My husband and I just celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary last week. I thought about waiting to write about this until the big 2-5 next year but if I’ve learned anything, it’s to not put important things off. By next year at this time we could be dead or in prison, for killing each other or attempting to do so. If ever there was a time to write about how blissfully happy we are, it’s now.
When I was little, if I heard that someone was married for going on 25 years, I would think - She: poufy hairdo, big stiff bra, chiffon dress, bifocals, sensible shoes . . . He: slicked back gray hair, paunch, bifocals, firm handshake.
My husband and I are nothing like that couple. For one thing, we both refuse to wear bifocals. I buy and lose reading glasses that I’m theoretically supposed to wear with my contact lenses and he holds papers up to his nose and looks below his glasses to read.
A lot of people we know are divorced, but I’m not judgmental. In fact, the longer I’m married, the more I agree with Therese, a woman I knew from Sparta who said she doubted that the human race was intended to stay attached to the same mate for life. Not that I don’t think long happy marriages are good, but if they’re rare and freakish, it’s probably supposed to be that way.
What are the odds of meeting someone when you’re in your 20s, falling in love with X number of qualities and then 30 or 40 years later, still admiring those same qualities, if the stinker still has them?
Take me and my husband for instance. When I met him I loved about him the following things:
1) He was the last to leave the party.
2) He drank 7&7s, which I thought was very grown-up. Really, drinking a drink that requires a glass and ice cubes. Cool!
3) He had a job where he wore a tie and they were those skinny knit ties. (Again, cool!)
4) He had a car.
5) He would use that car to drive 2½ hours to visit me and bring me stuff when I moved to southern Ohio after our first four dates.
Talk about marriage material! Woohoo!
Honestly, what kind of reasons are those for marrying someone? Never once did we discuss whether we’d have children, how much of our income we’d put into savings, what religion we’d be, or who would get the good pillow.
I can’t help but think it’s just luck that we seemed to work out those important issues and get along enough to not end up dead or in prison by now.
Plus, after 24 years, we’ve woven a complex web where we pretty much have to stay married because we have too much on each other. If we got divorced now, there is way too much baggage that could be lugged into a deposition hearing. I’ve been basically a good wife, but there are a few things from the past (most of them from a single Jimmy Buffet concert at Blossom in 1984) that could rear their ugly heads and could be embarrassing and unaffordable.
Oh, yeah, and we have three kids, too.
Happy anniversary, honey! May our next 24 years together be just as blissful as the last! And get yourself some reading glasses, for god’s sake. (And could you pick me up a pair while you’re at it? I lost mine.)