42 Years

Veuve, mais ouis.

Veuve, mais oui.

That’s how long my mom and dad have been together. 42 years. Forty two years. Forty two years. That is a mighty, mighty long time. It’s their anniversary today. They are in Sedona, Arizona, on a road trip through the Southwest. They started at my uncle’s house in San Diego, where we celebrated my uncle and his partner being together 35 years/married for 1. I come from a long line of married-forever types. My dad’s sister was with her husband for 50 years before she died. And my mom’s brother has been with my my aunt for 41. And my grandparents on both sides—if they were still alive, they’d be together, too. Which I suppose is why I’m so freaking picky. Can you imagine being with someone for 42 years? I’ve never been in a relationship more than 3 years. And we had a 6 month break. And we didn’t even live together.

But anyway. Back to my giddy, silly parents who are still so in love despite the head shaking, eye rolling, nitpicking and silent treatments (truthfully, I think my dad loves it when my mom plays that game). I hope that, when I’m their age, I’m on a road trip with my husband who rents a Mustang on the eve of his 70th birthday because he feels like it, and I’m dragging my down pillow across 5 mammoth states while he shows me the time of my life.

Last night, they had dinner at some local place with a piano player, and of course my mom had a sing along the whole night—her favorite past time outside of napping and reading trash romance novels. Tonight, it’s French cuisine. Then they’re off to Santa Fe. Has it always been marital bliss for them? Um, no. Not when there’s selective listening and martyrdom in the mix. But perhaps 24/7 happiness isn’t what it’s all about. Maybe it’s about finding your way out of it all, still together, still holding hands, still smiling secretly and knowingly with the unwritten understanding that you have each other.

Here’s to you John and Mary Anna. I raise my glass to you.


One response to “42 Years

  1. congrats to your parents. Mine were married for 53 years before my mom died almost three years ago now. I miss her everyday. But, watching them and their marriage it made me realize how quickly and easily people give up on marriage now a days. They had some really rough stuff in their life together. but they loved each other fiercely and there was no way they were giving up on that. It was truly a testament to me of what marriage should be. i just wish i was as strong as they are/were!

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