Is there anything more loaded with expectations than a wedding anniversary? I don’t think so. Marriage is the melding together of hopes, dreams, values, aspirations, traditions and separate years of history forming a new entity. And sometimes the seams are not elastic enough to easily hold this squirming mass in true harmony. This is accentuated when we try to create a day that is a snapshot of marital bliss.
My husband and I married young. Not only were we lacking years, we were lacking experience, wisdom, self-knowledge, and most of all, a real life plan. There was not much “real life” taken into consideration when we said “I do”. (Together and separately we would have yelped in dismay had our children or grandchildren, most of whom are older than we were when we married, taken such a precipitous leap.)
And yet, here we are! Fifty-four years and counting.
We have left most of the throw-away lines behind. We rarely joke about whether we’ll be married next year. Living alone sounds less exciting and more precarious now. And still…
We can acknowledge that our personalities are often at odds. That many times it would be easier to be resistant than to be accommodating when we are each living with a person whose world view is so vastly different that one wonders if we are actually sitting next to each other when we are describing what we see. We can listen and learn and care and commit and still forget what is important to the other. It’s so much easier to give what we ourselves want and say what we would like to hear.
Ah, Marriage! Why must it be marked annually by a day that is bound to bring up every difference that has ever been evident in a union?
Perhaps to teach us humility? Perhaps to prove the enduring quality of true love? Perhaps to give us an opportunity to step outside of ourselves and acknowledge something greater than the sum of our parts?
Or maybe it is just chance to laugh at ourselves and to share the joke with someone who knows us almost as well as we know ourselves. Who is willing to embrace our foibles and still be willing to take us to dinner. Who can sit on the couch and talk about the wonderful things that we share while taking a deep breath and swallowing the irritations that may still rise up unbidden.
Whatever! This amazing day is ours. Together. Forever?
P. S. I love you, dear husband. I am grateful to have you in my life. ♥♥♥ (And does it count that I remembered to buy a card?)