Our anniversary is Tuesday and I plan to post some photos of us on our special day. However, I’m writing today because after thirty-seven years Gary and I have a bond that is worth analyzing a bit. Sundays are good for that.
First of all, we know each other. I started thinking about that Thursday when Gary called me to tell me he needed a ride because his car had quit. I was still on the road the first time he called so he had been at the dealership for about an hour by the time he reached me. While he was waiting for me he weighed our options and looked at new vehicles to replace our dead car. He picked out one he thought I would like.
When I arrived we had a brief discussion about keeping and repairing our car. I agreed that it was far too costly and risky for such an old car. So…I asked him what he had looked at and he said “pickups”. Now this has been a discussion we have had for years! I’ve always wanted a pickup and we’ve always bought a car. But not this time. He told me there was a truck on the lot that he thought I would want and we could afford. And here is the thing about being married for thirty-seven years- I would have picked out the same one! It is exactly what I wanted! He remembered all the things I’ve told him over the years, even that I didn’t want carpet. And it’s blue! I didn’t even drive it until Friday when we got ready to sign the papers. I just knew it was going to be perfect, and it is.
Second, we have similar backgrounds and values despite a seven-year age difference. We were deeply influenced by our grandmothers. We had authoritative fathers. We were raised on farms. We like many of the same activities. We actually consider ourselves best friends. This is not always a good thing. Our son has a saying about us- “My parents are crazy!” I’m sure we are the source of much of the stand-up routine he does at the clubs in Dallas. Our girls are more polite. They are apt to use the word “different” or “special”. What they mean is that they don’t understand us. They think much of what we do is old-fashioned. They think we are an odd pairing- polar opposites on some topics and clones on others. Much of what we do has no rhyme or reason for them. Sometimes they question our ability to survive in their “modern world”. I remember thinking the same things about my parents. However, I think deep down they are proud of the fact that we have stayed together and still love each other.
We have agreed over the years to just disagree about some things, but don’t assume that we are some perfect couple. Gary often drives me crazy. I nag him to death about his socks on the floor and candy wrappers left in the living room and a dozen petty things. After all, he is a man! Men are never fully housebroken. He complains about my stubbornness and my obsessive ways. But we “fight fair”. We don’t fall into name-calling or endless arguments about the past. We accept some personality traits as “just the way we are” and go on. I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve actually yelled at each other in anger. Most of those involved disagreements about our children or money. Aren’t those the most heated arguments in your house?
We have endured. We’ve been together through some horrible experiences. We’ve faced financial disasters, accidents, illnesses, heartbreak, and the deaths of loved ones. We’ve also had some wonderful experiences together. After thirty-seven years I can look back and see a balance between the two that I appreciate.
I married one of the good guys. He is thoughtful, helpful, respectful, and understanding. He’s also intelligent and creative. He has a good sense of humor. He works hard. He likes to make me happy. I think I’ll keep him.