The Larry and I celebrated our anniversary Monday. Our 40th! "Lawd have mercy", as they used to say. Here is a snippet of our story.
We met in a math class. There were only two girls and a lot of boys so the odds were in my favor! I thought he was “cute” and “my type” the first time I saw him. A year later he proposed and we started planning a December wedding.
It would be right around Christmas with lots of candles, very pretty and joyful like the holidays. Soon the dresses were ordered and on their way. I chose beautiful hot pink dresses trimmed in white Malibu fur, like snow! Do not laugh. It was very unique! Think Rockettes. The fur trim went around the scooped neckline and around the cuff of the long sleeves. And, oh yeah, each girl carried a white Malibu fur muff instead of flowers. I was into fur back then.
Now here’s what happened. We decided to move the wedding up to October 19! I mean we just could not wait any longer and, well, that’s what you did back in the day. I mean, you might come preeeeeeettyyyyyy close to doin’ the deed in all its glory but you tried your hardest to “wait”. At least that is what we did in the deep South. “That’s all I’m gonna say about that”, as Forrest Gump said.
Another 2 months was interminable and things were just getting too crazy around Christmas with travel plans and Santa all at once. So we changed the date. On a nice fall day in October when everyone and everything is bathed in warm oranges and reds and yellows like the leaves, my girls came walking up the aisle in their hot pink and warm snow white fur muffs. I hope they weren’t sweating. And then I came along in my long sleeve, high neck, million little buttons Victorian gown. We showed no skin. Nada.
In the last 40 years we could have written many books about our relationship. Most everyone says in their Blogger profiles that they have the most wonderful husband or wife in the world, that they are deliriously happy, and all’s right with the world and I wonder how true that is or if it is just a big wish. I mean everybody I know, EVERYBODY, has a story....
We have learned a lot over these years. We have had some deliriously great, wonderful, happy, sexy, fun, growing, spiritual, adventurous times. And we have had some less than that. A few times we almost threw in the towel. I’m glad we didn’t. Here is just some of what I have learned during my marriage.
1. I have changed dramatically. He has changed dramatically. Mostly for the better.
2. He is my rock, master of his trade. He's been "steady Freddie" so I could flit around doing everything and anything. I’ve often thought of “steady” as boring and I’m sure he has often thought of flitting as, well, flitting. I am Jack of all trades, master of none.
3. He can do any household chore, except cooking, often better than I can but he is not going to put the toilet seat down. You pick your battles.
4. We usually do life very beautifully together when it is just the two of us. It is more challenging when the rest of the world enters.
5. We are not afraid to fight. My parents never fought or even argued so this was something I had to learn. I don't recommend it but it's usually been a stepping stone to something better for us. We may go to bed mad, but we will never let a fight go “untalked about”. I think this is the strength of our relationship.
6. My favorite food is spaghetti. He will not eat pasta.
7. For years we were tennis partners but neither of us plays now. His favorite pastime is golf. I think golf is boring.
8. He likes to get to the bottom line. I like to tell the whole story with all the details. However, if it’s technical, like about the computer or how the TV works, he wants to tell the whole story with all the incomprehendable details, and I want to get to the bottom line, quickly!
9. He can tell when I’ve had too much caffeine. I can tell when he’s had too much wine.
10. He loves to shop, really shop. I don’t.
11. I love church. He’s not as thrilled when it's organized. But we both know God.
12. He likes to rent movies. I like to go to the theater.
13. He likes action movies, blood and guts, action, and sci fi movies with creatures and aliens. I like movies that actually have people in them who are not killing each other. We both like suspense thrillers.
14. We travel exceptionally well together.
15. We adore our sons. And we admire them.
16. We are both space people, we don’t have to be together every minute.
17. We are both very independent.
18. We respect each other...most of the time.
I didn’t say we love each other. I felt like that goes without saying. We do. No matter what. Even if we're mad enough to spit! Our emotional bank account with each other is so high, we are both pre-forgiven for whatever stupid things we do. I think the most important item on that list is #5. If we have “an issue” we will wait awhile, then sit down and have a big talk, a come to Jesus if you will, until we reach an understanding. We may not agree but usually when we dissect things with a clear head and get to the core, we do agree. We will not let anything go under the rug and stay there. I wish we had included our children in those processes but we weren't that wise.
So here’s to a marriage we call successful with its ups and downs, failures and successes. May we have many more good times together.
(This is reprinted from the original 6 years ago.)