It is one thing to say you’ve been married 35 years and quite another to realize that you’ve been married longer than you were single. When I think about it it doesn’t seem so very long ago that I was a newlywed. Time is like that. One minute you are 16 and over there and the next finds you standing at the 60 years milestone with no clear recollection of how you got there. In my head I’m the same age that I’ve always been. I guess what I mean is that although my body has aged my inner sense of self is still in a perpetual state of youthful optimism, married youthful optimism. I clearly recall the moment I reached that stage of being “adult”. Sparky and I had gone out to dinner at Red Lobster. Back in the day it was an upscale kind of place and a little pricey. We did a little people watching while we waited for our meal. As several groups of people walked past we looked at each other and both said the same thing, “I can’t believe they are dressed that way to eat at a nice place like this.” We had just become our parents! That kind of being on the same page is what being married is like for me. We think very much alike. We hold the same values. We maintain a consensus on parenting. We are of a like mind when it comes to religion and faith in practice. It is comforting, reassuring, and not at all boring. Or maybe it is boring but I like boring. I don’t like surprises and uncertainty. We are planners and list makers and we have calendars and agendas. Neither of us is into risk taking. Although spontaneity can be fun it isn’t a necessary ingredient for having fun.
This Valentine’s Day fell on Ash Wednesday. For us it was a day of fasting and prayer. So we didn’t go out to dinner. For the first time in a very long time we didn’t visit Taco Bell on the 14th. Instead we went to church. This coming weekend is Sparky’s birthday celebration so we’ll find some time to go out to a restaurant of his choice and maybe see a movie (he will get to choose). It is all going to be planned around his work schedule. (Spontaneous doesn’t come into play when you have to juggle work and other commitments.) What all this means is that I’m married and still in love. It means I wish everyone was in love and happy. I wish there were no broken hearts. I wish that marriage vows were never considered temporary. I wish that all marriages and relationships enjoyed a forever trust. I wish abuse and infidelity and hurtful words and actions would never insert themselves into marriages. But it happens and while I quietly celebrated St. Valentine’s Day, I want you all to know I was praying for those whose hearts are bruised.