My husband and I celebrated our fifty-nineth anniversary a couple of days ago. Wow, it sounds like a lifetime. Well, it almost is. We met in high school and that was that. Going through old journals and blogs (something I do at the end/beginning of a year) I found this piece I wrote ten years ago. I think it is worth revisiting.
August 2012. Steady Eddie and I recently took in a movie called Hope Springs. At times it was like watching someone suffer with an aching tooth remembering that your toothaches too. Ouch! It was also a reminder of why we are married. Not that there is any good reason as reason goes, just that there are emotional connections and shared memories that cannot be compared or duplicated by any other couple. They make our marriage, ours. They make the humdrum every day and annoying things bearable. They make us laugh together, sigh together, sometimes cry together and smile at each other when no one else can understand. Those private moments and memories are the superglue that holds our ship together in stormy seas.
I don’t think this movie appeals to a wide audience but considering the number of baby boomers, it has a fairly deep pool from which to pull. A good friend of our daughter, Calliope, set her criteria for movie-going to a high standard. “No old people sex”, Lisa once said. At the time she defined “old people sex” as any hanky panky on screen by anyone over 30. This movie would definitely not meet her criteria. Even though overtly it is about the sex follies of the senior set, it is ultimately about the strong link forged through fire and ice by people over years of married life.
So many times – sometimes daily – I get annoyed with Steady Eddie, like a gnat at a picnic that dives at your eyes, ears, and nose. All I want to do is pinch his head off. For instance, when he buys the largest container of mayonnaise at Costco that does not fit in our refrigerator without rearranging ALL the shelves and it is so big we don’t have a spoon or spreader long enough to reach the bottom of the container. Is that not annoying? Especially when he defends his choice and says he’ll do it again if left on his own at Costco. To top it off whenever he goes to the frig to make a sandwich he says, “Where did YOU put the mayonnaise?” and it is the largest thing in the front on the second shelf. He says, “It is below my eye level so I couldn’t see it”. Now how can you NOT want to pinch his head off? Eddie, on the other hand, has no reason to be annoyed with me. Well, maybe I forget to take the safety brake off when I drive his truck. But that is it.
I do admit Eddie has many endearing qualities. For one he cooks eggs benedict for me every Saturday morning. Then there are the times when he brings home flowers just to make me smile, or he touches me gently as we pass in the hall, or remembers an obscure special occasion, or lets me know he is thinking about me when I am most vulnerable, that makes all that other stuff go away. I could make long lists of those good moments, but they wouldn’t mean anything to anyone else but me.
Anyway, most of the time marriage is great and the rest of the time it teaches patience, tolerance, and restraint – all of which are good skills to have so you don’t go to prison for capital murder and leave the children as orphans.
January 2023. More than ten years have passed since I wrote this, and it still holds up. I laugh at the names I assigned people on the premise they can’t sue me if they are not recognized. We’ve shared so many adventures and weathered many more storms in the meantime and our ship is still upright, maybe even stronger as we age together. Thank you, Steady Eddie, you know who you are. I love you.