My husband and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary yesterday. Until recently, we’d never done anything special to mark the day we were married. My husband doesn’t like special occasions or holidays, and when my children were little, I didn’t enjoy being away from them. So, we got into a habit of not doing anything for our anniversary, and we were fine with that.
Last year, though, was my Half Life Anniversary. Never seen a Hallmark card for it? That’s because I made it up. It’s the anniversary that marks when you’ve been married for half your life. Half! Married as long as not! Everything after that means you’ve been married longer than not. It’s a very significant date, in my mind, and I reminded him of it several times that year.
I really wanted to go to France or Italy for my Half Life Anniversary, like I wanted to go to Paris for my honeymoon. It didn’t happen either time, but we did go away for a couple days together in July. Alone together anywhere is lovely as it is rare.
This year, I decided we should celebrate our anniversary every year, on the actual day. I feel like it is an accomplishment to be married this long. I love my husband, but not all of the twenty three years have been easy ones. Ups and downs, and knocked about by life. Six out of the last eight years were outright hard, and there are days I still feel emotionally bruised and raw. But we’re still together, still growing, still figuring out life together, still in love, and that is worth celebrating.
I forgot to tell him about wanting to celebrate our anniversary every year for the rest of our lives. I’m like that; I forget to talk out loud. Then, about a week or two ago he was telling me about his upcoming travel schedule, including a weekend trip which fell on our anniversary.
“You can’t be away on our anniversary,” I said.
“That’s not our anniversary.”
“Yes, it is.”
“Our anniversary is the following weekend.”
“No, it’s not.”
This exchanged continued for a bit. He had not forgotten the date we were wed; he’d miscounted the weekends. Eventually, he realized that yes, our anniversary fell on the weekend in question.
“Were we doing something that day?”
“Yes, I want to celebrate our anniversary on the real day from now on.”
“We never do that.”
“I decided we should start. It’s an accomplishment: more than half my life I’ve been married to you.”
“Okay, I’ll reschedule that one for the following weekend.”
See why I am still crazy in love with him? He may be lousy with a calendar, but he grasps the Half Life concept. At least, he understands that the Half Life concept is significant to me.
Selfishly, I am also hoping a few little celebrations may lead us to somewhere big for his Half Life Anniversary.
(That is one of the really cool things about the Half Life Anniversary. Unless you are the same age, you each get your own! Then, later, if you are lucky, you each get the Twice-As-Long Anniversary, where you’ve been married twice as long as not. I’m pretty sure I’m spending that one in a romantic European location.)