This weekend we celebrated our 29th year of marriage.
Or sort of celebrated. During my absence at The Ranch, The Ravishing Mrs. TB came down with a (thankfully) mild version of The Plague, so I was picked up with and have spent time with her at home masked up (and sleeping in separate areas as well). As she is not feeling well, the anniversary consisted of a card exchange - we debated going out but between her health right now and her managed food program, dining choices are somewhat limited.
Out of a sort of morbid curiosity, I wondered what the statistics are on marriage longevity. Turns out getting "current" data is sort of difficult if you just do a web search, as you can pull data from 1996 to 2018. And things are fairly muddled in all of that. I did learn, for example, that "gray divorce" - couples getting divorced in their 50's after their children are out of the house and they realize their marriage is unsatisfactory - is a thing; and that divorces are trending down (so are first time marriages, for that matter; and the current average age of a man for first time marriage at 30 and a woman at 28). I found one number that said it was about 45% of marriages that reach 30 years or more.
So I guess that (almost) makes us part of a fairly large minority (honestly, I was surprised at that percentage).
It is odd when I think about it that it sounds like a lot of time, but it does not feel like a lot of time. Yet in that period we have moved 8 times (once halfway across the country), bought 3 houses and sold 2 had 8 cars, 4 cats, 2 dogs, 4 guinea pigs, 5 rabbits, 6 quail, 1 parakeet, and innumerable fish. And 3 children.
We have gone to faraway lands and stayed close to home. We have had two job losses, one self inflicted (mine, The Firm) and one that was unanticipated, both of which changed our lives in significant ways.
We have had success and failures - more successes than failures overall, I suppose. Had you asked me 29 years ago if I thought I would have been married this long, I probably would have shrugged my shoulders and not really had any idea - which was about the same way I entered the marriage, I suppose. I am still somewhat in awe that it has lasted this long.
I am sure at some point The Ravishing Mrs. TB will feel better and we will go out to do something, although likely not associated with gifts per se - at this point all the smaller items we could buy for each other we generally buy for ourselves, and the much more expensive items require consultation and are never a surprise anyway. Which is fine of course - the 29th traditional anniversary gift is apparently "furniture", which is hardly the sort of thing that says "I Love You".
But perhaps a quiet anniversary is best anyway - after all, it is not as if doing something flamboyant says "I love you" any more than a simple meal and simple words meaningfully exchanged. Or, perhaps, reflecting on why furniture is the way to celebrate 29 years of marriage.