Wednesday, May 30, 2007


As of today, I’ve been married for twenty years. That’s pretty good; the only other things I’ve done for as long and as consistently are write little pieces like this, read the hard-boiled novels of James M. Cain, and enjoy margueritas, shaken, not blended. (Even bike-riding and pot-smoking don’t rate; while I’ve done both of those longer overall, there have, during the last twenty years, been fairly significant hiatuses for each.)

This morning, as I rode Mimi to school on the tandem, I reminded her what day this was. “That makes you officially old,” she said. I responded that turning fifty had already done that. “But this makes you officially old in your marriage,” she said.

She’s right: twenty years is a long time to be hitched. It looks like, according to this site, that less than half of married people make it two decades together.

Jen and I both had good role models; her parents had been together more than 50 years when her Mom died; mine had been married something like 48 when my Dad passed away.

I remember being proud when we hit our fifth anniversary but humbled to think that, at that time, my mother and father had been together more than eight times longer. Now that Jen and I are nearing half as long as they made it, the figure still seems impressive.

After 20 years, perhaps amazingly, especially given what Jen has had to put up with, we still like each other. While there have been higher and lower points, one reassuring consistency is that the more time we spend together, the better we seem to get along. All of our rocky spots have been when circumstances have gotten in the way of hanging out with each other.

Plus, perhaps even more surprisingly, we both can still fit into our wedding clothes. Jen has the advantage of being as svelte as ever; I’m lucky that Eighties fashion for men emphasized baggy.


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