I’m going to a 50th wedding anniversary party tomorrow night. Fifty fricking years. That’s a long time to be with the same person. Day in and day out. Sleeping in the same bed. Sharing the bathroom, your meals, your saliva.
But my Aunt C and Uncle D have done it. And they’ve done it well. Supporting each other. Enjoying each other. Raising two kids, neither of whom has ever been arrested. At least to my knowledge. And they have four grandchildren that they adore and who adore them.
There’s a lot of history between our families. We’ve shared Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember, alternating homes from year to year. They were at my Bat Mitzvah. And both of my weddings.
Their daughter is my life-long friend. My non-blood sister who I did everything with from junior high and high school to sleep-away camp to college.
We’re close. Family close.
Ten years ago, I was helping Aunt C and Uncle D celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. A big bash at my friend’s house with good food, drinks and lots of people who wanted to share in the love.
I was still married to my first husband. He was with me but we were just a few months away from separating. And I wish I could remember how I felt then, knowing that my marriage was crumbling. That I hadn’t gotten it right. Surrounded by couples who had.
I’d like to think that maybe instead of feeling depressed, I felt hopeful. Hopeful about marriage and what can happen when two people really work at making themselves better people and better partners. Committed.
Because I’m sure Aunt C and Uncle D have had their share of issues and struggles to go along with all of the wonderful. Unlike me, they don’t over-share but from what I’ve seen over the years, whatever bumps in the road they’ve had, they’ve overcome together.
And tomorrow night, when I’m at their party with my husband of five years, I’ll be thinking that I probably won’t make it to 50 years with my husband. It’s not that I don’t want to. It’s just that in 45 more years, I’ll be 91 and he’ll be 93. But I’m happy knowing our marriage is strong. And that we support each other and enjoy each other too. Just like Aunt C and Uncle D.
But I’ll also be thinking about how wonderful the two of them are. How much I love them, even though I think that they like my husband more than me. (Don’t forget, I’m the one who brought him in to the family. Turkey, stuffing and gravy.)
Fifty fricking years. I’m in awe.