It's our wedding anniversary this week.
That may not be a long time for a redwood tree or a giant tortoise, but it's quite a while for a marriage. I read somewhere that the average marriage in America now lasts eight years. Theoretically I guess that means my wife could be on her fourth husband -- maybe by now she could have found one who doesnâ€™t track mud into the house if she werenâ€™t so persistent in trying to fix the one she has.
The statistics for people who marry young are much worse. That makes us a statistical anomaly, because we knew we were going to get married when we were 18; we waited until we were twenty just so our parents wouldnâ€™t freak out too much.
They still freaked out a little, but thatâ€™s what parents do. Iâ€™ve been known to freak out a time or two myself.
I look back and I'm amazed at how oblivious I was to the opinion of pretty much everyone around me. Sure, I didn't have a job or an education, and my total assets were a '65 Chevy, three pairs of bell bottomed blue jeans and a torn football jersey, but I don't remember any actual trepidation about marriage and all that comes with it.
It worries me a little, makes me wonder what I'm being oblivious to now. Probably quite a bit judging from the looks I get on occasion.
I cringe when I look at our wedding pictures. My wife still looks pretty much the same, but back then I had hair, was skinny, and apparently had appalling taste in clothes. The worst was my shoes. I needed new shoes anyway, plus we knew we'd be doing a lot of walking on our honeymoon. I couldn't afford TWO pairs of shoes, so I tried to get something that would work as wedding shoes AND hiking boots.
Clever, but not as easy as one might think.
I finally found a pair that I thought would work. They had some sort of shiny brown finish on the top, looked pretty snappy, and also had crepe soles just like a work boot. The soles were oddly shaped, more rectangular-looking that I was used to, but all in all the shoes looked pretty stylish and were very comfortable. I thought to myself, "So what if the soles are a little weird. Who looks at the soles of a pair of shoes?"
Funny thing about that. About the only time people can see the soles of your shoes is when you have your back to them and youâ€™re kneeling, like at an altar, like...during a wedding.
To the credit of the people on our guest list, we heard no actual laughter. I was oblivious (there's that character trait again) until a few months later when we saw the wedding pictures. There we were, my tiny wife kneeling next to something that from the rear looked remarkably like a blonde Frankenstein wearing ginormous square shoes.
It stormed on our wedding night -- snow and a hard wind out of the north -- so it only seems appropriate that when I checked the weather forecast for our anniversary, it said there was a blizzard heading our way.
Of course, there have been a lot of storms over the last few decades. Life is like that. In this life, you can't tell how hard the wind is going to blow or how often and severe the storms will be. The only thing you can control is how you react to the storms that do cross your path.