December 5 marked the day that Jenni and I have been married for nine years. She blogged about it earlier. Many who will read this also read her blog, and already know. Anyone who knows me at all knows that I like to do things differently than other people. It seems like the decade mark is far more of a milestone than the nine-year mark, so I’m going to go at this with the “party like it’s 1999” philosophy, or the “millenium at the year 2000” philosophy, assuming that the years A. D. started counting from “1” and not “0.”
Therefore, as of the sixth of this month, I have started celebrating our ten-year anniversary, as we have entered into the first day of the tenth year of our union. I think that celebrating for an entire year sounds a whole lot more fun than celebrating for a day, anyway. The advantages for celebrating my marriage for the year are nearly countless, and I think that every married couple should do the same!
First off, I don’t have to worry about forgetting a special date. When every day between 12/5/07 and 12/5/08 is my tenth anniversary, there’s no way I can forget it! I think that every guy who has had a special lady has gotten himself in trouble at one time or another for not remembering some date, whether temporarily or long-term, and if it was a birthday, anniversary, a trip to the vet with the family dog (who may have been about to become a eunuch), or even his wedding day, because he was still too drunk or hung-over after some ill-planned, last-minute bacheloring (thank God, I steered clear of this particular blunder). And, what could possibly be more important to remember than the wedding anniversary (assuming that one gets a wedding anniversary, barring that last example I gave). So, if every day of the year is the anniversary, it will then supersede the birthday, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and all those other days that can be so hard to remember.
To that end, even if I did screw up in a way to make her angry at me, she will be predisposed to be more kind and patient with me since it will be our anniversary! If I accidentally break off the corner of the kitchen counter, or get motor oil on the rug, instead of screaming, or worse yet – silently fuming at me, she’ll be far more likely to shrug it off because, after all, it is our anniversary. The way I look at it, on a day like December the fifth, nine years after “I do,” to the day, the only thing that I could possibly do to piss her off would be to forget that it was our anniversary on that day. So, if every other day of the year was our anniversary, it would be like being married to the “another chance” machine! Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like Jenni goes around with a chip on her shoulder and a whip in her hand, or is looking for an excuse to be pissed at me. Quite the contrary, she is very understanding, level-headed, and quick to forgive my iniquities. However, on the rare occasion that I have really made her angry, it has not been fun in the least. Then again, if I did happen to do something so bad that it upset her during such a time of celebration, it could very well be a “party over, oops out of time” moment anyway.
Therefore, except for the rare example in which I might make her angry, or in the chance that I had to get her presents every day for the entire year, it sounds like a total win-win situation. Besides that, if I have to get her gifts, she has to get me some as well, and we just don’t have the budget for that.
But, seriously now: All other jokes aside, people should love, cherish and appreciate their spouses. Too many people in our society view their chosen loved ones as the caught fish. If we would all keep pursuing our partners, with the knowledge that we don’t belong to each other, and that we aren’t ever “tamed,” but remain wild creatures that must be cared for in order to keep, the divorce rate in the U. S., and the rest of the world for that matter, would diminish to an obscure level.
Take falconry, for example. For those who hunt with a raptor, or a bird of prey, they must convince the bird to stay with them, because it may choose to leave at any time. If people would view each other in this same light, knowing that the bird could make a decision to fly away, imagine how we would cherish each other’s affections more. I know, as my wife does, that we choose to be together, and other than a very weakly binding, state-issued contract, and a couple of metal rings, there is nothing keeping either of us in the nest beyond our own choices.
I find it fascinating that the love of a parent for a child is so forgiving, accepting, and so unconditional, on a level that most will not extend to the spouse that they have chosen to spend their time with. Of course I love my son, because he’s my son! But, by the same token, of course I love my wife, because I decided to make her my wife! Why do people love their children to a degree lacking condition that they cannot extend to their spouse, anyway? I believe that it’s because they recognize the children as fallen and incomplete, in need of direction and love. Therefore I will submit that we attempt to love our spouses to the same degree, recognizing the spouse as fallen and incomplete, in need of direction and love.
Celebrate every day as if it is the first and the last. Cherish each moment, whether you are in the middle of a busy, stressful schedule or relaxing quietly. Set aside time for each other. Make a little room for failure, as we are each so very capable of it. Love God and let Him bless the marriage. If you come across a truly challenging problem, seek advise from a couple that’s been happily married for half a century – apparently they know something. Tell your spouse what you like about him or her. Don’t be too busy to help, hug, or love. Always make sure that your spouse is the center of your affections, and has a special place in your life that could never be taken by another. But, never forget that your spouse is a wild creature, and must be cared for properly so that they want to return the affection.
Be a lady or a gentleman. When the occasion calls for it, be a silly freak. Be the shoulder to cry on, and the trusted confidant. Don’t jump to conclusions, but ask lots of questions. Give the benefit of the doubt. Never storm out angry. All of this goes for the ladies and the gents. This goes for my lady and me. This is why we have just started celebrating the tenth year of our marriage, and are more crazy about each other now than when we were dating.