Tuesday, March 3, 2009

36 Years and Counting!

I've heard it said that by the age of five, we have each created in our own mind a picture of what marriage and our perfect partner should look like, based entirely on what we've seen at home. I think this is probably true. It would certainly explain how I found myself married to a cranky, anti-social man who'd like nothing more than to sit in front of the TV with a beer in his hand all weekend long, but rarely does.

When my parents were married, on this date in 1973, I think life must've looked a lot different than it does now. I can actually picture it in that brown-and-orange hue that seems to turn up on every drugstore-printed family photo from that era. The bell-bottoms. The Brady-Bunch style butterfly collars. The POLYESTER!!

True, people back then had a penchant for fabrics that will never biodegrade. And they wore them in patterns that are best forgotten, though they have a habit of turning up frequently in my worst nightmares. But that's not really what I'm talking about.

When my parents were planning their wedding, I'm pretty sure my Dad never received a frantic text message from Bridezilla, all in caps, cyber-screeching about the designer gown being half a size too small, or the sound system not being big enough to be heard three towns over. Likewise, I don't think the terms "reception site directory" or "wedding planner" ever entered my Mum's vocabulary.

Things were just simpler. You met someone, you got along, maybe you got them pregnant (no one's pointing fingers...), and then you had a nice, respectable, simple wedding with a reasonable number of family and friends in attendance. No gift registries to manage, and no online wedding sites telling you how to do it.

And then you went off and lived your life within your means, had a few kids, maybe bought an affordable car, lived in a house that didn't financially cripple you, and used a pay phone when you were out shopping and wanted to call home.

Today it seems like you need 1 1/2 cell phones per household member, enough garage space to house 3 SUV's and a sports car, a computer for each family member and a high-speed internet connection to keep you in touch with the world, the weather and the other people with whom you live. No wonder money is the single biggest cause of strife in relationships.

When did the world become such a complex place?

I think what I figured out by the time I was five was that the secret to having a successful marriage, and a successful life, is to keep it simple.

Happy Anniversary, Mum and Dad!

1 comment:

Janine said...

HI There!! What a wonderful story. And yes. simple is best!
We are still in Florida where it is absolutely FREEZING!!! Managed to get a little sun on my face.Have a fabulous day!