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....