Wednesday, July 27, 2011
The Experienced Couple
I'm going to be attending a wedding soon, between a couple of very good friends (actually, I'll be performing the ceremony *blush* but that's another story). It's naturally gotten me to thinking about my own marriage.
My spouse and I will shortly be celebrating our 26th anniversary. The 25th was supposed to have been a really big celebration and there was even talk of a cruise but, when the time came, we were trying to come up with the mortgage, one child had just started in a new school . . . It goes like that. I'm pretty sure we managed to exchange flowers from Trader Joe's but I can't swear to it. Okay, it was not memorable. But it was okay, you know?
It's another year later and we're still at it.
Once you've passed ten years or so in a relationship, you become something of a public resource. "Wow," people say, eyes widening, "what's your secret?" Now, I typically respond "I married someone with infinite patience". It's flip, I know, but there's a good deal of truth to it as well. I mean, in many cases, that's longer than you have to put up with parents. Only sibling relationships have greater longevity but you no longer have to share a bedroom with them. Yep, infinite patience is a valuable component in any long term relationship. Beyond that, there's not much advice I can give because it's all new to me. Really.
I can tell how we've done things up to this point but as of today, I'm as new to it as the next person. Each day brings new challenges, like making the mortgage, getting the kids into bed, being stranded in a vast forested region of Pennsylvania with a car that has died for the last time. (Incidentally, if you can navigate that one without screaming at each other, dissolving into helpless sobs or vowing to leave everyone right there and walk home, dammit, your prognosis is pretty darn good).
Parents get this a lot, as well. As though having staggered your way through raising a toddler has prepared you in even the slightest way to raise a teen. It just aint so. We've managed. We'll probably manage tomorrow. We'll make an ungodly mess of things and go to bed vowing that tomorrow, we'll manage not to holler at the kids, we'll try to remember to call when we get held up, we'll try, by god, to mow the damn lawn. But on balance, we've done alright. We still love each other even if we're less demonstrative than we once were, we've raised two kids who are awesome and smart and good and who know that Michelle Bachman is a whack job and only slightly less so than the people who think she's presidential material. They'll do alright. They'll probably even do better than us. So that's okay then.
Oh, and those friends who are getting married? Very sound prognosis. Some very deep, mature love going on there. A solid dose of infinite patience, as well. And after all, they have some experience.