‘Tis the season for weddings, which means many couples are celebrating anniversaries this time of year.
This year, my wife and I will be celebrating 20 years of marriage on July 8.
That may seem like a long time, but we are just getting started by some measurable comparisons.
A friend and neighbor, Eric Hammell, was recently passing by our house in Fountain. He slowed down so we could chat.
I asked him where he was off to for the day. He was heading to a wedding anniversary celebration for his grandparents.
They were celebrating 74 years of marriage. Whoa! My wife and I are rookies.
Hats off to Caledonians Walter (age 96) and Betty (age 94) Hammell on approaching three quarters of a century of marriage.
Eric was off and running to the anniversary celebration, which would be quite different this year. It was going to be a drive-by parade in front of their home.
What I’ve learned, or haven’t
For more than 20 years, my wife has been training me (domesticating me, if you will), and she’s made a lot of progress.
However, there are still some habits I struggle to break.
During coat-wearing weather, almost every day when I come home from work, I walk into the house past the coat hooks on the front porch. Without even realizing it, I take off my coat and hang it on the back of a chair in the dining room. I honestly don’t even realize I am doing it.
Of course, my wife likes to keep our house in order, so she tells me my coat belongs on the coat hooks on the front porch with all the others.
One time, recently, she was reminding me that I needed to hang up my coat.
I told her I didn’t complain about stuff she did that annoyed me. She said, “Like what?”
I said, “I don’t like it when you complain about me not hanging up my coat every day.”
Of course, that’s all I had.
Within a week of that conversation, while my wife took our daughter shopping, I decided to play a little joke.
I round up all of my coats and hung them on all of the chairs in the dining room, the living room, and anywhere else possible in our home.
My son, knowing I was up to something, told me I was going to get in trouble. Being a rebel, I did it anyway.
When she arrived home with our daughter, she wasn’t too impressed with my antics. I guess I need to try harder! I quickly returned all coats to their proper porch hooks. I think I’m still on probation for that one.
I’ve also learned that I know nothing about home decor. She likes to change the look of rooms from time to time.
Whenever she has asked me for my opinion (or even if she hasn’t asked), I have told her I like the wall colors and decorations in a room just the way they are – so there’s no need for making any change. I have always jokingly said that I like change as long as it doesn’t affect me.
While she is changing the look of a room, I will have my doubts. But, then I’m proven wrong again and again and again. And, when in doubt, add more pillows to the couch or the bed.
After 20 years of marriage, I have determined that I am not qualified to make any interior design decisions, and I have grown to be OK with that. I guess that’s why all of my pre-marriage decorations (beer signs) are hanging up in our garage.
We are competitive with each other. Lately, she’s been beating me in golf and cribbage. She’s always dominant in basketball. I typically claim victories in foosball, ping pong and soccer.
No matter what we are doing, no matter who wins, we always have fun. And, frankly, she’s my best friend.
These 20 years have flown by, and Amanda and I have some catching up to do when I hear about couples like Walter and Betty Hammell. They did get a 54-year head start!