One for each finger

Yesterday was my tenth wedding anniversary. Ten years. That’s a ring for each finger, or, one for each toe, depending on what way you twist.

Ten years is not such a big milestone that it merits news coverage, but it counts for something.

It feels good to say that it’s been a nice 10 years. My first marriage barely lasted six years. All but the first year were tough. I’m over feeling like a failure for that union. I’d like to think I learned some valuable lessons from the experience.

The most important lesson? Marriage takes teamwork.

If you don’t have teamwork in a relationship, it will not last. If I’m a vegetarian and you are a member of Steak of the Week Club, we might have some issues. If you are a big game hunter and I’m the president of the local PETA chapter, it might not work out. If I’m carefully saving money for retirement and you are opening credit cards behind my back, we are surely headed for a cliff.

That’s silly, you might say, people who are that different would not get married. It happens. Love/lust is a blind fool.

In our first years of marriage, we often talked about what we might do for our tenth anniversary. We might plan a romantic getaway to the Caribbean. We might finally get the diamonds put in my wedding band — an idea that we postponed a decade ago in favor of putting a down payment on our house.

Who knew our careers, the economy, our lifestyle would be so different  today? The idea of splurging on diamonds or a resort vacation seems foolhardy.

Instead, we celebrated simply. We had brunch at our favorite breakfast joint. We are going out to dinner tonight, dressed up and without children, for the first time in too long. We’ll drink one glass too many of wine. We’ll order dessert. We’ll probably talk about our summer road trip. We love road trips. Our relationship was built on road trips.

I don’t know what you are supposed to do for 10 years. A party with a hired band and ice sculptures? An exotic  trip? Vow renewal?

What really matters?

I guess that we still want to be married to each other counts for something. I suppose the fact that we haven’t waved kitchen implements during heated arguments means something. We haven’t cheated or lied (outside of white lies about butts not looking too big and hair loss not being too noticeable) or changed in such dramatic ways that we are no longer appealing to the other.

We made it to 10 years. While it’s not newsworthy, it is remarkable.

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