Twenty-seven years ago today, I asked Wife to marry me. That was quite romantic of me, wasn't it, to propose on Valentine's Day?
I have had varying degrees of success at the romance thing since that time. It means different things to different people and quite often means something different to a man than a woman. Nothing profound there, of course, and there have been whole books written about it. You know, the whole Mars and Venus thing.
I have never had formal counseling or therapy (no wise cracks, please) but the minister who performed our wedding required that we meet with him four or five times before our big day. He had us fill out some type of personality analysis and said that, on paper, we were really not very compatible. He was quick to tell us, though, to our relief, that "on paper" didn't mean that much to him, it just gave him a frame of reference.
As time went on, he gave his wholehearted endorsement to our union. He had some good insights too, anticipating some of the things that might trip us up along the way. I remember he had us write down some of our "expectations" and I can't tell you today what one of them was. I do remember that some of the things I was concerned about before we got married ended up being matters of no concern.
For instance, I just knew, since I had lived alone, that having someone there with me all the time would get on my nerves. I warned my intended that I would need my personal space. Two weeks after we were married, she went over to her parents' house to do laundry (we had no washer and drier at the time) and after she was gone for about and hour and a half, I went over there. I was way over the needing my space thing and have been ever since.
I do know that when we said, "I do," we said it was for keeps. Wife has jokingly said she might consider murdering me, but never leaving me. (Remember, that's a JOKE). FDIL told us the night she and Older Son got engaged that the longevity of our marriage, and that of her parents, gives her a strong heritage and foundation on which she and Older Son begin their life together. I consider that a very high compliment and I know her folks do too.
All these years later Wife and I find ourselves on the home stretch, I guess, of raising a family. Older Son's getting married in June. Daughter graduates from college in May. Younger Son graduates from high school in May and is off to college in August, probably passing Daughter coming in the door as he goes out.
Ralph the Dog, now at least 13 years old, is no doubt beginning to wonder if there will ever come a time when he can just find his little spot in the sun and lie there peacefully, without having to preside over the ever revolving door.
Yes, Wife pronounced us in the "Revolving Door years" some time ago, accurately labeling this period of life in which we now find ourselves. They come in, they go out. And even when they go out, many of their "things" remain. Just this weekend Daughter brought home a bin full of winter clothes and put them in her little area of the basement, that area that she promises to go through and condense just as soon as she gets home again. Just for grins, I'm going to suggest a specific date and time for her, just to help her along.
I have pronounced more than once that, for every item that goes in the basement, two items must come out. I have quit saying that so I'll be less discouraged at the futility of those words.
I talk a big game. In reality, of course, they and their stuff are always welcome. I will be appreciative of any efforts at efficiency but I'm not going to get too worked up over it all. We can all just keep revolving together.
And I'm really thankful today that on that Valentine's Day 27 years ago, Wife agreed to revolve with me.