Jul 08, 2011
Married 29 years, 1 week, 5 days and counting...29 August 2011 will mark the 34th Anniversary of the 1st time I set eyes on Anita, turned to my friend John and said, "John, that's the one I'm going to marry." (It was Monday, just after the noon meal.) 23 September 2011 will be the 34th Anniversary of the 1st time I spoke to her. 11 July 2011 is the 33rd Anniversary of our Engagement.
Yes, Anita is the center of my universe (though our kitties would dispute that point ,-)
We were cadets at Norwich, the military college in Vermont. The day was the first of 2 weeks of basic military training the freshmen were undergoing before classes started. Anita and her classmates had reported the previous Saturday and under went in-processing and farewells with family over the weekend. As I remembered from my freshman year, Monday, 5 AM would have been a rude awakening.
Until they have completed their basic training and are recognized as full members of the Corps of Cadets, freshmen (called Rooks, which is short for recruit) are constrained to walk in the gutter and not on the sidewalk. During the pre-school year training, they walk directly back to their company barracks after meals, all the while being verbally challenged by the training cadre with questions about Norwich History, Military Customs and Traditions, and other such things a complete cadet should know.
There was just something about her bearing and demeanor that SHOUTED at me, something that spoke to my heart of hearts.
Even though I knew instantly that she was the One for me, I also decided that she must also make that decision for both of us.
She did go out with a couple of other guys, and if things had turned out differently, I would have beggared myself to send her a good wedding gift, heck, I would have volunteered to be his best man.
What Anita wanted, what Anita wants, is foremost.
In my younger days (before we were a couple), I very badly injured a couple of guys who hurt her. Just after she said yes to my 1st date proposal (attached photo is of our 1st date, a formal dance at Norwich 11 February 1978, the picture has been in my wallet since I got it a month after the dance), one fellow who was saying some pretty vile (and patently untrue) things about him and her ended up in the hospital for 6 weeks.
This is not to say that our life together has been idyllic...we have scars from life in general and from each other.
BUT, we made the effort to become friends, as well as lovers...comrades, as well as man and wife, always.
We know that a marriage IS NOT Always and Forever 50-50, some days it is, but mostly you get 60 - 40, 70 - 30, or even 100 - 0...
I think that unrealistic expectations is the big torpedo to lasting marriages (any lasting relationship).
Anita and I have have tried hard to be realistic about each other, to never take each other for granted, to accept the imperfections and aggravations...that's what works for us.