13 years of wedded bliss out of 14 ain’t bad

It was HER making room in HER house for MY stuff; it wasn’t ours.

I was flicking through the TV channels a couple of weeks ago and discovered there’s some new reality show about newlyweds that’s going to be airing soon. Couldn’t tell you the name of it – and truth to tell, wouldn’t bother to look it up – but the clips were full of Sturm und Drang because doesn’t that sound entertaining?

The running joke The Wife and I have is that we’ve been happily married 13 years; we’ve been wed 14 . The skill of fading memory makes that first 12 months not feel THAT bad. We didn’t argue as such. Still, it had its stresses, and most of it involved space.

I had been living in an apartment before we got married. Meanwhile, she had purchased a two-family dwelling in the early 1990s, and she was living on the first floor. When we got hitched, the task was to move all of our stuff into that half of the house.

First, we got rid of my microwave and much of my furniture for space consideration. The microwave was large and older, so she was worried about radiation or the like; interestingly, we donated it to soon to be former church. We didn’t replace it with a smaller model because she didn’t think we’d need it, and there was no counter space anyway. (I’d only been using mine almost every day.) I had purchased a nifty chair only a couple of years earlier – real furniture I bought, rather than bachelor make-do – and I was sad to get rid of it, though I did give it to a friend who could use it.

The furniture of mine we did keep was squeezed in here and there. My wife and mother-in-law were watching one of those HGTV home renovation guys. I happened to be in the room at the time. He suggested building “up, up!” So we had one dressing on top of another. It looked goofy to me, and I wondered if the floor could bear the weight. Other things were boxed up, inaccessible.

One of the surprisingly sage things our then-minister said in premarital counseling was that we ought to get a place of our own. I tended to agree, even before the fact, but she didn’t understand. She was making room in her closet for my clothes, wasn’t she? That was the point; it was HER making room in HER house for MY stuff; it wasn’t ours.

This is why, in the fall of 1999, we started house hunting, and actually moved into our current dwelling in May 2000, shortly before our first anniversary. The new house has its own series of problems – it’s over 100 years old – but claustrophobia at least isn’t one of them.

More to the point, it’s OUR house, and that has made all the difference in the world. There are ancillary stories about popcorn, and Scotland I’ll tell, but only if you ask.

Happy 14th anniversary to my honey.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

8 thoughts on “13 years of wedded bliss out of 14 ain’t bad”

  1. Happy anniversary Roger. We didn’t have that ‘our house’ problem because our first house was indeed ‘ours’ but there have been discussions about clearing clutter. Surprisingly the ‘clutter’ involved always seems to be mine rather than ours or hers!

    I’m intrigued by the reference to popcorn and Scotland though.

  2. Is that why I’m always referred to as a house guest (jk) in my own home since I moved in with my husband 24 years ago! Love this piece, Roger and Happy Anniversary!

  3. We will be celebrating 30 yrs together on May 29th. We have some of the same issues about stuff, but in the end it’s the love and support the keeps us going.

  4. I am not sure why but I always want more, I want the Popcorn and the Scotland stories right now. I think you have the gift of gab in your writing and that makes readers want more of it.

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