So this weekend was our 23rd Wedding Anniversary.
That surprises me, just a little bit. Not so much the fact that it is 23 years - good heavens, I had no real conception of how long we would make it in the first place - but on people's reaction.
I posted a short comment and picture on Facebook, mostly about the dinner and only (I thought) coincidentally about our anniversary. I received a great deal of support and like and comments and "reactions" (whatever those are supposed to be).
My first thought was "Is 23 years really that rare?"
It does not feel like some kind of worked for accomplishment, not like trying to lift a caber and turn it or the constant worry about if a garden will take. In a way, it was just sort of showing up - and continuing to show up.
It is not like I think people imagine it would be. There are bumps in the road. Long periods - sometimes years, it feels like - of lingering issues that seem to hang around. And perhaps it is a common complaint, but marriages of this length are scarcely like those of the movies.
I still midlife crisis every now and then, of course. As I alluded to earlier, sometimes it feels like everything is the same - and will continue to be same, time without end. The exotic allures, the course of "freedom" beckons.
And then goes away, of course. There are commitments to keep and bills to pay and children to be responsible for and pets that need attention. That is the nature of this life, and certainly I have been around enough to grasp that most of what I see is only the side I want to see, not the side as it actually is.
And there are compensations, of course. I wish I was conscious of all of them. But one, I think, I now know: most people think that you sticking with it is something special.
And perhaps that is not all a bad thing.