My sixteenth wedding anniversary is tomorrow. Some people get the perfect wedding and the lousy marriage. Me, I got it the other way around. And oh how lucky I’ve been ever since!
I never doubted I would marry my husband. Some people have love at first sight. I had love at first date. By the end of the evening, after the three hour conversation while the pizza slice sat on table getting cold, I knew this was the person I needed to spend the rest of my life with.
Five years later the wedding was the sort of disaster you see on bad sitcoms. We planned to get married at city hall and then have a big party later in the year. My husband decided he couldn’t get married without his family. I realized I wanted my grandmother there because at ninety-three I wasn’t sure she’d still be around later.
What was supposed to be three people became twenty-three people. Most of them weren’t happy about our last minute plans. After the ceremony my new husband asked my new sister in law to welcome me into the family. She took five steps towards me, made a nasty face and turned her back. My grandmother kept asking what happened to that nice Jewish man I used to date and when the groom was going to convert. Our, “wedding photographer,” was a friend at the time who took pictures that are mostly blurry.
Today I write this and I think about the man I promised the rest of my life to one hot summer afternoon so many years ago. There are a few strands of gray at his temples and a few lines around the vivid blue eyes he gave to my daughter. I have a few gray hairs myself that I plunk when I think he isn’t looking.
I think about how awful that day was. And then I think about all the wonderful days we’ve had since. I think about the way the rainbows were everywhere during our honeymoon in Costa Rica. I think about how many times I’ve listened to his quiet breathing at night and heard his voice during the day tenderly say, “I love you,” even when I don’t feel very lovable at all.
Most of all I think about how truly grateful I am that our wedding day was the worst day of our marriage.
So please raise a cyberglass in his honor! To my husband! And to all the good men of the world, the ones who truly love, honor and cherish all the days of their lives. Because the real test of a marriage isn’t whether or not the centerpieces matched the tablecloths or the pretty color of the bridesmaid’s dresses.
Congrats from one lavender to another. I am hoping that I will have the same good fortune to have such a happy marriage too when my boyfriend and I finally get around to making it official (so far so good).
I decided decisions regarding my husband’s reproductive organs were his and his alone a long time ago.
My dad told his mom to cool it on the religious remarks a few hours later or we’d have to rethink inviting her to all future family occasions. My mom and dad adore my husband nearly as much as I do fortunately.
DH and I have not spoken to his sister in a long time. Her essential problem is that I’ve known her since she was fourteen. She’s still fourteen. She’s always going to be fourteen. Luckily my husband is an adult and has nothing in common with his youngest sibling.
My grandmother made it to ninety-eight. She still had her nearly all her teeth and most of her brain cells. Grandma S. finally decided that after my husband illustrated he could make a terrific matzo ball soup he was indeed a very acceptable grandson-in-law.
I admit was so mad that day; furious at my in-laws and my grandmother for their cruelty. A small part of me was upset that my princess fantasies (admittedly not particularly very princessy to begin with) were not to be. I felt cheated, hurt and angry for years about it. Yet the older I’ve gotten the more I’ve come to simply learn to let it go. I even can look back and finally add a rueful grin.
The moment I remember most is when my husband said I do. Oh the look on his face! The sincerity, the kindness, the sweetness in his eyes and the crushing, heartful kiss afterwards! Then the embrace in his arms a second later and the realization that here was the place where I would always feel at home. My heart just leaps when I think of it. He loved me. Yes, he really, really, really loved me. Nothing else mattered. That was the very second our lifelong partnership truly began.
When I think of the taste of that kiss I can never, ever regret the day it took place.