31 Years

My parents are celebrating their 31st Wedding Anniversary this weekend.  It is a whole weekend celebration because 31 years ago they married on February 29th.  They argue about the anniversary being on the last day of February or the day after the 28th, so in compromise the both days are observed.  They met in high school and have not stopped googly eying each other since.  Gross. 

 Being that I lived with them for what is still the majority of my life, their relationship was really the main model of what a relationship between two people should look like.  They, of course, made the whole thing look easy.  Like a TGIF sitcom mom and dad.  Double gross. 

 In 31 years of married life, they’ve gone through crappy jobs, two teenage boys, career switches, cancers, home remodels, two teenage boys, and all the daily highs and lows that life throws.  And they’ve gone through it holding hands.  Come on, now.  Gross. 

So how does 31 years of hanging out together work? I’ve spent 29 years with myself and have barely tolerated the experience. But that span with another human? That takes work. And they make it look easy. 

I have two take always from their marriage. 

The first is to laugh together. Now I’ve seen pictures of my dad from when he and my mom met; he had to be funny (self burn, I look just like him). Their humor guided them through rough patches and fun times alike. Disagreements were always ended with a joke, plans were made through laughs and they made sure my brother and I laughed along with them.

It taught me to not take things so seriously. There are bad times, but that partner at your side is your greatest ally. So long as they are near, life is good. 

They taught me that above all else, encourage each other. We go through so many stages of life. Goals change, we grow and find new paths to venture down.  My parents always encouraged each other as these new ideas and interests popped up. They consulted each other before drastic life changes were made, but they were always supportive and encouraging. 

To my parents, thanks for modeling sane adult relationships. The lessons provided have certainly helped me not be murdered by my own wife. Yet. 

Happy anniversary. May you have 31 more years of hanging out with your best pal and partner. 

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