My parents were married 33 years ago today. Their wedding was very 1977, complete with powder-blue tuxes for the groomsmen and lots of lacy shoulders for the bridesmaids. I haven’t seen the picture in a while, but I think the ladies may have even had floppy hats or parasols. No — that’s way too OTT (Over The Top) to be mom and dad’s style, even during the garish 70s.
Wait, Daddy did wear a white tux with a blue bow tie.
No, really he did. I think there was a blue cumerbun too. (So maybe there were parasols?)
Okay, if all of you folks who have met my dad will please stop laughing I can continue.
Anyway, time to reminisce. My parents are amazing. They are amazing separately and amazing together. And I think it’s amazing that they wound up together. And I think it is even more amazing that despite the fact that they weren’t planning on having kids, the Universe gave them to me by giving me to them.
I’m so lucky in so many ways. I wasn’t much of a fan of my parents until after I went to college. Until I saw how different all the people in the world are from me, from my family, from my Midwestern city. I started to really appreciate my parents and my sisters and I have become so thankful that I’m turning out like them.
I’m also lucky because, not only did my parents get married 33 years ago, but they are still married. Because of them I know what a successful marriage looks like. And I know some of the things a successful marriage needs to survive.
I have seen them fight and I have seen them make up. Maybe more importantly, I have often seen each of them refrain from fighting because they knew it wasn’t worth it. They are both insanely stubborn (I wonder which one I inherited it from) and it can be a problem. But I think their stubbornness is part of why they are still together.
We had some rough years, but they were never going to give up. Divorce just wasn’t an option. And it still isn’t. Plus, they both know how amazing the other is and how amazing they are as a team. I’m sure that helps. Although, they are human and they obviously forget that sometimes. Like when dad is hiding in the garage watching the Vikings lose the first game of the season and he’s pissed that mom won’t let him watch it in the house — even though he didn’t as her if he could. Meanwhile mom is in the kitchen making chocolate chip cookies for him and she’s mad that he isn’t up there with her while she bakes for him. Not that she asked him up there (because she knew he would want to watch the football game).
But, that’s people for you. And that’s couples for you. I learned a long time ago — from mom and dad — that if someone does something you don’t like and you don’t tell them it’s your fault when they keep doing it. You can’t hold people responsible for your thoughts and feelings if you don’t let them know what your thoughts and feelings are. And, even when you do tell them sometimes they don’t get it.
Yeah, I feel like I’m ahead of the curve in relationships because of my mom and dad. Especially because I’ve become close to my dad in recent years. He is very honest about what he thinks and feels and very vocal about how men are in general. He is generous with the lessons. Even when they are frustrating and/por painful.
But I love married love and mom and dad are probably the number one reason why.
I like it when dad gets a little drunk on Friday nights before mom comes home and he goes into the kitchen while she’s cooking dinner and starts poking at her. I’ve even heard her drop something and then holler, “James R! You’re in the way.” And then she giggles.
I like that they go out to breakfast at least once a week together.
I like watching him do a crossword puzzle in his chair while she sits on the couch next to him reading — all while the TV is on.
I like that she misses him when he leaves town.
I like that she knows he needs guy time and she lets him have it.
I like that I’ve come home to find them both on the couch (for some reason) grinning like the cat that ate the canary.
I like that they are obviously best friends.
I wouldn’t say it’s been a perfect marriage (because I think that would require perfect people and a perfect life), and in a lot of ways the marriage I want doesn’t look like mom and dad’s. But if I got one like mom and dad’s I wouldn’t complain too much. Especially if the fella could cook as good as my mom can!