Thursday, March 18, 2010

Celebrating Merrrily

Tomorrow Sophia and I will be driving to Indiana to attend my parents' 50th wedding anniversary party. When I've mentioned this to anyone, each has offered words of congratulations and a bit of wonder, too.....fifty years. Wow!

I must say I share this attitude. Knowing what I do about my own marriage, I find it amazing that anyone stays together through who knows what kind of drama, upsets and ennui over the course of fifty years? I don't really know what my parent's marriage has been like - not that I really want to know. But I assume it has suffered and enjoyed the same kinds of highs and lows any marriage does. I'm also sure it's been unique, as well, and those are probably the things I want to know about the least.

I wonder if it's true that people follow their parents' examples in marriage? Of course there are statistical outliers. Of my siblings, I'm the only one not divorced, but that's not for a lack of trying. For those who haven't been around this blog and my others, MathMan and I have been separated, lived apart and have filed for a divorce that never happened. Hello, Deputy Sheriff. Sign that paper? Okay. And a couple of years ago, I ran away from home briefly.

Some days I think it's because we are such innate contrarians that MathMan and I have stayed together. That's just a fancy way of saying no one else would have us. And by us, I mean me.

I don't think it's any surprise that MathMan's parents stayed together, too. Sadly, they both died in their fifties so we never got to see what their marriage would look like when they didn't have kids at home. MathMan was only a freshman in college when his father died suddenly. I never met his father, but the stories I've heard about him and about his relationship with my mother-in-law lead me to assume that they would have had a grand time as they aged together. Not perfect, but definitely worth the wait through raising six kids.

MathMan and I were lucky to have the examples we did. There may not have been many or any examples of open affection (something that I've gone to great lengths to overcompensate for) or anything even close, but our parents clearly loved (I guess?) and liked (very important) each other enough to last.

In the era we grew up in, it would have been at least easier than in the past for our parents to have split up when things got difficult or boring or complicated. The fact that they didn't probably says more about their relationships than memories of flashy gifts or loud declarations of love and passion ever could.

Wishing my parents all the best on their 50th......

Sing it with me, People of the Internets....


  1. Happy anniversary, Lisa's mom and dad. That's wonderful. Have a great time at the celebration.

  2. Yes. I feel all of this post. And my grandparents were married for 56 years when Grandma passed away. They bickered and argued and fussed and fought all the time. The only affection they ever showed was holding hands when they were driving somewhere in the car.

    But Grandpa lived for Grandma and Grandma thought Grandpa was the best man she had ever known or met in 76 years. (And he is. I agree with her.)

    She passed 6.5 years ago now and Grandpa is still lost. Sometimes what we see from the outside is the merest smidgen of what's going on, even with people right under our noses.

  3. Awwwwwww sweet.
    I wonder if my husband qualifies w sainthood for putting up with me.
    He's got his issues too.
    But we've made it through the ebbs & tides & raised 2 kids & survived to tell the tale.
    Glad your folks stuck w each other & celebrate this monumental anniversary.


    Loved the Flintstones serenade.

  4. Happy anniversary to your parents, Lisa. I imagine having the models for a good marriage helps. I think what makes the big difference is having the chutzpah to stick with it, even in the tough parts. You've got both.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  5. Wow!

    (Don't worry about the separations; they won't count ultimately.)

    My own parents were married 59 years. (Death.) Mom and Dad used to have screaming fights; apparently, the last one was in the late '60s. My brother and sister heard it and had somewhat different accounts of what happened, but after that there was merely the occasional mild snipe. Dad used to send Mom poems.

    Keep your eye on your love for each other and the kids. Nothing else is important. (All right, food, shelter, and money. But other than that...)

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Fifty seems pretty cool and likely attainable barring any health issues and/or meteor strikes and/or global thermonuclear war and/or invasion by giant alien insects, but then I realize we've got 32+ years to go. Yikes.

    A toast to your folks.

  8. Have good trip and wish them well from us here at Monkey Central. ;o)

  9. Marriage IS enigmatic, isn't it? My best to your parents.

  10. All the best to your parents Lisa! What an incredible accomplishment to stay together that long. I hope it has been 50 mostly joyous years. My husband and I have been together 13 years and will celebrate our 9 year anniversary next month. Every now and then I tell him "I'm not sick of you yet!" just to be sure he knows! LOL!

  11. 50 years is amazing. I would give them some sort of congressional medal or something that President hands out.
    God Bless anyone who can go 50!

  12. Dude, I just hope to LIVE to 50! ;o)

    Seriously, that is impressive. And wonderful...I guess. If there is love and joy. (If not, it sounds like Hell.) Congrats to them.
    And safe journey to you and S.


  13. my maternal grandparents were married for 71 years. I had a maternal aunt whose marriage lasted 72. My parents were married for fifty before Dad passed away.

    Lessseee... I made it to 13.... but five of those were separation. But then if you take into consideration the five years we were together BEFORE we got married. I guess I was just married enough not to do it again.

  14. That's wonderful, except you'll be in the midwest at the same time I'll be back east. . .

    And my parents' 56th is coming up on the 31st!

  15. Thank you all. I'll pass on the good wishes from the People of the Internets!

  16. Tell them "way to go" for me!

    Interesting. My own parents were married for over 50 years until my father died three years ago. They had ups and downs but they were crazy about each other and stuck it out. Divorce or even the slightest thought of it never entered their minds. Then again, they were of not only a different time but a different culture.

    I'm the only person in my family who has divorced, including my six cousins - though one is 41 and has never married.

    There have been times when I've wondered if growing up with parents who were solidly married had an impact on my own marriage and subsequent divorce,that one wouldn't expect: disappointment over how we could not achieve the same level of happiness and friendship as my parents. By comparison to my parents', my marriage was more than just failed - it was bad.

    The "institution" pretty much let me down. And yet, I'll soon be doing it again. Though, it does keep getting shoved to the back burner...hmmmm... ;-)

  17. this post is so full of win both innertubes and non innertubes
    my moms dad died when i was a little over 1 year old so i never knew him.
    and she spent the rest of her life without that sort of person in her life.
    when we asked her why she married Fred she replied " I guess I felt sorry for him"
    not the answer any of the grandkids were expecting
    but they did was what was expected of them. got married had kids and stayed (albiet not as long as others) together

    and my mom and dad did the same thing. would not classify their time together as a hollywood romance but they did what they had to do and it was a real lesson for me watching my father at the foot of his wifes bed as she took her last breath.

    and now im bringin this whole thread down so I'll just day Happy Anniversary to your Mom and Dad

  18. Not sure what to say since we have live out loud here and those other blogs. But it is nice that your parentals have made to 50.

    And for mine, my dad was setting up for his retirement when he died and I imagine he would have an excellent ride.

  19. Happy Anniversary to your parents. And man, you look a lot like your mother.

  20. Big congrats to your parents!! :) My folks have also been happily married for 50+ years now...don'tcha love these great examples that they set for us? :)

  21. A very happy anniversary to your parents - so glad they are celebrating their golden wedding anniversary!

  22. Lisa, I love this post. I used to think my parents were so ill-suited for each other … and maybe they were. Who's to know? My dad died just short of their 50th anniversary and my mom was just lost. She remarried 5 years later, and my stepdad gave her a lot of love, but I think there was also real love between my parents. Once we were grown, they seemed to enjoy each other, even in the midst of bickering, farting, etc.

    Have you ever heard a song by Jim Post: Three Soft Touches? It's lovely.



And then you say....

(Comments submitted four or more days after a post is published won't appear immediately. They go into comment moderation to cut down on spam.)