This Memorial Day weekend marked my 21st wedding anniversary with The Hubbers. Yes, I’ve made a few good decisions in my life, and getting married on a three day weekend was one of them…you know, good sales on mattresses and chips, pool parties, and sometimes we find fireworks. That’s us in a horse drawn Cinderella carriage pulled by Annie…
Our first date was on 6-7-‘89….did you notice that particular string of numbers? Cool huh? Anyway, we went to Six Flags Over Texas…which is funny because now he picks the SLOWEST ride in all of everness. Poor Annie just waddled along at a whopping 2 mph. Anyway back to our first date… I had visions of the rollercoaster slinging me into his arms and him winning a huge stuffed Pink Panther or pink gorilla for me on the Midway (give me a break we were 18 and 19). But instead our mutual friend, who we’ll call ‘Dave Griswold’, went along with us, and while I love me some Griswold, my hopes for a new romance would have to wait. How this happened I’ll never know. It was opening weekend for THE FLASHBACK, a lightning fast coaster that suddenly cuts itself short (so you have a chance to vomit without getting it in your hair) only to do it all again BACKWARDS! The G-force was enough to put Hubbers into the arms of Dave and vice versa. How did I miss out on the G-force love you ask? Because the seats were in twosies….so duh, Hubbers sat next to Dave, because duh, we wouldn’t want our third wheel to feel like a third wheel. Maybe I was the third wheel? I sat next to a snot-nosed whiner with evidence of chili cheese fries (or something that was originally brown and cheesy) all over his little green face. At the top of the ride The Hubbers yells “Daddy, my penis tickles!” mocking a kid from the previous rollercoaster ride.
And yet I somehow ended up married to this man.
Twenty one years later we find ourselves relishing in a near perfect life. I know the words perfect and life should never be paired together, but short of living in a beach front mansion in Cozumel with a private chef and bartender…and skin that never gets burned…never having to shave…and being a famous artist married to a famous rock star, this is a close second to a perfect life. We play house in a modest home in a homey neighborhood,
our kids like us, our cars start, all major appliances are in good working order (mostly), we have great health insurance (finally), are healthy, and still share the same interests – drinking wine out by the firepit….easy, simple, happy.
Don’t be fooled. We have been on the edge many times. If we could exist in a bubble…one that is free of parenting and money matters, and which damn peanut butter to buy, we’d live in the land of bliss 100% of the time. I’m now starting to see what all the ‘empty nester’ hype is about. It’s not that parents want their kids to go away; it’s that parents just want to stop making all of those minute decisions that require so much thought and energy. And it would be nice not to have to watch Glee or Cops quite so often, but I’m not complaining. The kids are helpful, tidy, polite, witty, and have normal appetites. Life is good, but it hasn’t always been easy for us.
We’ve seen most of our friends either have brushes with marital death or suffer life changing issues that ultimately ruined their marriage. We’ve also been fortunate enough to be surrounded by long, blessed marriages that we have learned so much from…..how to be good compromisers and better listeners, HOW to have an argument, when to ask for what we need from each other, and the invaluable advice to just buy two damn peanut butters….Organic Creamy and Peter Pan Crunchy in case you were wondering. I’m not pretending to be some marriage guru, but I am the guru of Hubbers and all things Hubber-like, and the one thing that I know for sure is you can’t teach a mean dog a single trick, so being nice is key. Lucky for me, The Hubbers is the kindest man I know. Kind, like Jesus kind, like animals and children are drawn to him kind of kind. A perverse sense of humor but kind, which is the perfect combination for me.
So here I am 21 years into a pretty good marriage and about the only advice I can offer to those who are riding the rollercoaster of love and marriage is just be nice, hang on, lean in to it.