Today, May 17, 2009, my parents have been married 29 years.
Holy crap. Love and Marriage.
Let's start with love. The thing about love is that, unless you've experienced it real and raw, you never understand it's power to heal. It may be hard sometimes, but once you stop believing in love, it changes you.
Then there's marriage. The thing about marriage is that people don't give it the power it's due. I believe it's because so many people haven't experienced it. Nowadays, there are less and less instances of it being done the right way for people to use as reference points.
When you get married, someone has said before GOD they are building a life with you. You're no longer alone. You can no longer be reckless with your behavior. You have someone else to think of...someone who considers you his rib. That's powerful.
My mom and dad have the same bank account. Yep that's right. The exact same account. My mom keeps track of all the finances. My dad spends freely. When his computer broke down, he went and bought a new Mac the same day. When my mom wanted to go to TX to see her sister, she went and bought a plane ticket the same day.
There are no 'rules'. Their marriage is based on compromise and common ass sense. And in a relationship, common ass sense added to respect is one hell of a foundation to build on.
From a very early age I was able to dissect my parent's relationship into two categories: What I would do/deal with and what I wouldn't do/deal with. The first column is so much bigger than the second.
I think the secret sauce to my folk's longevity is that, even when life is throwing them curve balls, they never forget to take care of each other. Tiffany calls me a sap, but I love seeing stuff like that--especially with young couples like her and Will.
My parents always remember that this whole thing started with just the two of them and if the two of them aren't good, nobody in this house will be good. It's such a real lesson. I could not gain true insight into my life until I learned that about theirs. And respected it.
I ordered this amazing book off Amazon a few weeks ago. Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak by Writers Famous & Obscure. It's collection of 'simple sagas' about passion, pain, love and loss--six words at a time. I became obsessed with the concept, and began trying to sum up my relationships in six words or less but soon found the task too daunting.
But if I ever got the chance to describe my parent's relationship in a six word memoir, it would simply read: They aren't perfect, they are committed.
...I love you guys, Happy Anniversary!