As I contemplated whether or not I would give him a shake to shut him up, it got me to thinking that I have been listening to this night music for almost 20 years.
Officially we have been married for 17 of those 20 and today is our wedding anniversary. Seventeen years ago today we took the vows till death do us part in the living room of our home in Deep Cove surrounded by friends. It was a beautiful unusually sunny spring day in Vancouver and our guests were able to mingle out on the deck for drinks after the ceremony and the cocktail party that was supposed to be from 4:00 to 7:00 saw our last guests head home at 3:00 am. It was a great time and we will always remember the day.
This marriage is round two for both of us (first time spouses couldn't keep the "faithful" part of the vows") and it's looking like neither of us will be introducing spouse #3 anytime soon. Our journey has been easy compared to some I know. We have seen friends struggle with their relationships, cheating spouses, separation, divorce and even- tragically -death. Times like those make you grateful for what you have, even on the days when you are ready to ring each others necks over some trivial thing or another.
We're pretty lucky actually. If I had to tell someone what makes it work, I guess I would say that for us it's Commitment, Compromise (that's a tough one), Respect and generally knowing when to shut up and back off. We never name call (out loud) and we are friends. We like each other as well as love each other. It's not rocket science. We always put the needs of our daughter before our own and that is a very strong common bond. Neither of us are perfect but we don't find it necessary to point that out to one another and as good old Dr. Phil says, we are each other's "safe place to fall".
Katharine Hepburn used to say that she thought a couple shouldn't live in the same house together but they should live next door to each other. I think she had the right idea in a way. Just think, it would be like dating all the time. He would have his space and you would have yours, you would never have to pick up his stuff and he would never have to trip over your shoes at the front door. You wouldn't have to share a bathroom (think how much you could save on air freshener!). In theory, it makes sense. I'm just not sure, as much as it annoys me, that I wouldn't miss my husband's nightly concerto. At least I know he's alive....and he's there.
Now, I'm gonna go in and give him a shake and wish him a Happy Anniversary.