Pop question: What was happening in the world 25 years ago this week? President Ronald Reagan was considering a military strike against Libya due to Moammar Gaddafi’s involvement in a Berlin disco bombing. (Will this dangerous madman ever go away?)
The Lakers played against the Sacramento Kings without Kareem Adbul-Jabbar who was out with a respiratory infection. That same week the Bangles were singing about a “Manic Monday,” while Robert Palmer was “Addicted to Love.” The sword & sorcerer film, “Legend,” wowed audiences from Glendale, California to Gardiner, Maine.
To be honest, I didn’t remember a lot of that. I looked it up online. You see, 25 years ago I was a little distracted by what was happening in my own little world. I was getting married. And I was a nervous wreck!
Having been married once before, you’d think I would have been more calm about the process. But, no. The very fact that I’d done it all before and had ultimately failed hung over me like an ominous cloud. What if it happened again? I had a 4-year-old daughter whom I’d sworn would never have a broken family. And yet, it happened. I couldn’t imagine going through that heartbreak all over again, much less putting my precious daughter through the emotional stress another time. Second marriages have a bad enough track record, after all. So-called “blended families” are the most difficult of all to make work, according to most experts. What was I thinking?
But my God is one of second chances – and miraculously, undeservedly, He blessed me with the gift of a wonderful, beautiful, funny, forgiving, caring, patient, loving and gracious woman who came into my life with her own amazing young son in tow.
And so, against all odds and common sense, on April 12, 1986 we became an instant family of four.
Over the next few years we brought two more remarkable boys into the world. Flash forward to today and I feel even more blessed, happier and more in love than I was 25 years ago. So much so that I’m compelled to acknowledge it for the entire world (or the Crescenta Valley, at least) to know.
While I’m baring my soul, I had also promised my wife that – upon reaching the milestone of a quarter century together – I would take her on an exotic European vacation to celebrate our many years of wedded bliss. It sure sounded like a great idea at the time. And certainly do-able.
But that was then. The economic reality of now has added that promise to other well-intentioned ones I simply haven’t been able to keep. Then again, having the ability to roll with the rocks thrown at you in life is one of the hallmarks of a healthy, happy and ultimately successful marriage.
Still, I wanted to do something more for my longsuffering wife than simply the usual flowers and a card. So now thousands of people will know of her plight in putting up with a husband like me for these many years. I’m still trying to figure out how to put a gift bow on thousands of newspapers, but at least she won’t have to work off any candy calories this year. Are you overwhelmed by my thoughtfulness yet?
To her credit, she’s never even hinted at being disappointed that we can’t go on a romantic getaway anytime soon – telling me she’ll take a rain check for … some day … somehow … maybe when my writing career gets back on track. Or when I grow up and get a real job.
Note to my wife: Honey, having put up with me for 25 years, it should come as no surprise that I wrote you an anniversary column and randomly managed to mention Moammar Gaddafi, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the Bangles. Am I the incurable romantic, or what?
Thankfully, ya gotta love me. I’ve got a wedding contract that says so.
I’ll see you ‘round town.