Jun 6, 2013

25 and Counting

My husband and I just celebrated 25 years of marriage. Twenty-five years really isn’t a long time, but if you say it’s your silver anniversary, people assume you are happy and ask for the secret to a good marriage. I personally have three secrets that keep me happy . . . booze, liquor and a boyfriend. Joe’s secret to success is a great wife.

The big 2-5 is a huge deal, people say, so you have to do something really amazing to celebrate – travel somewhere spectacular, do something adventurous, buy something extravagant, etc. Joe and I were quite stressed about doing this right and couldn’t figure out what to do. Some friends suggested we renew our wedding vows. This added more stress – neither of us is ready to make such a huge commitment. Instead, we shelved all the traditional ideas and decided to plan our perfect day. Joe went to a baseball game with friends, while I went to Home Town Buffet for several hours. What a great time we both had! I’ll never forget getting so much food for just $8.99, and Joe will probably always remember whatever it was that he did. We wanted to stretch out the celebration to the perfect week, but Home Town buffet is closed on Sundays. In any case, we wrapped up the festivities with family trip to the car wash and a stop at the Arby’s drive through. What a wild celebration, full of amazing memories.

When you ask people who’ve been married under 10 years what it takes to have a good marriage, they’ll tell you the trick is to never fall asleep angry or that you have to work at it, blah, blah, blah. What they don’t understand is that falling asleep angry and whatnot are routine parts of a strong marriage, especially after menopause hits. And anyone who has been married for 10 years knows that working at marriage is something you should've given up on pretty quickly; it's much like exercising or dieting. I have to say that I’ve never worked on my marriage a day in my life, and I’m certain Joe will attest to that.

So instead of worrying about making your spouse happy, people should relax and understand that marriages automatically become stronger with the natural progression of time and aging. The things that made you bicker when you were younger become moot points as senses degrade. For example, hearing loss is a good friend when you’re tired of hearing your spouse yacking (this is different from a disease called selective hearing, which Joe contracted at the altar as soon as he said, “I do”). Then there’s the deterioration of vision, which makes each partner feel their spouse hasn’t changed a bit. Because of failing eyesight, Joe doesn’t notice that I have been developing whiskers and sporting a mustache as my estrogen levels diminish. He says that I’m as pretty as I was the day we got married. This is also a memory issue, another asset in a healthy marriage. You often forget what you were fighting about, so you eventually give up on being angry. Joe and I have both found that the more the senses dull, the better life appears to be.

One thing that’s different about Joe and I is that we like to spend time together and we tend to be together all the time. This is basically habit, started when we were dating. It feels weird to me when Joe is not around, and he feels the same when I’m gone. The only time I’ve ever seen Joe asks for some space is when he’s out with his girlfriend.

Anyway, none of that matters. What matters is that I’m sincerely glad I married Joe. He has been my best friend since I was 17, and he continues to be all these years later. He is funny, intelligent, multitalented, kind, and the type of person everyone likes to be around. Take all those attributes, multiple them by 20, and you’ve got me! Now you see why this marriage works! Happy 25th anniversary, Joe. I’ve enjoyed every minute!
(Disclaimer: I have not enjoyed every minute.)

~ Jackie