The way we were

Posted on 13 June 2008

The Way We Were

At 5:30 this morning, he rolled over, groaned, and muttered “Happy anniversary.”

I’m barely awake.

“Will you bandage my shoulder,” he asks.

“I didn’t think I’d grow old with you,” I reply, forcing myself awake and watching as he stumbles across the room, naked.

It’s Friday, the 13th.

38 years ago we were married.

Every time I mention the number of years we’ve been together, I am congratulated. This irks me just a little. Do we deserve some award because we’ve stuck with each other for so long?

Perhaps we do. We’ve been through some tough times together and, without revealing our secrets, I doubt many couples would have lasted.

Why did we? Should we have? We both say that we don’t believe in marriage (though, when we say this, many of our friends laugh in our faces.)


The Way We Are

He’ll admit he has trouble communicating though, with time, he has grown better. Just the other day he sent me an email with three words “I love you” and three exclamation marks.

He’s said that I drive him crazy though how I do not know.

We don’t cling. We don’t tell the other what to do. We let each other be. We think little of being apart for 2 or 3 months. We even think this freedom enhances our marriage.

I love watching him when he doesn’t know I am watching – when he’s sleeping for instance or when he’s at his computer, head bowed nodding to music. I like seeing him singular, not in relation to me.

I like to think of myself singular, not in relation to him.

When I am around my parents, they squabble a lot. He tells her she should get dressed before noon, not listen to politics, get off her computer. She tells him he’s inappropriately dressed, should not be working at 86, shouldn’t fall asleep early evening and then roam the house in the wee hours. (I gently suggested that they let each other be.)

Rob and I seldom squabble. We seldom tell each other what to do. I cannot depend on him to make me happy. (Oh yes, I can tell him what makes me happy. And likewise.) I’m happiest when I make my own plans and do what I like to do – not always easy – especially for a woman who is financially dependent. But I see here that this is one of the reasons I respect Rob. He never lords it over me because he makes more money. He never makes me feel bad about taking off and enjoying time alone. And over the last few years, he’s been telling me that he too likes to be alone – so I laugh when he says that it’s unnatural to sleep alone. (I like it both ways.)

I do not want to be considered a success because I’ve been with the same man for so long. I do not consider myself a success for this reason. (Do I consider myself a success? That’ll be the subject of another blog.)

I do feel fortunate to be with a man who is most often gentle and kind (“tell me when I’m being an asshole,” he says.) I really appreciate that money has never been an issue between us – especially as I was raised in a household where my father controlled the purse strings and, to this day, I doubt my mother knows how much or little he has.)

While I was writing this blog, a big bunch of exotic flowers were delivered – from him to me, with love.

After arranging them in 2 vases, I ran out to run some errands. All the while, I kept wondering how to end this blog, how to tell him that, though not all is perfect – what is? – he’s the nicest, finest, best man I’ve ever met. Is this true, I ask myself? I think long and hard and I decide, yes – he’s unique, amazing really… for a man. Oh, I don’t mean to be flippant – but I trust him. I’d trust him with my life. I guess I have trusted him with my one wild and precious life. And so I end this blog on a whimsical note: I like the idea of growing old with him.

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