15 years ago today my husband and I were married. I know this because it is in my calendar and a little message pops up on my smart phone screen the week before so I don’t forget. This is necessary because I did forget once. Spectacularly.
One morning my husband, who will be called long-suffering for purposes of this story, brought me my coffee in bed and handed me a little box with a bow on it. “What’s this?” I said as I opened it to find a ruby tennis bracelet and matching earrings. “Oh how lovely!” I said still completely baffled as to why I was receiving a random present. “Happy Anniversary” he said in a voice that defies description.
That was our 5th anniversary and I clearly had no clue, no present and no way of faking my way out of it. In my defense I have a hard time with dates. I am happy my birthday is a mid-decade year so I can quickly calculate how old I am when someone asks. It’s that bad.
I’ve had some gadget helping me remember important dates and events since they were first invented in the 1980’s. They were called Electronic Organizers then and were roughly the size of a kindle, but it remembered for me. From there it was a constant evolution of Palm products and iPhones until I now have a (highly annoying and buggy) cloud system syncing my calendar and contacts on my phone, my iPad, my desktop and my laptop. There is no such thing as too much calendar.
This is, however, not a love letter to my iPhone or simply a reminder to readers that I am highly skilled at tangents, it is a brief reflection on my marriage.
I never thought I would get married because I think it is a permanent decision and how could I ever find someone who, a) I liked enough to consider marrying, b) liked me enough to consider it as well, and, c) would tolerate my zero tolerance policy on divorce and cheating. Well super powers prevailed and the only man I ever referred to as “my boyfriend” became the man I call my husband.
The actual getting married was traumatic because we were trying to be elegant and frugal and inclusive of various family members, and somehow work in something for my Catholic family and something for his Jewish family, and who knows if it all worked or mattered in the end.
I wrote some obnoxious vows about marriage being an institution of women’s oppression and then cried during the whole thing. I cry easily – TV commercials, feel good movies, you name it, I’ll cry at it – so the love and happiness on my soon-to-be-husbands face during the ceremony made me cry. He told me later that I gave him a moment of panic because he thought I had changed my mind. Not a chance.
People talk about the various trials of marriage and relationships, how you grow together or apart, tests of patience and fortitude and so on, but I think it boils down to what Olivia Harrison said when asked how she and George stayed together for 23 years – “Don’t get divorced”.
So Happy Anniversary to the man I won’t divorce. I would do it all again. Sans crying.
Give a listen to my favorite track from the George Harrison album (yes album) that was my present this year.