Nineteen years ago, right about now, I was standing barefoot in my parents’ west lawn wiping down tables. My father had shouted at me to get up and help, because I wasn’t to lie about like the Queen of the May. There was a lot of work to be done. We were having a party and about 350 people were invited. My parents loved to throw parties.
I am not a big party person. I like parties that are more laid back, where people come and just chill together. I don’t know if that makes me a Little Party person or a Lazy Person or a bit of both. But I never wanted a big wedding, that’s for sure.
For the longest time growing up I never thought I’d get married or if I did get married it would be to some elderly professor or eccentric librarian. Thank you, Jo March. It wasn’t that I had marriage modeled for me badly; there hasn’t been a divorce on my mother’s side of the family and the aunts and uncles on my father’s side who broke up were ones we seldom saw anyway. My family gatherings were all peopled by folks who were Covenant Married through thick and thin. And I didn’t think there was anyone out there I could see myself getting stuck with for the duration. I was sure there wasn’t anyone out there who could see themselves spending the rest of their lives with a streelish and sardonic bookworm.
And then I met him at college. I’ve told the story so often, I think I’ve even told it here. He was my boss, and a mean boss at that. I couldn’t do my work fast enough and he was a pro at our dishwashing job–he’d been washing dishes for years to pay his own way through private school. To make a long story shorter than the short 7 weeks we dated before we decided we’d get married we realised that we were soulmates.
I had promised myself that if I did ever get married I would be at least 21 before I did so. Which was fortunate because the year between our engagement and our wedding was one of learning each other, courting and experiencing the hard times together without benefit of some of the better aspects of marriage.
In the nineteen years since my parents’ big party we have grown up together. We’ve struggled in bad jobs, good jobs (you’d be amazed at how much a good job can strain a marriage), car troubles, miscarriages, illness, the lights getting shut off. But when I look back all I see is that we were doing it together. And that made everything bearable.
There are many things I can tell you about my husband. He is sexy and gorgeous. My friends have oogled him before they realised he was mine. He is smart and driven. He fixes things around the house all the time. He is generous and kind.
But the best thing I can say about him is that he is a torch. There is that saying that a person is “carrying a torch” for somebody if they are in an unrequited love for them.
I think it’s a better analogy to say that a person carries a torch when they are in a good long marriage with someone. Because that other person brings light to the darkness and shines brightly beckoning on the sunniest days. That’s what my husband is to me. I hope that I am that for him. I’ve had the luckiest 19 years a person could ask for.