Everything I learned about love I learned from my parents. I’m sure after my two divorces, failed relationships and a host of other love drama my parents aren’t exactly boasting about me admitting that statement to the world. Today is June 30th and it also happens to be my parents wedding anniversary. Include the time they were together before they got married and they have known each other for 54 years.
A friend of mine asked what I did for my parent’s anniversary. Actually I didn’t do much. I remembered when I saw the date this morning and then I sent them both a text and stood back. I stood back the same way most of us do when we light a firecracker. You happily run away but then turn your back to see the excitement. In my 35 years of life I am attuned to how this will go down.
Me (via text to my mom): Happy Anniversary- How many years is it?
Mom: I forgot all about it. I wonder if dad remembers. (I can picture my mom rubbing her hands together thinking of a way to ambush dad) I was wondering what you were talking about. It’s 52 years.
Me: Too late I already texted him
Now the plot thickens – My mom will lie in wait to see if dad knows because he should know since I texted him and then she will pretend that she forgot. Apparently this is what love is about – Ambush! On a good day he will bring home Krispy Kreme – unprovoked. And my mom will be suspicious but dad is a logical creature that has to wait for the gas station to open before he can put gas in his truck so he waits at Krispy Kreme. (My parents live on an island – literally an island so that’s why there are no 24 hour Walmarts or 24 hour gas stations).
On a good day, I believe he may buy some Krispy Kreme and they call it a day. Happy Anniversary because that’s what love is. So when I asked both of them what is the key to a happy marriage here is what they had to say:
Mom Says: “It’s the little things that count” (Donuts I would say count as little things)
Dad Says: “Selective Hearing.”
I get amazed every time my dad says something profound because it is so short and to the point and explains everything I need to know about life. Much to my mom’s chagrin of over-analyzing every detail.
Nothing happened on the day my parents got married
Maybe something profound happened on the day they got married so I checked the history books. Nothing! Absolutely nothing happened on this day worth mentioning unless you are a baseball fan and care that Sandy Koufax threw a no-hitter against the Mets. I suspect there are those of us out there that have a very idealized image of what it means to be in blissful love. Last Valentine’s Day my mom was just happy that my dad woke up –Happy Valentine’s Day. My boss sent his wife a text message with emoticons – For him that is a big deal. And yet many of us sit around for hours talking about dating and who is hot and all of this crap about communications.
My Idea of Romance
I remember a girlfriend of mine who started dating her now husband. On their first Valentine’s Day he took her to an Italian Restaurant, bought her two dozen roses and a chocolate basket with chocolate. I guess I’m not the romantic type as I certainly don’t need all of that. My parents certainly never did all of that. My dad would buy flowers but then out of efficiency he just went out and bought an entire rose bush and planted it in the yard. It makes complete sense to me, now my mom can have roses whenever she wants.
Now what do I consider romantic? I tend to cringe at romance because if I’m caught off guard, I get nervous. It is difficult to fathom that I could be vulnerable to a romantic gesture every once in a while. I rarely get flowers and gifts so I honestly do not know what would be an appropriate gift for me. I think I would like something well thought out.
For instance I had a chair named after me once. Seriously! A freaking chair! Now that is creative and not only was it creative but the description was awesome.
I blush when I think about it because this person obviously put thought into it. Too bad this chair is discontinued because I would love to buy this chair just so I could tell everyone its name. If I had a no holds barred, unlimited budget gift I would say my idea of romance would be jewelry. I’m a big fan of David Yurman and Bachendorf’s in Dallas but even non-precious stones that are unique to me are what I adore. I love Alex and Ani and those are not expensive at all. I would also love for someone to cook for me or if they can’t cook take me somewhere so that I can see the chefs preparing food or to a cooking class. I also love this jeweler I found on the Internet called Ka Gold Jewelry. His stuff is so unique and he will create whatever you want.
Obviously romance is more than stuff. It really is about the little things. Bradford and I spoke yesterday and we talked about what I was looking for in a relationship. God’s Honest Truth is that I just want someone I’m willing to put up with.
Do we really have time to complain about the dirty towel on the floor? That’s why I hire a cleaning service.
Do I really care that you are playing Black Ops all day? OMG! I just changed the password on the Wireless Router effectively crippling all communications with your “bros.”
One of my girlfriends wrote this on her Facebook status:
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have a husband that wasn’t addicted to online computer gaming. He goes to work and is on his computer all day and then comes home and spends another 4+ playing these games…. and it is loud since he’s usually playing with friends and they’re talking over Team Speak – and he doesn’t use headphones. After 14+ years of this, you’d think I’d be used to it. (Nope.)
This status update created a ton of comments. Many people giving their experiences and that she should establish limits etc. I love her response to those that say she should curb his tendencies.
She said, “I’m sure my husband wonders what it would be like to be married to a woman that wasn’t obsessed with birth and babies…and collecting books.”
We all have obsessions
One of the things I have learned about my parents is that the more you get to know each other, the more seamless the other person’s mannerisms are. My dad polishes his shoes for about a minimum of what seems like 2 hours a day. Honestly my childhood memories are of him polishing his shoes (or playing his guitar). My mom’s obsession happens to be the swap meet and collecting junk that remains relics of history in their house. My brother in law collects police crap and my sister collects Disney crap. They all have things that they love to do and that that they are willing to put up with about each other. Francis Ford Coppola from the Godfather movies answered a question about what the key was to his long marriage amidst all the financial hardships of directing his movies. He basically stated that allowing your spouse to do their thing is important. “Who wants to do the same thing together all the time? It ruins the spark. Nothing is better than coming back together to talk about all the things you did.”
So yes, play all the Black Ops you want or keep collecting your model trains, I will be writing my mommy romance stories and preparing my coursework.
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! You’ve put up with each other for 54 years!