Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Twenty years ago, I made a choice. I said two little words after a series of questions that changed everything that I knew precisely one day prior. I said, "I do," and that was that.

Everyone assumes that having children is the choice, but for me, it wasn't. When we found out we were pregnant, having the Girls wasn't the choice. It was the getting married part that was. Because let's be honest . . . you don't have to be married to have children. But back to the story.

We didn't do things in the prescribed order, but it didn't really make a difference to us. For a while, it was the "family scandal" at reunions and other people's weddings. Now? So far down the scandal meter that you would be hard pressed to figure out why it even was one. I'm pretty sure that a significant portion of people at the wedding wouldn't have given us five years, and truly, who could blame them? Certainly not me. If I attended a wedding for two 21-year-olds with two infants today, I might be one of those people betting against the happy couple.

We still hold hands after 20+ years

But I would be wrong . . . 100% wrong. So, after 20 years, what have I learned.
  1. A marriage is what you make of it. Invest very little? Get very little. Invest a whole lot of time, a whole lot of love . . . you get it back.
  2. Learn to love the same kind of movies. Before, I could count the number of comic book/action flicks I loved on one hand. Now? Bring it. (I draw the line to sight-gag movies . . . no Airplane for me)
  3. Laundry will be an issue. I like the towels folded one way; Dave likes the t-shirts folded another way. Fine . . . fold the towels my way, and I'll fold the t-shirts yours. Just don't expect me to keep my underwear folded. Not going to happen
  4. A king-size bed is totally unnecessary. You can sleep for 20 years in a full-size bed and not kill each other. Just saying
  5. If something bugs you, no one - including the person you pledged to love and honor - can read your mind. Spit it out and be done with it
  6. Giving hints about birthday and Christmas presents is totally acceptable. Reread that last bit about #5
  7. Fighting? Not.worth.the.effort . . . ever. Disagreements in 20 years: plenty. Fights: one. (Turns out we were both right . . . see? Not worth the fucking effort)
  8. When your kids leave for college, be prepared for a long and bumpy road. Ours lasted about a year. It wasn't particularly painful, but it was just different. Kind of like dating a person when you know all of their dirty little secrets (and how they like their t-shirts folded)
So, 20 years ago, we had a lovely wedding and reception, filled with our family and friends. We went back to my mom and dad's house, we opened up our presents, and I nursed the Girls. Then Dave and I piled into our Honda Civic hatchback and headed to beautiful Indianapolis. It was all we could afford given that one month later the Girls would be on Medicaid, and we would all be receiving food stamps. But today . . . today we wake up in that same full-size beds in a house devoid of children and head off to a sunnier destination. Call it a second honeymoon or anniversary trip or just a plain old vacation. I'll call it four nights on a beach with a book and the sweetest, funniest, best man that I know: my husband.

I love you, Dave!


*Seems I took a July break instead of an August one. A grad class that isn't want it was billed as plus writing an on-line course for seventh graders with little to no guidance will do that to you. Be back on August 8.

1 comment:

  1. I love your list. Married for 15 and every one of those things is true. Happy Anniversary. :)