Today’s our one year anniversary. OK, it was the 22nd, but it sounds more dramatic if I say today. While there are always ups and downs, disagreements and even full blown arguments in any relationship, truth be told – this has been a great year.
If you throw in the one year I lived with my second wife prior to marriage, I was married for a total of 20 years. It’s sad and unfortunate to report but out of that 20 years, maybe one was happy – one combined. Oh, don’t get me wrong; there were nice moments. Children being born and growing up, that trip to Alaska. But when I really looked back and thought about when the primary relationship was good – well things came up woefully short. Perhaps that’s why I was twice divorced; well, it’s a theory.
I can say without hesitation that the last year with Janet was by far better than any year I spent married before. Granted, based on the previous paragraph the bar was set pretty low, but we easily cleared it.
As we always do, we posted a few Facebook pictures and comments. And Facebook kindly posts an anniversary reminder which got us dozens of responses from friends. No doubt a couple were amazed that we made it to one year. I was not.
But it was Janet’s posting that was most interesting and telling about this intersection of two cultures.
As you all know, when you post a set of pics on Facebook you usually create an album and name it. Janet’s name for her anniversary picture album was, “If love is an amazing dream, then marriage is the alarm clock!”
When I read the title, I cracked up. I figured it couldn’t have come from Janet. I gently broached the subject that night, just before we were to go out for our anniversary dinner.
“I read it and thought it was funny,” she said, confirming my assumption that she hadn’t written it.
“Do you know what it means?” I asked.
“Of course! When you are in love, the alarm clock goes off telling you it’s time to get married.”
“Um, not exactly.” I explained to her how the average American would interpret the line.
“I should remove it then,” she said. “But it’s still funny and I still like it.”
“Then you should keep it.”
“But people will think…”
“That you’re funny. Keep it.”
I had been checking online reviews to find a fancy restaurant we’d never been to for our celebration but when it came down to it Janet wanted to eat food that she enjoyed with a menu that included white rice with every entree, so in the end we went to our favorite Chinese restaurant. Not exactly Filipino faire but the side order of barbecue pork made it close enough. And Janet simply did not want us to drop a bunch of money on a meal, especially one she might not enjoy. But of course since I had saved a bunch on dinner and we finished early enough, Janet gently asked whether we might stop at the mall where an H&M sale was strongly calling her. She picked up a couple of $3-$5 items and found a way to get 10% off the total. That’s about as extravagant as she usually gets.
The morning after our anniversary we slept in. No, not for that reason! OK, truth be told not just for that reason. I had a doctor’s appointment at 10:00. In addition, my son had called the night before, during dinner, saying that his uncle wanted to come over in the morning to pick up some of his things and deliver them to him at college.
Now my former BIL is an interesting character. Very youthful looking for his early 70s, he’s a retired doctor-psychiatrist, and a not so retired playa. He had never met Janet but had asked me about her on an occasion or two.
He arrived just as I was about to drive off to the doctor’s appointment. After a quick greeting, I opened the garage, showed him the pile of stuff my son wanted and told him, ‘Don’t worry, Janet will close the garage when you are done.”
That night after work, Janet giggled and told me that after he had loaded the car, playa BIL, rang the doorbell to tell Janet he was done and as an excuse to meet her and give her a good look. It’s good to know really. He’s 10+ years older than me. Nice to know that at that age I will still be giving Janet a good long look as we celebrate our 11th anniversary!