I do have a very distinct memory from our honeymoon, however. It was the third day, and we had rented a convertible and were heading to Napa Valley. The California early fall sunshine was brilliant, the day was gorgeous, and we were filled with joy, love and hope. I turned to G and said "we're going to have the most wonderful life".
And we have. Our marriage is far from perfect, and there have been many bumps in the road. But at the end of each day, I can honestly say that I'm so happy to be married to this man.
Last weekend, G and I vacationed in Whistler, BC, Canada. Most of the people who knew we were celebrating our anniversary were surprised and even shocked that we had been together for 25 years. While I appreciated the enthusiasm (especially the upgraded room - thank you Four Seasons Resort!), it made me sad. Is it really that unusual to be happily married for this long?
I recently came across a blog post, and the author had a list of fifteen non-negotiable qualities she was looking for in a spouse. Included were things like blue eyes, at least 6 feet tall, already established in his career. It was like reading a casting call for The Bachelor.
After a successful 25 years with my best friend, let me share the following, much more important qualities. Trust me. Look for someone who:
- calms you down when you're all kinds of crazy, legitimate or not.
- encourages you even when you don't believe in yourself.
- leaves you love notes.
- has patience with your parents. Trust me, there will come a time when they will push it, and it will be sooner than you think.
- listens when you talk and talk and talk.
- watches chick flicks with you and pretends to be interested.
- never tears you down, or insults you, no matter what you're fighting about.
- has a sense of humor. There are many times you will need it.
- holds your hand.
- takes you away every once in a while, even if it's just for dinner.
- thinks you're beautiful, even on those days when you are clearly not.
- loves his mother and treats her with respect.
- lets you go to bed mad. Sometimes things just need to wait for morning.
- supports you through everything life throws your way. Everything.
We're happily in it for the long haul. I'm well aware that I hit the jackpot when I met this guy all those years ago in 9th grade. I have no idea what I did to deserve him, but I'll take it. 25 years sounds like a long time, but really, it's gone by so fast.
At dinner on Saturday night, a couple came into the restaurant in their wedding dress and suit, to have their first meal as husband and wife. We thought about stopping by their table to say congratulations, but didn't want to interrupt a happy moment. Instead, we quietly took care of their bill, wanting to pay our good fortune forward, remembering what it was like to be so young and excited about the future. I hope that in 25 years they will be where we are today.
Still filled with hope, joy, and love.