Blue skies, and clouds as pretty as a painting tell me it’s going to be a good day. I like that, especially because today is our wedding anniversary. And we’re still laughing. Forty-seven years ago, Louie and I tied the knot. High school sweethearts (different schools), we dated for three years. It did not matter that we didn’t have much money. What mattered was that we were in love. Louie was 21 and I was 19. Louie remembers the day when I said, “We should get married.” He said, okay, when? Next month, I said.
Our small wedding ceremony was in the lush backyard of the home where I grew up. With their own hands, my mother and father had always done the landscaping, including exotic plants, trees, and beautiful steppingstones. And Mom, who worked as a bookkeeper at the 42-story Crocker Tower in downtown Los Angeles, arranged for our reception to be held at the building’s roof-top restaurant. Looking at the photo of us cutting the cake is precious and so 70s.
I’ve had plenty of time to think about what we did to last this long. Hands down, marrying young – and not starting a family until eight years later -- was the secret to our success. We started from scratch together.
Somewhere around Year 20, I read an article about marriage – that it progresses in seven-year intervals. It was spot on.
In a nutshell, the first seven years is the toughest as husband and wife figure out their positions in the relationship -- the famous Seven-Year Itch that often decides the fate of a union.
By the 14-year mark, the couple has matured, settling into life together. But pushing and pulling is still happening. This is the next test.
If a couple can make it to 20 years, they can press the buzzer. Like ninja warriors, they have stayed the course. All those years of hard work, patience, supporting each other, and giving in (because you really do like each other) have turned into acceptance. It’s better to focus on the strengths each one brings to the relationship. When you do, fretting about the little stuff is suddenly of no consequence. And it’s icing on the cake when you can laugh a lot together.
Most of all, remember why you fell in love in the first place. On that note, I interrupted my morning writing, preheated the oven, and baked a fresh batch of fragrant lemon scones.
Happy Anniversary, Partner!
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