Still Happily Ever After

27 06 2018

Yesterday was our 33rd wedding anniversary.

We did not exchange gifts, which is exactly what we both wanted.

We’ve reached a wonderful place in our relationship We’ve stopped trying to impress each other with over-the-top, work-too-hard, grand gestures. We no longer feel the need for those long soul-searching conversations (that so often lead couples straight down the path to Marital Spat Central.)  We know each other very well and – great news – not only do we still love each other, we still really LIKE each other.

For those of you who have not had quite the number of years of on-the-job training as we have, here’s a snapshot of our life together. It just might give you an idea of how we stay happily married!

Here are the Top Ten Old Married Lewis Conversations, in their Entirety:

Number Ten

K: What would you like to do this weekend?
P: What do we have DVR’d?

Number Nine

K: Would you like to go out to dinner?
P: There’s tuna fish in the kitchen.

Number Eight

K: Would you like me to drive?
P: (Silence – incredulous look and slow shake of head, as wife slides behind the wheel.)

Number Seven

P: (Upon hearing growling/cursing) Can I help you?
K: No, this damn thing (laptop – always the laptop!) doesn’t work . . . it’s working.

Number Six

K: (As I am finishing my first pot of the day) Do you have coffee?
P: (Watching my not-morning-person-husband shuffle across the kitchen)I could use another cup.

Number Five

P: What would you like for dinner?
K: Whatever you want.

Number Four

K: What did you feed the (guinea) pigs?
P: Everything in the fridge, all day.

Number Three

P: Can I have some money?
K: You know where my wallet is.

Number Two

P: It is a BEAUTIFUL day!
K: (Looks at wife as if I am speaking in Klingon and returns to reading emails.)

and the Number One Conversation is . . .

K: What would you like for our anniversary?
P: More anniversaries with you.

We were much cuter in 1985, but we’re so much happier than we could have imagined back then. (Okay, I still think he’s cute!)


No Surprise!

28 06 2017

Our 32nd wedding anniversary was Monday.  My dear husband researched what is the traditional gift for the occasion, only to find that there isn’t one. What he did find was the admonition that anyone married thirty-two years should damn well know what to get their spouse!

Husband knows very well that I do not like surprises.  As a matter of fact, I have an extremely bad reaction to them – they piss me off.  Sorry, I know that’s inappropriate, but it’s the way I’m wired. That said, he couldn’t bring himself NOT to buy me something to mark the occasion  .  .  .   I gotta hand it to him, this time. He walked the perfect line between satisfying my need to not be rankled and his need to bring me a gift. 

Boli and Bubbly!

 The man really does know me very well.

Time Flies

5 10 2016

Have you been married for a L-O-N-G time? 

Do you ever wonder whether or not there is any capital-L Love still burning or whether it’s merely inertia that keeps the two of you together?

After years of youthful spats, mortgage, kids, in-laws, illnesses, and lawn mowers, it’s easy to believe that we’re just in the habit of being married.

Here’s something that proves just how wrong that idea can be:

On the occasion of their 35th wedding anniversary, my brother-in-law shared a lovingly curated group of photographs with this message to my sister:

Beautiful Bride, Loving Wife, Mother of my Children, Trusted Partner, and Loyal Friend. These are the words I think of when I think of you. I have loved you for over 35 years and I look forward to another 35 years with you.

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This is pretty spectacular evidence that the middle chapter of a real-life love story is as wonderful as the opening paragraph.  Keep turning the pages; it just gets better and better.

Well, That’s Not Good!

22 06 2016

Been hearing a lot about what’s good and what’s bad, these days, from folks who seem to feel that they are the arbiters of our society.  Well, far be it from me not to offer my opinion, so here are a few things I just don’t like and I can’t figure out why anyone else does:

  1. Horror movies – if I wanted to be scared s#!tless, I’d watch the news.
  2. Cilantro – soap in your salsa?
  3. The American League – pitchers who get paid gazillions of dollars should not have to play offense AND defense like everyone else?
  4. Chardonnay – makes me want to wash out my mouth with a bar of cilantro, um soap.
  5. Drake – seems like a nice fellow, but that’s not music to my ears.
  6. Reality TV – no Kardashian drama; give me well-written and well-acted television. (Sherlock, The Blacklist, Mr. Robot)
  7. Hyacinths – the fragrance of mean old ladies.
  8. Tuna – unless it’s from a can and mixed with mayo, onion, and celery, it’s a big blecchhh.
  9. Christmas – too much pressure, too many bad songs, and it’s cold outside!
  10. Yard Sales – just no.

Okay, how far did you get before you disagreed with my assessment of these few things? I’ll bet it didn’t take long. Notice that, although I heartily dislike the things on my list, and I cannot fathom why you might like them, you’re absolutely free to watch, buy, consume, or visit them. I can choose not to accompany you, but I won’t keep you from going there.

The fact that you like something that I don’t does not prevent me from enjoying what I do like, so let’s all just raise a glass of whatever we choose and toast:

To Peace!

To Love!


To Each Their* Own!

* Much as loathe using “their” as a singular pronoun, I understand that it’s the best we have in the English language, right now, to be inclusive. Something I am learning to dislike less. Walking the talk, here, or at least writing it.

P.S. In case I was too subtle with this post – I am (not) often accused of that –  it’s about accepting LGBTQ folks, folks of differing religions, immigrants, old, young, Pittsburgh sports team fans . . . Don’t just live and let live. Live happily and encourage others to do the same. Kindness is always the right choice. I like it!


Que Sera, Sera

2 09 2015

In a few weeks, my dear father-in-law will be eighty years old,  so we’ve spent the last week in Mexico, celebrating this milestone with seven days of sunshine, food, drink, and family.

I am a very lucky woman to have married into this smart, funny, and kind group of people.

While this week has been wonderful, it has also been melancholy, for my own dear father’s birthday is also toward the end of September. It seems odd that the happiest family moments can draw the most bittersweet of memories, the sharpest pangs of grief.

Dad’s been gone for over twenty years, but I often hear his voice in my head, usually gently teasing me, always supporting me. This week, I heard him singing to me.

          Goodbye Joe, me gotta go me oh my oh . . .

          Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be . . .

          Bet my money on a bob-tail nag; somebody bet on the bay.

These were songs he sang to me when I was a little girl. They remind me that my earliest memories are of my father’s love. I suppose the family love that surrounded our group this week is what drew that music to my ears.

I am a very lucky woman to be the daughter of a smart, funny, and kind man.

Now, I am going to sing myself to sleep. Dream sweetly.

I’ll Be There for You

24 06 2015

I’ve written and spoken, more than a few times, about the idea of Coach versus Cheerleader – you know, the difference between giving advice and giving support – and why, while both are important facets of partnering and friendship, it’s crucial to know when to play which role.

This post is dedicated to the third C of partnership. My father embodied this role, so it’s only fitting that Father’s Day week, I write about

The Champion.

One of the most impressive things my dad ever said to me – and he was a very smart, kind, and exquisitely funny man – was

I don’t care who’s right or wrong; I’m on your side, Baby.

Can you imagine how safe he made me and my mother and my siblings feel by letting us know – in his words and his deeds – that he was there for us, not matter what kind of mess we’d made, no matter how big the monster chasing us, no matter how many times we’d made mistakes?

This is not to say he was never Coach; he gave wise and well-placed advice. He was also a very sly Cheerleader, master of effective understatement, laced with humor. No, this is not about celebrating a lenient permissive parent; this is about celebrating the total dedication of a man to his family – first, last, and always – and about the profound way that love empowered me. My dad’s been gone for over twenty years, but his wit, kindness, and love will never dim.

Next time your kid, your friend, or your spouse comes to you with a $#it%torm of a problem, try getting in their corner before you get on their case. You can work out the “how’d you get yourself into this mess and how do you plan to get out of it?” later. First, just declare your allegiance. Stand beside them against their bogeyman. All your coaching and cheering that follows will be so much more effective.

You were made to ride that white stallion. Saddle up.

Thanks, Dad.


A Different Christmas Song

10 12 2014

Ho! Ho! Hum.

Everywhere I look, there is someone bemoaning the season.  Folks are out of sorts because they’re out of work, out of money, out of energy . . .

For many, just plain out of gratitude.

This will be the fifth Christmas without my beautiful Jessica. She was only twenty when she left us. She still believed in Santa Claus.

When I think of that enormous loss, the un-healable wound, I think I need a different Christmas song: Everything I Own  sounds about right. Then I remember what a magnificent gift it was to have had such a wonder-filled twenty short years.  I also remind myself that there is no going back, only going on, and that to accept the sadness but refuse all the goodness that still surrounds me is just wrong.

It stinks not to be able to fill your child’s Christmas stocking. It is lousy that you can’t get off work to visit your friends.  Things were better before you lost your job.  I don’t dismiss ANY of these kinds of problems.  I must, though, take exception to the idea that you let your holidays be defined by what you can’t do or don’t have.  In spite of the hardships, which visit every one of us, I wish you a happy season, filled with the celebration of what we DO have.

Don’t find yourself singing a different Christmas song.  Sing FA-LA-LA-LA-LA at the top of your lungs, even if your gay apparel is a few years old and your holly’s a bit wilted! Consider the people in your life who make you smile and warm your heart. Tell them.

Joy to the world.