I am currently on a plane headed to the Midwest for Ann Arbor to celebrate my aunt and uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary. Yes, that’s them – how cute are they? These two humans have chosen to stay together for 5 decades. Kinda blows your mind a little bit doesn’t it? I don’t think I like anything that much, let alone a person. That’s a lot of time. That’s a lot of love. 50 years. With marriages lasting mere hours these days, it really is quite remarkable and should be celebrated with every single ounce of joy because they’ve proved it’s possible and that it can be done. Love can be a beautiful thing if you work at it. If you’re not willing to do the work, you have no business being a part of it. 50 years ago was another time in space. The redcoats were coming, everyone joined at the town square at noon to burn witches, muskets were on a two for one sale at SEARS and I’m kidding. But seriously the highlights of 1968 were the assassinations of MLK and Robert F. Kennedy, we orbited the moon for the first time and the first interracial kiss was aired on television. It was a different world.
Fifty years is a tremendous amount of time. It makes me contemplate getting a 5 year wedding plan. Anyone in for 5 years? I love you, but I don’t know what kind of weird bullshit you’re going to try to pull in the next 5 years, so let’s play this cool, alright? If this goes well and you don’t piss me off, we’ll look into another 5. High-five. That seems much more doable than a 50-year wedding plan. Yikes. There should be levels of marriage. Like, oh, do you want the lifetime experience or would you prefer the ‘I’m still figuring out my sexuality but want to go ahead and start a family so I can keep family dynamics in America real’ package? Or perhaps you would be interested in the ‘I’m going to love them forever until I don’t’ bundle? Weddings need more options. Hi, what kind of wedding are you having? Oh, we decided on the 15 year plan. You? We went for 10. Figured we could learn to hate each other for a decade and then reassess. You can have your arguments before the wedding ever happens! It’s genius. Babe, why you only giving me 20? I thought we had a real thing going on here. And I’d be like, listen, your family’s gene pool is suspect and my family’s life expectancy is pretty much fatal and I have the attention span of a toddler, so let’s be realistic.
Because here’s the thing- I don’t think a lot of people who get married get it. Forever is a long time and life is pretty much a game of monopoly that makes you want to flip a table, disassociate from your family from time to time and hire a bounty hunter. (Sidenote: If you really want to mix things up while playing Monopoly, take tequila shots every time you roll doubles. I’ve never wanted to stay in jail so much in my life. Spoiler Alert, you will regret it.) Life is crazy. Shit happens. Hell, I’m a different person than I was this morning. That whole ‘until death do us part’ thing doesn’t seem to be resonating with a lot of people. This isn’t a trial period. This isn’t honor and cherish you until I see something sparkly on the other side of the road and then I’m going to check that out and maybe treat you like a black plague victim for a bit but I might be back but I don’t know. Might make some pit stops along the way, stop for some BBQ, google search some shit, go have my Eat, Love, Pray experience and pretty much avoid you until further notice- But maybe I’ll see you later! That’s not how this works! That’s not how any of this works!
I’m 35…in 50 years I’ll be 85 and quite honestly, I don’t even know if I wanna live that long. Last week I convinced myself I had appendicitis and brain cancer, so hypochondria alone might be the death of me as far as manifestation theories go. My goal is to leave this earth on a high note when the going is good. I don’t want to get old and senile and become dependent on other people like some body of nuisance. I just want the powers that be to look down on my life and think, yeah, that’ll do. And POOF! That’ll be the way I go. No drama. Just one day I’m going to go to bed and that’ll be the end of it. And hopefully I miss a colonoscopy because of it. Or maybe the powers that be are just watching my life like some kind of reality show, filled with amusement and disappointment. All gathered around a magic globe like ‘Ugh, what dumb thing is she going to do today?’ And I couldn’t even blame them for that. I make questionable decisions on a daily basis. Smart people do dumb things sometimes, okay?
So cheers to two people who made vows 50 years ago today and managed to stay true to their word. It is rare. I am so lucky I’ve had a font row seat. They chose to wake up every single morning and say ‘I do’. That’s 18,250 I do’s. Yeah, I did the math. – my sister just asked about leap years. Shut up. That’s pretty epic if you ask me. The romantic optimist in me is forever grateful. It gives me real hope and on behalf of this country, this world and this universe, we sure could use some. And I know I joke a lot but that’s the kind of marriage I’m interested in. I don’t want a lease. I’m playing for keeps. I want it all. No givebacks. I want to explore the world together, I want to watch Jeopardy every night before dinner and I want someone who yells at the TV as much as I do when I watch sports. I’m still going to want to hold your hand when we are old and wrinkly – well, not too wrinkly but wrinkly-ER. When I say I do, I’m going to mean it, so saddle up wherever you are.