Newlyweds become oldyweds, and oldyweds are the reasons that families work. ~Author Unknown
Today is my mama stooge and daddy stooge’s 35th wedding anniversary. I know it’s not 50 years, but these days, 35 is extraordinary. I’m pretty sure the first five years of their marriage, they loved a lot. Then, my brother came along and ruined it for them. Two and a half years later, they welcomed a pink baby bundle of Merdeezy. The next 6 and a half years of their marriage was perfect. How could it not be with me as the baby. The past 21 years have been mostly blissful (thanks to me), but the little surprise that was my sister made me the middle child, the care taker of the family and that changed things. I’d say, over the course of a 35 year marriage, to have 6.5 years of bliss right smack in the middle is pretty good.
My parents are basically just good people. My daddy has worked extremely hard to provide for his family. The only things I’ve had to do without are things like belly button rings, tats and pink hair. My mama has worked very hard to have a happy home. We always had dinner on the table (sometimes two dinners a night if we were ugly) and there has never been a shortage of laughter in our house. All of my friends, every single one of them, say we should have a reality tv show. I have to admit, most of the humor is from the folks. I moved back in with them for a year and a half under the pretense that I was buying a house, but then I loved it, so I didn’t move out until I moved to another state and they wouldn’t come with me. Sure, they got on my nerves, I mean they are becoming elderly and needed me to tend to them a little bit more, but on the whole, I would move back in a heartbeat. Only this time, they’d have to obey my rules and do as I say as they proved quite disobedient during that year and a half.
I heard once that you have expectations for your marriage based on your parents’ marriage. This is definitely true. I don’t want to marry anyone who is anything less than hilarious and darling and is my best friend. Every Sunday night, the Stooges have a tradition. They go fill my mom’s car up with gas and they get a drink from the Exxon station. They go everywhere together, even when they’re mad. You can tell after hanging out with them for a little bit that they just really love each other. After 35 years, you’d have to in order to stick around. I’ve never had the impression that divorce was ever an option for them. I mean, how could it be. You have a man like my daddy, who puts out fires at the pool on behalf of the entire neighborhood, teaches his kids to talk to truck drivers on his CB radio, drives around downtown Charlotte with a ping pong table falling out of his truck, mistakes “I want a beach house” for “time to build a mountain house,” meets his kids’ friends while wearing running shorts and a harness, threatens to line kids up to call their parents at your birthday party when they won’t play with your kid sister, and buys a bicycle built for two at a charity auction and genuinely has his feelings hurt when you won’t ride with him. There’s there is a lady like my mama, called Lucy by her husband who will drive around in circles waiting for you because you only have one car, throws your pipe into the bushes, declares your shoes to be decorations for her home because she can’t pick them all up, becomes your book keeper, says she cannot tend to you anymore when you don’t listen to her directions, has a true appreciation for your love of mayonnaise, and raises three fine (as much I hate to admit it about my brother and sister ;) children who adore their parents.
My parents have a lot in common, including they both are really good at giving me life lessons. They always know exactly what things will happen to me if I am not careful, go to the ATM machine late at night, or go anywhere at night for that matter, what I should and shouldn’t watch on tv, and what I should and shouldn’t do for dinner, and how I should and shouldn’t live life. They both went to med school somewhere along the way, as well as car school, clothes school, house school, boy school (and girl school for my brother) and life school. The only problem with all these degrees it that they have good memories about what they learned, and they tend to be right. About everything. If there is one thing I know about life, it’s to listen to my parents.
If there’s another thing I know about life, it’s that I am extremely lucky and beyond blessed to have two such wonderful parents. My dad is the smartest man I’ll ever meet and my mama is the sweetest woman in the world. I have never doubted their love for me or their pride in me. When I was going through the hardest thing I've ever gone through, they were there to literally pick me up and make me feel worthwhile again. They tell me when I'm wrong, and praise me when I'm right. Let’s be honest here. There’s a lot of praisin’ goin on in our family! Especially to the good Lord for giving me such a fabulous example of what a good marriage is and what a good life is.