Life Without Parole

Sunday is my — I always have to do the subtraction in my head, which is never a great idea — twenty-third anniversary.

In one of my classes today, as we were introducing ourselves, I admitted — after doing math in my head in public, which I usually avoid — to the number of years.

“Wow,” one student breathed. “You must have married young.”

Yeah, I was like twelve.

Except I was actually almost twenty-one.

So, we were young, but we didn’t know we were young. I have studied Elder, amazed that in less than a year he will be the age I was when I married. And I silently threaten to shake the sense back into him if he even considers marriage until whatever age I decide he is adult enough to be adulting.

Yet, twenty-three years after exchanging vows, and my husband and I have survived. And we understand that twenty-three years is really just the start.

I mean, at this point, some prison sentences for murder are shorter than our marriage.

Not to imply that I’ve considered murder as a legitimate option.

Because that would just be wrong.

According to society.

Besides, I kind of like him most of the time.

So, we will live and love and cry and yell and forgive and laugh for another day . . . another month . . . another year.

Life without parole.







For Life

Tomorrow, my husband and I will have been married for twenty-two years.

Last Sunday, Younger announced, “If the two of you ever divorce, it will be over straws.”

Because I am capable of accepting the straw and the cup in one hand at a drive-thru window. And my husband wants to be crowned king for a day so that he can call an end to such shenanigans from a food service employee. A straw and cup must be passed through the window separately. Yes, he would waste his king-of-the-day status on straws.

Not that straws are the only issue in our marriage. We have also argued whether a tree or a pothole did more damage to the alignment of my truck.

I hit the pothole, by the way.

Just sayin’.

He insists on using words like “north” and “south” when giving directions. Like I have time for such vague concepts.

I think he should wear clothes in colors that are allowed on the same field of play.

He thinks I should just accept my hair will upon occasion stick in every direction like I’ve been playing with electrical sockets.

And then there is that whole math thing…

In twenty-two years, we’ve laughed.

And we’ve cried.

We’ve lived.

And we’ve loved.

Because we’re married.

And that’s what we promised we would do.

Who knew life was so long, anyway?

Love and Marriage

The other day, I commented to my husband that many people might avoid saying how old they were but everyone was always proud of how long they had been married.

And the wise one responded, “Well, being married for thirty years feels like living through sixty.”

Despite making such a comment straight to my face, he lives on.

But even more slowly than before.

Three for Dinner

Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated our twentieth anniversary. Elder had football practice, but we took Younger with us to a local restaurant for dinner.

After hearing our plans to include him, Younger said, “Now, you and Dad, you guys sit however you want. You know,” he continued with his little grin, waving his hands in the air between the two of us in an embarrassed manner, “if you want to sit next to each other, on the same side, I mean, you know, just wherever you might want to sit.”

Well, now.

Permission to sit next to my husband in a crowded restaurant.

From my teenager.

At least he assumes that after twenty years of marriage we still like each other well enough to share a bench seat.

So, I’ll take his offer as a compliment.

And his embarrassment, well, I take that as pure opportunity.