Down And Dirty: A Marriage Turns Thirty
I just reached my thirtieth wedding anniversary. It came and went without the Rocky music playing; just a basic Tuesday, a bottle of wine, some seafood and a couple of cute photos posted. Honestly, it didn’t seem like such a Herculean effort reaching the milestone. I’ve got a bunch of friends and family still long-hauling in their marriages. I’ve also got friends who are my-age-newlyweds and one that has finally found Mr. Right with husband #3. These friends are still at the starry-eyed stage so I try not to spend too much time with them (it makes me feel bad about broadcasting every misstep of my spouse). Obviously they’ve got a lot of catching up to do, but my point is, hitting 30 years didn’t seem as symbolic as it (probably) was. Really, if given the choice between staying married or online dating … shudder.
I don’t have any words of wisdom and can’t share any magical tips (my Master Class on Matrimony would most resemble a stand-up routine) but having made it this far I guess I might possess some admirable experience on living harmoniously with facial tics, no?
Sure, we’ve come a long way, baby, but it’s not because I picked a perfect partner (please — more on his jazz hands later) but I guess what it boils down to is I just sorta picked someone perfect in putting up with me.
I’m super easy-going. Until I’m not.
I’m fairly sensible. Until um, shoes.
I’m reasonably intelligent. Until um, history, geography and science questions.
I’m a (cue WooHoo!) damn good time. Until um, Tito’s.
And that’s not even mentioning the heels, hot wings, beer and karaoke I come with.
Trust me, as wives go, I’ve got it going on. Him? Sigh. Not so much.
He’s a little bit weirdo (closes every blind in every room when he takes a shower, convinced the neighbors are lying in wait with binoculars), a little bit rebel (that’s it, NO! I am NOT getting up in the middle of the night to finish this final dose of colonoscopy cleanse!) and at times a lot annoying (everyone likes him. I mean everyone. Really, it’s annoying.)
Worse, while I battle the sands of time and do everything in my power to fight the good fight (collagen powder, get to work, girl!), he chooses to age right in front of my eyes. Want to hear the extended 10-day forecast every morning before you’ve stirred your coffee? He’s your guy.
His signature move? Watching rock and roll documentaries every weekend in the early hours before I rise and telling me about them all day long. Stevie Nicks, we hardly knew ye.
And then there are all those other things I’m pretty sure are commandments of the Husband Oath:
Picking movies of zero interest to others, then falling asleep during them and asking for a recap. (Hard nope.)
Demanding the remote, selecting a show, then immediately scrolling on his phone.
Warming up the shower for longer time than his actual shower.
And, finally, the absolute worst: losing weight effortlessly, whenever he feels he’s put on a few.
Right? How in the world does he have any woman?
I could scream, but if I’m being completely honest, it’s not all bad. For starters, he happens to be an exceptional dad (although he was forced to relinquish his power to assert consequence after, during a heated family blowout, he delivered the infamous phrase that will now forever be etched on our family tree: This ain’t no gangsta family!) It certainly diffused the tense situation but it took awhile for four teenagers to get up off the floor. He’s slowing regaining some street cred with them (he ran a couple of marathons and got Venmo) so he’ll be fine.
He’s a keeper. He gets me. He still tells me to be careful every time he spies me on my folding stepstool. And he continually buys me itty bitty icky underwear off the internet because in his eyes I haven’t aged a day or gained a pound since 1991.
Most days we are a living, breathing marriage meme (“If you like getting annoyed at the way someone loads a dishwasher, marriage may be for you!”) but clearly we’ve seemed to find our groove. Longtime couples get super fat, super grey, super snippy, and super unsexy over the course of time. We’ve figured out the secret sauce is not doing it all at the same time. We’ve learned to alternate and stagger that shizz.
Our marriage has had our fair share of critical moments but like childbirth, those times fade to a murky remembrance once you’ve gotten through them and the storms are in the rearview mirror. Deep down, we genuinely like each other. And (jazz hands notwithstanding) we make each other laugh.
About those jazz hands, I’m not spilling tea here — he parades them in public when (cringe) dancing. Picture a ridiculously happy guy, arms raised above his head, pumping them up and down while encouraging others to join him — you know, like a bouncing (bopping) billboard for Club Med. In the secret society of love languages, this is our private signal that I am now the designated driver. See? We work well together.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, James, will you accept this rose?
It’s time we celebrate. Whaddaya say we get romantic and pop in our edited, three-hour wedding videotape to see if we recognize anyone.
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