Tags: 40th wedding anniversary, marriage, secret to a happy marriage
This evening has been somewhat of a struggle. It’s roasting hot for a start. Don’t curse me, I love it, but my post-baby thigh-wobble was rubbing slightly.
More irksome that the slight sweat rash was being home alone for the start of the weekend, and what feels like the start of summer.
I fed and watered two over-tired and clammy boys. One projectile-gobbing strawberries across the length of the dining table in some kind of very British show of support for the tennis and the other moving food slowly from one side of his plate to the other, complaining of a tummy ache (overdue poo). At the same time he’s wailing in some kind of tones not even a primary school violinist could match, moaning that the ache would go if he was presented with a Tangle Twister. Or just a Twister as they may now be called.
After scraping the discarded pasta, bread, rice cakes and cheese from the (brand new, slightly overpriced) floor, the Tripp Trapp, the table (new, not overpriced, but still new) and my once white and pale blue sequinned t-shirt, I thought ahead to bath time.
It would have to be a shower. Flying solo on a Friday night, pre open bottle of wine is always a little daunting. I sometimes find myself floating into a daze where I fast forward past the bath, bottles, teeth brushing, stories, loo trips, tucking in, even the kisses – right through to me sitting at the table eating something that involves pastry, a rich thick sauce and possibly something sweet and chocolately afterwards.
The entire process is far easier when you are two. And I am very lucky to be one of two. Some days it can be kind of hard to appreciate that fact, but for the vast majority of the last ten years I’ve felt very grateful. Especially on that April day in 2005 when my now husband and I decided to set our differences aside and make a go of our relationship after a desperate and desolate six week break when we reviewed our differing goals and desires for our lives ahead.
The initial reason I thought about writing this post was down to the fact that there’s a party in store. It’s the eve of my lovely parents 40th wedding anniversary celebrations.
Tomorrow, 80, yes eight – zero friends and loved ones will join them to toast everything that they’ve achieved since they married as 21 year old sweethearts all those years ago.
Marquee, disco ball, band, food, dancing – the whole shebang. Well, it’s not every day you make it to this kind of milestone.
Forty. That takes some doing.
And knowing that I’ve inherited both good and bad traits from both of my parents, as well as having spent the past month during our house renovations living under the same roof as my dear mum and dad, I know two things.
One. There must be days when they both say ‘bloody hell you’re driving me around the twist’.
Two. There are must be days when they smile to themselves over their ritual soup and a roll lunch and think ‘bloody hell I’m so lucky to have found the one’.
Tonight I’m going to bed alone but tomorrow my husband will be home. I must remember point two when he returns tired and irritable, wanting his bed and using the ‘shall we tidy the house a bit today?’ approach. Because we all know who the ‘we’ in this house is.
So I’m not necessarily leaving you with this, but reminding myself of this. If my marriage is over what would I miss?
1. Laughing uncontrollably and asking him to carry me to bed. Followed by further hysterics when he actually agrees to do it.
2. Posting things down the back of his trousers when he’s not looking. Like the sopping wet washing up sponge.
3. Sitting in an Oxford cafe on a Sunday morning eating a full English.
4. Him seeking out the window seat so we can people watch.
5. That he tells Sky that we watch rom coms….oh and action films.
6. The tolerance of my car boot bargain addiction. Or the fact that he pretends not to see my haul. Or that he doesn’t tell me I’m stupid for not checking the printer in the box was the same as the picture on the box. We learn from our mistakes.
7. That he finds me attractive after two children with zero attempts to diet my way back to being a lollypop head.
8. That he holds open the door.
9. That he posts Instagram photos for me with our own hashtag when he’s away.
10. That he always asks how my day was. And listens.
We all know that no marriage is perfect. If you think you have one, you’re in denial about something or other. So I will leave you with this.
Things I wouldn’t miss.
1. ‘Where else is my wet towel supposed to go?’
2. ‘Shall we think about cleaning this carpet?’.
3. ‘I’m going to pop to the gym’.
4. ‘How long will dinner be?’, ‘5 minutes’, ‘Can I eat a snack very quickly? Just a sandwich?’
5. ‘Can you take the baby, I can’t sort two children at the same time’.
6. ‘Is there any milk?’
7. ‘There’s no milk’
8. ‘I haven’t got any clean pants, are we doing a wash today?’
9. ‘I can’t put it away, I don’t know where it goes’
10. ‘Have we got my mum a birthday present?’
I guess if I’m keeping lists I may not make it to 40 years.
Happy anniversary mum and dad – I’m extremely proud of you.
Oh and finally, by some strange, binding coincidence, I’m currently on chapter two of The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin which is about marriage. This quote stuck with me.
“The atmosphere of my marriage set the weather for my whole life”.
And now we are in a heat wave. Hopefully a marital scorcher too. Full circle. Which reminds me of something my dad said in his father of the bride speech about him wanting me to meet and marry a man I loved. I did Dad.