My wife and I were in a phone store dealing with a problem the other day and I mentioned being married for 40 years.
Or at least we will be come Monday. We’re kind of proud of that. I’ve been working it into most of my conversations lately.
The young woman who was helping us at the store said that she couldn’t imagine being married to someone for 40 years and not killing the other person.
Actually, I doubt that anyone who has been together that long hasn’t had that thought at one time or another, if they are honest enough to admit it. Or at least they have had the urge to run away.
But in a good marriage there is a deep pool of love and respect that overcomes and smooths little (or big) blips.
Through most of the slapstick comedy that has been my life there has been one constant — my wife.
I met Mary Pat in high school when I was 17. She was three years younger. She thought I was obnoxious.
Of course I was. I was a high school senior. After a few dances and a lot of talking, she thawed out some. I became less obnoxious.
We dated a long time. I went to college while she was in high school. Then she was in nursing school and I was working. Finally, we married. I think it has gone well for the most part.
People tend to casually toss the word “love” about. But through 40 years, you have a lot of time to consider what love really involves. I mean, you don’t think about it all the time, but on occasions, like anniversaries, it does occur to you to wonder.
Love is not being able to imagine being without her.
Love is still liking it when her voice seems a bit more excited (in a good way) when she sees me.
Love is her remembering the few times I have been right and usually not mentioning the many times I was not.
Love is kindly letting me know when I am misguided and pointing out the right path without (excessive) abuse.
Love is not saying I told you so, at least not in those words.
Love is never slamming a door so hard that it can’t be opened again.
Love is changing the cat’s litter box. Or at least that is one way it has been put to me.
Love is hard work and easy times.
Love is fantasy and hard reality.
Love is a cliché and also the freshest thing in the world.
Love is my wife putting up with my many irritating quirks. It’s not always easy being married to a funny guy who also turns just about everything in his life into a newspaper column.
Love is sticking around and hoping 40 turns into 50 as easily as 30 turned into 40.
Wally Spiers: firstname.lastname@example.org.