On the 23rd of December, Lynn and I will celebrate our 35th Wedding Anniversary. We’re celebrating it the way we’ve lived our life together. We’ll tour the Chihuly Art Glass exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and have dinner afterwards. Nothing extravagant. This is partly because we both are teachers and not Internet moguls and also because that is who we are. Laidback, quiet and private.
I’d love to tell you how easy it’s been and that we haven’t had our share of troubles but that’s not the truth. If you’re married for 35 years you’re going to experience high highs and low lows. What I will tell you is that through it all we remained deeply in love and committed to one another.
A dear friend of mine says that she could never be married to someone who wasn’t passionately romantic all the time. I think that does a disservice to those of us who remained married after many years. I believe what Lynn and I have goes way beyond that kind of love into something deeper and way more intimate. It’s unspoken yet entwines us in a way that my words cannot express.
I wish everyone could have such an experience. Saturday we sat down for lunch (sandwich and a soup) and did the crossword together. Afterwards we just talked about everything and nothing while watching the wind blow our maple tree in the back yard. These are my favorite times as a couple. Just Lynn and me. Many of these times are spent with me trying to say something so outrageous as to make Lynn laugh out loud. It’s the crucible by which I have honed my corny, comedic talents. She’s a tough audience and I have to be superhero funny these days to get a rise.
On the other side of the coin, Lynn and I have gone on long road trips and not uttered a word for an hour or so. Then one of us might say something profound like “Look at that tree” and the other might reply, “Wow.” Then it would be back to silence for another hour or so.
I know long lunches doing crosswords and road trips with monk-like silence don’t sound very romantic but perhaps the proof is in the pudding.
Since Lynn and I both like to bike and geocache we end up spending a lot time together. One thing we have to had to adjust since she retired is just how much time we do spend together. We’ve learned the value of time apart is time well spent. So a lot of my rides are done sans Lynn and likewise I don’t do yoga with Lynn.
When I hear about four star generals, actors and the like straying from their vows, I just have to shake my head. I really don’t get it. I’m not tooting own virtuous horn here about how devout a husband I am. I’m just EXTREMELY lucky. No 19 year old Will would have been wise enough to know that this could still be just a strong a love 35 years later. It was a cosmic spin of the wheel that put us together. What kept us together was hard work and a higher power looking after us.
I like watching her read the newspaper in the morning. I love her funny little bunny run to the car when it’s raining. I love hearing her talk to our dog Lenny. I love the way she micro-naps in the recliner. I love the fact that after 35 years we’re still together. I hope we can spend more time together laughing, being quiet and doing crosswords.