我们的城市朋友圈里,我们俩算结婚早的,快30岁时结的婚。如今,我们快40岁了,发现自己经常参加同龄人的婚礼。我和结婚11年的丈夫坐在这些婚礼上,听着兴奋的朋友们承诺自己结婚后会在方方面面做得很好。

“I will always be your best friend,” they say, reading from wrinkled pieces of paper held in shaking hands. “I will never let you down.”

“我将永远是你最好的朋友,”他们颤抖着双手,拿着几张皱巴巴的纸,照着纸上的文字念道,“我永远不会让你失望。”

I clap along with everyone else; I love weddings. Still, there is so much I want to say.

我和其他所有人一样鼓掌。我喜欢婚礼。不过,我有很多话想说。

I want to say that one day you and your husband will fight about missed flights, and you’ll find yourself wistful for the days when you had to pay for only your own mistakes. I want to say that at various points in your marriage, may it last forever, you will look at this person and feel only rage. You will gaze at this man you once adored and think, “It sure would be nice to have this whole place to myself.”

我想说,有一天,你和丈夫会因为没赶上飞机而吵架,你会怀念只用为自己的错误付出代价的日子。我想说,在你们婚姻(希望它能天长地久)的很多个时刻,你会看着对方,心里只有愤怒。你会盯着这个你曾经爱慕的男人心想:“这个地方要是只有我一个人该多好。”

In Zen Buddhism, meditation helps practitioners detach from the cycle of desire and suffering. In my brief stint as a religious studies major, I preferred Pure Land Buddhism, an alternate path to enlightenment for people who (as one professor told us) may find it difficult to abandon worldly pain and passion because those things can also yield such beauty and comfort. He summed it up as: “Life is suffering — and yet.”

禅宗佛教认为,冥思能帮助修行者摆脱欲望和苦难的轮回。在我短暂的研究宗教的时期,我更喜欢净土宗,它提供另一种开悟方法,(一位教授告诉我们)适合那些很难抛弃世俗痛苦和激情的人,因为那些东西也能产生美和安慰。他总结说:“人生即苦难——不过……”

I think about that all the time: “And yet.” Such hedging, to me, is good religion and also the key to a successful marriage. In the course of being together forever, you come across so many “and yets,” only some of them involving domestic air travel.

我经常想起“不过”这个词。在我看来,这样的左右思量就是很好的宗教信仰,也是婚姻成功的关键。在长相厮守的过程中,你会碰到无数次“不过”,只有一部分涉及没赶上国内航班。

I love this person, and yet she’s such a mess. And yet when I’m sick, he’s not very nurturing. And yet we don’t want the same number of children. And yet I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be single again.

我很爱这个人,不过,她过得一团糟。不过,我生病的时候,他不是很会照顾我。不过,我们想要的孩子个数不一样。不过,有时我想知道回到单身状态会是什么样。

The longer you are with someone, the more big and little “and yets” rack up. You love this person. Of course you plan to be with him or her forever. And yet forever can begin to seem like a long time. Breaking up and starting fresh, which everyone around you seems to be doing, can begin to look like a wonderful and altogether logical proposition.

你和某个人在一起的时间越长,会有越多大大小小的“不过”积累起来。你很爱这个人。你当然打算与其长相厮守。不过,有时永远会显得很漫长。分手然后重新开始似乎是个很好、很合理的提议——你周围的人似乎都在这样做。

But “and yet” works the other way, too. Even during the darkest moments of my own marriage, I have had these nagging exceptions. And yet, we still make each other laugh. And yet, he is still my person. And yet, I still love him.

但是,“不过”也能起到相反的作用。甚至在我婚姻最黑暗的时刻,我也曾这样纠结地思考事情的另一面。不过,我们仍能令对方大笑。不过,他仍是我的人。不过,我还爱他。

And so you don’t break up, and you outlast some more of your friends’ marriages.

所以,只要你们不分手,你们的婚姻就会比更多朋友的长久。

“The way to stay married,” my mother says, “is not to get divorced.”

“婚姻长久的秘诀,”我妈妈说,“就是不要离婚。”

“My parents were too poor to get divorced,” a friend told me that very day in Minneapolis as we walked through the book fair. “And so they stayed married and then it seemed too late, and now they’re glad.”

“当时我爸妈太穷了,离不起婚,”在明尼阿波利斯得知丈夫错过飞机那天,一位朋友和我一起走过书展时说,“所以就没离,等能离婚时,好像又太晚了,现在他们过得很愉快。”

Those are the things I think about when yet another person I used to think of as being part of a happily married couple messages a friend of mine on Tinder.

我正在想这些事情时,发现另一个我过去认为婚姻幸福的人在Tinder上给我的一个朋友发了条消息。

Later that morning, while waiting to hear from my husband about the flights, I decided to kill time looking at houses on Trulia’s “Near Me.” When I used to travel alone as a teenager, I would stare at houses wherever I was and imagine what it would be like to live there. Now I still do that, but I can also call up Trulia on my phone and see how much they cost.

那天早上晚些时候,在等丈夫告诉我航班的最新消息时,我决定用Trulia的“附近”功能看看房子,以消磨时间。我十几岁独自旅行时,不管走到哪儿,都喜欢盯着房子看,想象着自己住在里面的情景。现在,我还喜欢这么做,不过我能通过手机上的Trulia查查它们值多少钱。

Comparing houses in Minneapolis, I found I actually preferred the cheaper, more ramshackle, family-friendly ones, like a two-bedroom that had “classic old world charm.” Hardwood floors! A built-in buffet! So much better, really, than the pricier one-bedroom I would live in as a single person on the other side of Powderhorn Park, with its new ceiling fans, three cedar closets and breakfast nook.

在明尼阿波利斯比较房子时,我发现自己实际上更喜欢比较便宜、破旧的适合一家人住的房子,比如一幢具有“经典复古韵味”的两居室房子。实木地板!嵌入式碗柜!比起我要是单身的话会在保德霍恩公园(Powderhorn Park)另一侧购买的更贵的一居室,这个真的要好得多。那个一居室新装了吊扇,有三个杉木衣橱和早餐座。

What would I even do with three cedar closets?

我要那三个衣橱干什么?

Meanwhile, still no word from my husband about the flights.

其间,丈夫仍没发来航班的消息。

One thing I love about marriage (and I love a lot of things about marriage) is that you can have a bad day or even a bad few years, full of doubt and fights and confusion and storming out of the house. But as long as you don’t get divorced, you are no less married than couples who never have a hint of trouble (I am told such people exist).

我喜欢婚姻的一点(我喜欢婚姻的很多方面)是,你可能有一天甚至好几年都过得不开心,充满疑虑、争吵、困惑,甚至摔门而去。但是只要你不离婚,你和那些没有一点矛盾的夫妻(我听说这样的夫妻真的存在)一样,都是处于婚姻状态。

You can be bad at a religion and still be 100 percent that religion. Just because you take the Lord’s name in vain doesn’t make you suddenly a non-Christian. You can be a sinner. In fact, I think it’s good theology that no matter how hard you try, you are sure to be a sinner, just as you are sure to be lousy, at least sometimes, at being married. There is perfection only in death.

你可能没有履行一种宗教的教义,但仍完全是那个宗教的教徒。仅仅因为你妄称上帝之名,并不代表你突然之间不是基督徒了。你可能是罪人。实际上,我认为下面这条真是很好的神论——不管你多努力,你都一定是罪人,就像你一定不擅长婚姻一样(至少在某些时候)。只有死亡是完美的。

It is easy for people who have never tried to do anything as strange and difficult as being married to say marriage doesn’t matter, or to condemn those who fail at it, or to mock those who even try. But there is so much beauty in the trying, and in the failing, and in the trying again. Peter renounced Jesus three times before the cock crowed. And yet, he was the rock upon whom Christ built his church.

对那些从未尝试过婚姻这种奇怪而困难的事情的人来说,他们很容易讲婚姻无所谓,或者指责那些婚姻失败的人,或者嘲笑那些尝试婚姻生活的人。但是在这尝试、失败、再尝试之中有很多美好。鸡鸣之前,彼得三次不认耶稣。但是,彼得是耶稣基督创建教堂的基石。

At weddings, I do not contradict my beaming newlywed friends when they talk about how they will gracefully succeed where nearly everyone in human history has floundered. I only wish I could tell them they will suffer occasionally in this marriage — and not only sitcom-grade squabbles, but possibly even dark-night-of-the-soul despair.

在婚礼上,当喜气洋洋的新婚朋友们谈论自己将会多么优雅地成功经营婚姻(尽管人类历史上几乎所有人都是在婚姻中艰难挣扎)时,我不会反驳他们。我只是希望自己能告诉他们,在婚姻中,他们会偶尔受折磨,不只是情景喜剧级别的小吵小闹,而可能是痛彻心扉的绝望。

That doesn’t mean they are doomed to divorce, just that it’s unlikely they will be each other’s best friend every single minute forever. And that while it’s good to aim high, it’s quite probable they will let each other down many times in ways both petty and profound that in this blissful moment they can’t even fathom.

我的意思不是说他们注定会离婚,只不过他们不可能每一分钟都是对方最好的朋友。虽然把目标定得高点是好事,但他们很可能会让对方或深或浅地失望很多次,这是他们在这充满喜悦的时刻不能理解的。

But I would go on to say (had I not by that point been thrown out of the banquet hall): Epic failure is part of being human, and it’s definitely part of being married. It’s part of what being alive means, occasionally screwing up in expensive ways. And that’s part of what marriage means, sometimes hating this other person but staying together because you promised you would. And then, days or weeks later, waking up and loving him again, loving him still.

但我会接着说(如果我还没被从宴会厅轰出去的话):漫长的失败是做人的一部分,无疑也是婚姻的一部分。它是活着的一部分,偶尔代价惨重。它也是婚姻意义的一部分,有时你恨对方,但你们还会在一起,因为你已做出承诺。几天或几周后,你早上醒来,发现自己又重新爱上他,发现自己依然爱着他。

Finally, nearly two hours after my husband’s original flight left, I texted him to ask if he was still on hold.

在丈夫最初的航班起飞近两个小时后,我发短信问他办好了没有。

“We just got in a cab,” he replied. “Flying Air Wisconsin, baby!”

“我们刚上出租车,”他回复说,“搭乘威斯康星航空公司(Air Wisconsin)的航班,宝贝!”

“Did you have to pay for the tickets again?” I texted.

“你是不是又付了机票钱?”我发短信问。

The phone was silent. In that quiet moment, sitting in my hotel room, I found myself daydreaming about the one-bedroom apartment looking out onto Powderhorn Park. After waking up alone, I would brew some coffee, switch on one of my many ceiling fans, grab a robe from my largest cedar closet and head for my breakfast nook.

他暂时没有回复。在那段时间里,我坐在酒店房间里,幻想着自己住在那个一居室里,眺望保德霍恩公园。早上独自醒来后,我会煮点咖啡,打开其中一个吊扇,从最大的杉木衣橱里拿出一件袍子,走向自己的早餐座。

“Nope,” he wrote back.

“不用,”他回复道。

And suddenly I was back in the bigger place on the cheaper side of the park. My family was coming to join me. And I was glad.

突然之间,我又回到了公园另一侧更便宜的大房子里。我的家人要来和我团聚了。我好高兴。

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