40th Anniversary

I was married forty years ago…October 9th.

1976 was an ancient time beyond the imagination of many people living today.

There was no You Tube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit or Google.
Ditto GPS, reality TV, Starbucks (at least not on every corner), Microsoft, Taylor Swift, Kardashians and Justin Bieber.

If someone mentioned Zombies, they were referring to a music group who once had a hit called “Time of the Season.”
There was no TV network where it was 24/7 of people just making and eating food. In fact, no one used the term “24/7.”

And there was no Real Housewives of anywhere…not even Medina.

There were No I-Phones, Pods or Pads either.
In those days, green was just a color…blackberry a fruit…cameras had film in ‘em…and a cougar was the Wazzu mascot.

And no one took pictures of food so they could post it for all to see.
Those were the primitive, dark ages in which my wife and I got married.

I don’t know if there is a statute of limitations when it comes to columns like this one, but here are some excerpts anyway from one I wrote here two years ago on the occasion of my anniversary then:
“We were married in a gymnasium that was temporary quarters for a catholic church. Regular churches often have the fragrances of incense and floral arrangements. But this one smelled more of P.E. clothes—the kind not laundered in a couple of semesters.

As soon as I entered the place, the familiarity of school basketball days kicked in—and I immediately took my customary place on the bench. But my wife gave me a look—a look that said I was not sitting this one out. I was a starter this time.

I was a mess the morning of the wedding. I was a rock of pudding; spineless as a marshmallow; jumpy as a rabbit on a hot skillet.”(In my original piece two years ago, I had written “jumpy as a fire-walking rabbit. I have now changed that last line to the “hot skillet” thing so I won’t be accused of plagiarizing myself. )

“The lines on the basketball court made it easier for me to remember where I was supposed to go. When the procession music started, I moved from the scorer’s table straight down the mid-court line to the center circle. Then I stopped—did a stutter step, a quick head fake—and then cut to my right.

Perhaps I made the move too fast, slightly turning my ankle as I came down the free-throw line. But I knew the best thing I could do at that point was to play through the pain. I just felt that at that point, I couldn’t let my bride down.”

I knew I would have at least forty more years to do that.

I remember an idle thought that crossed through my mind as we were exchanging those wedding vows. In that very moment I recalled a grade school basketball game in a different gymnasium years earlier. On that day, with the game clock running down, I took a wild shot from nearly mid-court. I didn’t know what I was doing—or why exactly—and the crazy shot had no chance of going in. Except it did.

And as the home team crowd cheered—and my teammates high-fived me—I didn’t let on that my winning shot was pure chance and dumb luck.

And, yes, it was another even luckier day in October of ’76. That’s when I linked up with the best human I have ever known. It was pure chance and dumb luck.

There is an old long-accepted belief that men cannot ever remember their wedding date.
Now I am certainly not the most perfect of people, to be sure. But I have always remembered my wedding date. And that has been true for forty years now.

It is my wife that cannot remember the date. And that has been true for forty years now.
However, my old man was not an exception to the husband-forgetting-his-anniversary tradition—and things were not made better by the joke he used to tell. It was an old, quite hairy one—and went something like this:

Bert routinely forgot his anniversary. One year his wife Evelyn got so annoyed about it she said to him “Let me tell you something, buster! This year you better not forget our anniversary—and I better find something special waiting for me in the driveway that day!”
Bert gulped and said, “What kind of something do you want in the driveway, my sweet?”
She replied, “Something that goes from zero to 200 in no time at all—or ELSE!”

Bert got the message—remembered the anniversary—and when Evelyn walked out to the driveway that morning…she found a brand new…bathroom scale.

Bert’s funeral was closed casket.