Sunday, November 1, 2015
Today I am grateful for significant birthdays. Yes, folks, today. . .on All Saints Day (no relation). . .Magic John, my husband of 34 years and my friend for 37, turns 80. Yes, eight-O! How on earth can I be married to an 80 year old man? I don’t know, but it beats the alternative. I’m glad I still have him around to drive me nuts. Each time he has another mole cut off he says, “It’s okay. I’m happy to leave this world one square inch at a time.” Great outlook.
I remember when we first met and started getting serious, our age difference was a huge topic of discussion. Fifteen years is nothing to sneeze at. But I wasn’t a kid and obviously neither was he. Blending his three and my two kids was the tricky part. As the years went by the gap seemed to shorten. I’m not sure how that worked, either, but it did. He’s the youngest eighty-year-old guy I know. And I know a few.
One of the best parts of the age gap is our friends. We have dear friends in their 90’s and other dear friends in their 50’s. . .and everything in between. Had I married someone my own age, I might not have experienced this phenomenon. Neither would he. It keeps us both young. Ha-ha. That’s our story.
Of course, like most people our age, we’ve endured our share of losses. . . including the deaths of family members and friends. It keeps us grateful that we are still plodding along, even though not a day goes by that we don’t irritate each other. . .some days more than others. Seriously. Every day!
He does not believe it, but we had new life pumped into our relationship when he stopped smoking eight years ago. His addiction was so strong that it was affecting and altering his personality. You couldn’t have a conversation with him because he was always leaving to go have a cigarette. Don’t get me started on how awful road trips were. Yikes. It’s a miracle I didn’t leave him in a ditch somewhere. But those days are over. He doesn’t dis-engage now. He hangs in. He doesn’t want to miss anything.
Along with being a magician, a dad, a step-dad, a grandpa, a husband, and a retired ceramic scientist, he’s also the best joke teller I’ve ever heard. . . if he hasn’t had too much libation. Give him too many drinks and those jokes take five years for the punch line to appear. Then you’ll see me giving him the speed-it-up-sign. But he doesn’t forget them! He can’t remember where the butter is in the fridge, or to turn the light off when he leaves the closet or bathroom, but he remembers every single joke he’s ever heard. It’s maddening.
Today we are having three couples over for an early dinner to celebrate. It’s what he wanted. I’ve got the apple pies already made (his form of birthday cake) and he broke all of the rules and had a piece last night, groaning like it was manna from Heaven. I love that. And I love him. He used to say, “When I’m 80, you’ll be 65! I’ll be married to an old broad!” Yup. We’re there. And I’m married to my favorite geezer, too!