Do important moments in a person’s life really need to be marked with fanfare? I understand the need to celebrate but does the amount of details somehow equate to the level of importance? This upcoming weekend my parents will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. It is their golden anniversary and it has been very trying to watch everyone scramble to meet expectations while maintaining a budget. My lack of employment has made me unable to contribute financially but I am attempting to contribute in any other way that I can. It brings up some very specific memories for me.
My husband and I were married on my parents’ 25th wedding anniversary. Sharing the date was not in our original plan. It was the compromise we made to gain back control over the planning. I wanted a simple wedding so I could get to the marriage part but my mother was certain that what I secretly wanted was a fairytale wedding. If you’ve read my Fables Or Fairy Tales entry you can guess how I feel about elaborate weddings. So our intimate ceremony and party was on a Wednesday evening and the country club reception was on the following Saturday. It was nice to wear the dress twice but I think the newlyweds would have enjoyed stretching the honeymoon over the weekend before returning to work on Monday.
Large formal affairs seem to heighten stress for all concerned. Perhaps it is a good test of longevity. If a couple can make it through wedding planning they have shown they can manage stress. Funny thing that I have noticed though, big weddings do not always equal successful marriages. Most of our friends that are still married after around a quarter of a century had small affordable weddings. Their friends attended, it was comfortable, familiar, and fun. The celebration was about the people involved, everything else was incidental.
Perhaps I have become too practical since becoming unemployed. I see the extra amount of money spent on monogrammed napkins and would really like to know the value. Will one person notice? Ten? Will these special napkins somehow inspire longevity in other marriages? What about the cake plates and the overall menu? I think they might have caused a small squabble in the 50 year marriage. Or is it all the small details combined that make the party memorable and inspiring?
I find 50 years to be inspiring unto itself. 50 years, that is half a century. What I really want to know is how did they do it? How did they make it through all the stuff that falls in between the good times? 50 years has to be about more than looking forward to another party. I’m hoping that this Saturday my folks will take a moment to share some of their secrets to a long marriage. I’m guessing it is about more than my dad quickly agreeing to mom’s cake choices.