Three decades later
On 17 September we celebrated 30 years of marriage. It was the perfect opportunity to reflect on our wedding day and who we were as people just barely into our twenties. What did we believe about marriage and our future together when we made that declaration to stay together forever no matter what?
Prior to our wedding day, we had to undergo a compulsory course with the priest which included a questionnaire we had to complete separately then the answers were compared—questions like who will take out the garbage, who will buy the groceries, how many children will you have, who will wash the car etc. It was clearly a process of establishing expectations to see if there were any glaring anomalies. From memory, we answered every question the same. The questionnaire and the priest declared us completely compatible and it seems they were right. :) Of course, it was the early 80s. We both lived at home until we married and both came to the table with the same ideas of what the father did and what the mother did based on our upbringing. There was no trailblazing to be done here, except perhaps on the question of children. We had never discussed children; we barely discussed getting married except to say it seemed like a good idea. But we both answered ‘no children’ at a time when having children within two years of marriage was the norm and expected. The subject was not discussed again.
We nominated our most prominent wedding memories. For me, it was Steve saying, ‘With this wing…’ which made it impossible for the wedding party to continue to behave with maturity and dignity from that point. For Steve, his primary memory was that I was late. By a mere 10 minutes mind you but he felt it was a sign of things to come—obviously not as I am very punctual.
Our other memory was of arriving at the Rockhampton Golf Club where our wedding reception was being held. We were kept waiting outside for our grand entrance because our guests, who were enjoying pre-reception drinks (at our expense) on the putting green while the sun set, didn’t want to leave, not even for us. They were eventually ‘encouraged’ upstairs but took their time about it with no sense of urgency—possibly the worst wedding guests ever. :)
Some friends asked if we were going to renew our vows to commemorate the occasion. I do not understand why people do this—vows don’t expire—you make them ‘forever’. It would be different if your vows were, “… for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until 2013.” I still believe in forever.