“A great marriage is not when the 'perfect couple' comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.” ― Dave Meurer
Duane and I will have been married 44 years come Friday. It didn’t look, on that hot day, like it was going to be an easy marriage. He was a Vietnam veteran and I was a single mom. We didn’t have any money and had been apart for 19 months of the 24 we’d known each other. Other than core values, we didn’t have much in common. Well, no, we didn’t have anything in common. But we respected each other. We were friends. We both loved my son. We were in love. In just that order.
I will admit that it hasn’t always been an easy marriage. When two people disagree on almost everything, it makes for a bumpy ride. We seldom discuss who we vote for, because it’s not usually the same person. He drives the speed limit in a Ford, while I drive a Chevy a hair faster than I should. He watches TV and I read. He loves hot, sultry days and I like 75 degrees with no humidity. I love to travel and he loves to...not. I am a Pollyanna and he can find the negative in any situation without even trying. He was a city boy who married a country girl.
Good grief, what were we thinking?
We bought flowers Sunday. Ones to plant, I mean, not florist ones. He pushed the cart and told me to just get whatever I wanted. Then he said, “Oh, are you going to get those?” on the ones I chose and “Those are nice. What about them?” about the ones I did not. When the cart was full—at two different stores—we came home with plans to plant them on Monday.
But when I came back from walking (I love walking—he doesn’t) he had the soil prepared. “I thought we’d go ahead and get started tonight.” (I’m a morning person, he’s a night one. I have no energy in the evening, especially if I’ve forced myself to exercise then. He has none before noon.)
We planted them all. We talked and laughed. He planted carefully so that his flowers will be both colorful and artistic as they grow. I planted quickly. My flowers will be colorful. He suggested that I plant two small corner spots so they would mirror each other—I seem to have broken the mirror.
I love the people I write about—I feel safe in saying all Heartwarming authors do. They are not “characters” to us—they are beloved friends and relatives. We are so lucky that we are able to give them their happily-ever-afters.
But I hope they don’t always get along. I hope they have differences and slam doors once in a while and roll their eyes behind the other’s back. I hope when they plant their flowers, they each do it their own way. I hope they always have a good time just because they’re together. And I hope they respect and love and are best friends with each other forever and ever, because that’s as good as it gets.
Happy Anniversary, Duane. I’m in for the next 44 if you are.