18 … 19 … 20 !

October 2, 1993.  Las Vegas, Nevada.  About 10pm local time. (which is a whole ‘nother story)

Mary-Ellen Swafford said “I do”.  And I said “I do”.  And that’s the beginning of how you end up at my 20th wedding anniversary, something that likely few people would have ever imagined much less predicted.

Given the understandable shock that such a milestone might cause, I think it’s only fair that I share what I’ve learned over those years.  Give back a little something, give away the secret if you will, it just feels like the right thing to do.  Maybe other people could put it to use someday.  Okay.  You ready?  Here goes.

The secret to my success in reaching 20 years of marriage is …  {drum roll please}

… you’re kidding right?  I have no earthly idea.  None.

It defies all logic, all reason, all explanation.  Sure, you can just say “well, she loves you” but … I dunno if even that can explain it.  Or maybe that’s an even more dumbfounding prospect to  consider.

I mean, how could anyone stay married to a guy this messed up for two weeks, much less twenty years?  Mercurial to the point of being downright unstable, my grumpiness is legendary to the point that Disney starting sending me royalties for the 7 Dwarves.  Temperamental, set in my ways beyond repair, the next time I’m wrong will probably be the first (to hear me tell it anyway).

I’m confrontational, I can be coarse far beyond the legal limits of the internet, my fashion sense is largely my own, and we’ve really yet to meet anyone that I won’t tell off regardless of the consequences if I feel the need.  We roll our eyes at each other’s music, at each other’s taste in movies, at the shows we watch on television.  I prefer menus that look like they were created for a 15 year old caveman and the notion of me going peacefully or quietly to somewhere I really don’t want to be is downright comical.

I’m a moody, chain-smoking coffee addict prone to vanishing for hours on end into the abyss of my basement lair.  (Come to think of it, all things considered, those absences may actually work in my favor)

If you know my career history then you already know I’m not exactly what you’d call a cash cow and I seem to have a particular knack for developing skills that become virtually obsolete in my own lifetime.   Lord only knows that whatever looks I might have once had vanished even before my hair and eyesight started going and that started a ways back.

There’s an increasingly popular phrase that’s used — sometimes jokingly — when a guy marries out of his league.  Those men are told how they “outkicked their coverage”  (it’s a football thing).  In my case, the coverage was not only outkicked but the ball left the stadium and may very well still be traveling somewhere beyond Pluto in the vicinity of Voyager 2 .

And yet, here we are.  Twenty years … and unless I find a new way to really screw up today, still counting.  I can’t explain it, justify it, or rationalize it.  All I can really do at this point is try to show how grateful I am for it … and I usually suck at that too.   But I’m trying, so help me, I’m trying.

Love you honey, happy anniversary.

What if I was nothing? What if this is true?
What if I was nothing, girl, nothing without you

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5 Comments

Filed under General

5 responses to “18 … 19 … 20 !

  1. Mom & Dad

    That is very nice son!!! Happy Anniversary!!

  2. She is indeed a saint! I hope you both have a wonderful day and the best is yet to come! God bless you both!!!!

  3. terry

    This is a very sweet and heartfelt tribute to the love you feel for your wife! And though I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting your Lovely Wife, I’m sure she is a Beautiful, Wonderful Person just like you!! So, here’s to another 20++ years!!! Love Ya , Always!!!!

  4. debbieroper

    Very eloquent Jon! You do not give yourself enough credit for beign an all-round good guy!

  5. Michael Morris

    Wishing you many, many more years of good health and happiness!

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