Having celebrated our thirty ninth wedding anniversary last Saturday evening, my husband and I spent some time reflecting on the institution of marriage. We came to one unarguable conclusion: marriage isn’t for wimps. It isn’t for people of indecision, for those who never complete a project, and not at all for those who value themselves above anyone else. Nor is marriage for attention hoarders, freedom seekers, or any other form of selfishness one can come up with.
The institution of marriage proclaims a union for all seasons, under all reasonable circumstance, far beyond the quibbles of doubters and nay-Sayers. Marriage out-rightly defies the attitude of quitters. Those who float down the white carpet runner and pass under the bedazzled flower and foliage arbor bravely proclaim their love for all the world to see and brazenly deem it worthy of a lifetime.
Aren’t they sweet, we think as we smile at one another remembering the time when we were in their shoes. Aren’t they naive, we dare not say. Don’t get too wrapped up in the glamor of today, I want to warn them. By this time tomorrow it will be nothing more than a memory and all you’re left with is photographs, a guest book, and an obscenely expensive dress no one will ever see you in again.
Yet, we make the most of the moment and applaud their brave decision, throw some rice, propose a toast, and dance barefoot in the grass. After all, there will be plenty of time for the newly weds to become aware of the less than glamorous reality of it all. Like how the little things found so endearing at the start become irritating in record time and how having the whole bed to oneself wasn’t so bad after all. And maybe having ESPN on twenty-four/seven actually is enough to drive a person crazy as is the amount of time spent in the bathroom or with a nose in a book or on the phone with ones mother.
Yet, we had to admit, crazy as it sounds, we’d do it all over again. The struggles, the babies, the teenagers, the businesses, braces, college, weddings, all of it. We would because we know we can depend on each other through thick and thin, through sickness and in health, through richer or poorer. Somehow, we’ve managed to find humor and camaraderie as we hold each other up and laugh in the distorted face of life every chance we get. And really, what more can a person ask for? Best friends forever, as in truly best friends and really forever. Now that’s an idea.