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Thursday, July 01, 2004

Thirty Years 

Last night, June 29, Wife and I commemorated the thirtieth anniversary of the evening we committed matrimony. Wife does not agree with my contention that marriage licenses should be regulated like driver's licenses; renew them every four years, or they expire.

We rented a room at a local restaurant, where we were joined by thirty or forty (or fifty?) friends and kinfolk, some of whom I had never met (I think a few of them just wandered in, having arrived without a reservation and finding nowhere else to sit). We had a very pleasant evening; Wife "worked the room", greeting guests as they arrived, while I sat nearby taking pictures (at least until I could fool a guest to take them for me; the ice was melting in my marguerita).

The only "faux pas" of the evening was due to the fact that Wife has cousins (S and J, daughters of Wife's cousin L) who are identical twins (quite attractive twins, in fact); when they visit their parents, a parent has to peep out of a window to see what kind of vehicle is in the driveway so they will know which twin has disembarked (one has a grey vehicle, the other a green one). When J arrived, she had both her son and S's kids with her, so scoping out the thrice-stepped-over cousins offered Wife no clue. Calculating the odds (yeah, right) and determining that she had a 50-50 chance, Wife enthusiastically greeted J with: Oh, I'm so happy that you could make it, S!

What I can't understand is why S and J get frustrated that no one can tell them apart, yet when one of them (doesn't matter which one) calls Wife on the phone and I answer, they get bent out of shape when I announce the call to Wife (making sure that the caller can hear me):

Hey! It's a Twin; not the pretty one, the other one!

The calling Twin inevitably spends the first quarter-hour of the call ranting at Wife about how they are identical, and trying to get Wife to explain why I find one of them "prettier" than the other (which likewise inevitably results in Wife, several hours later when she gets off the phone, chastising me, which only eggs me on; seems like they would have figured this out by now).

Anyway, after the aforementioned "faux pas" on the part of Wife, she immediately joined me and my margueritas (yeah, plural; our serving wench waitress and the beertender were kind of busy by now, due to the fact that a couple of other guests had arrived and were insisting on ordering drinks also, so I was being considerate by placing a standing order for two margueritas every other time she went to the bar). Wife explained her gaffe to me (in a somewhat accusatory manner, as if it was somehow my fault), so when S finally did arrive, I actually didn't have any problem telling them apart; J had her hair in a ponytail, and S's hair was not in a ponytail.

Thirty years seems like a long time when you're just beginning a marriage (or anything else, for that matter). But looking back, it doesn't seem like a long time at all. (I guess its sort of like aging: as I get older, it seems as if time goes by faster [perhaps because I'm running out of it?]) Looking forward, you don't know what's ahead; when you come to a fork, you make your best decision, but you can't always be sure that it's the correct one, and even if it is, you can't be sure that something beyond your control won't knock you off course. Looking back, you can break the time into smaller chunks by using memories as milestones. You'll never know for sure where those "forks" you didn't take would have led, and I have yet to see a road without at least a few rocks on it somewhere along the way. Wife and I have for the most part chosen which fork to take as a team, and we have managed at times to choose the right fork for the wrong reason and at other times to choose the wrong fork for the right reason. The one fork we chose, about which there is no doubt, was the one which resulted in our marriage thirty years ago, which in turn resulted in Daughter.

While I am looking forward to our fiftieth anniversary, I do hope that it takes a while to get here. At the rate I am aging, I might be too old to enjoy the party!