Today the Lord & Master and I celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary. Our beginning did not fit the norm. It was the third go-round for the L&M, making him a tad gun shy. And I had the romantic sophistication of Gidget. Truly, I am astonished that he had faith I’d turn into a grown up of any sort.
They say marriage is comprised of three rings: the engagement ring, the wedding ring, and the suffering. Here’s how that’s gone down. My parents bought me an engagement ring, I bought my own wedding ring, and together as committed spouses we have provided the suffering. During that “gee, why are we having the same fights over and over?” phase, we decided to reduce these worn out dialogues to numbers, as in No. 17 – code for “stop spending so much money.” This made life so much easier. It’s been almost 60 years of wedded bliss for Mah and Daddy, and they’re still screaming at each other, the crazy kids.
Taking stock of the past 23 years and our current happy state, here are a few tips from the trenches.
#1: Split up the house. I have custody of the upstairs; the Lord & Master’s domain is the basement. Sometimes I threaten to put a toddler gate at the top of the stairs, but the truth is his bum knee keeps him down there, where he belongs, 99% of the time. Sassafrass was amazed that I switched out the living room furniture without the L&M even knowing about it. I had to drag his ass up to surprise him. He completely missed the week there was no furniture in there at all. I, in turn, respect his right to store his myriad collections – LP’s, CD’s, DVD’s, books, neckties, Bullwinkle plush toys…I could go on – to the rafters. Sassy had better hope the L&M goes first and I’m the one who has to toss his clutter.
#2: Underneath all the irritations and misunderstandings that pop up in daily life, we realize that between us, we make one complete person. We’re like some symbiotic microorganism blown up to human dimension. Once I was deeply into a nagnagnag, and my beloved asked me, “Why do you think I would have anything but your best interests at heart?” Hit me square in the solar plexus – yeah, why would I think that?
#3: As a third wife, my husband knows that three strikes and he’s out. Actually, our 4th anniversary was a record breaker for him. He had two starter marriages, and, bless him, he only thinks well of wives one and two. These days, he won’t even go to Costco without me. The man is Married. Luckily, so am I.