With each believing the other to be a giver of love a sharer or sorrow a bringer of joy and a reason for life, Menay Audra and Thomas James and their parents request the honour of your presence…
I was thinking last night about my anniversary that is coming up in November. Tommy and I will be married 20 years. 20 years… I was thinking about what we were doing 20 years ago. Preparing for our wedding and living in the coolest apartment ever with one of the best neighbors (Steve~may he rest in peace) living upstairs in an equally cool apartment. The invitations were out and we were either awaiting the RSVP’s or already counting who would be attending. I was working as an RN at a local hospital and Tommy was an HVAC mechanic working for a local heating, oil, and air conditioning company. Life was sweet. We were 25 years old with great jobs, great cars/truck and no kids. We had yet to buy a house but already knew what it was like to pay rent, pay utilities, and make payments on new cars. We lived together for 6 months before we were married. I wouldn’t change anything as those 6 months are part of our history together and helped shape who we are today.
I remember Tommy expecting dinner when he got home from work and I would be out and about with my sister or mother and shopping during dinner time. It was one of our “adjustment” arguments. I had no idea how to put a dinner together and I was so proud of myself for making a bowl of spaghetti with marinara sauce. Just spaghetti, no meat or salad or italian bread even to accompany it. Tommy gently explained his expectations and I remember thinking “Ooooooooh!” I can laugh about it now but I felt incredibly dumb back then. There were plenty of life lessons and learning what it was like to live with someone that was not your family.
Our upstairs neighbor, Steve would often drop by for dinner and it was fine as we enjoyed his company. Many a romantic dinner for 2 turned into a casual dinner for 3. At one point we joked that we were the opposite of “Three’s Company”. I’m glad we had that time with him.
I loved our life back then. We were truly on our own and we paid for our own wedding and honeymoon. I’m still proud of us. I would go back in a heartbeat and relive that time if I could. November rolled around soon enough and my fiancee became my husband. 20 years later we’re still here, together; waiting for November 12th to come up so we can finally celebrate.
My husband and I recently were able to get away for 3 days this past week. Nothing over the top, we went to Atlantic City, NJ. A place not too far away but far enough that we felt “away”. It was nice. There I said it, it was nice to be with just my husband and no kids. Alone. And do what ever we wanted to, watch whatever we wanted to on television and do whatever we wanted to in the middle of the afternoon with no regards for who was watching who or where “they” were.
What I find amusing is we chose a place famous for gambling to get away to and neither one of us is a big gambler. I mean, I like to play around on the slot machines but to be honest I felt a bit angry when I lost. And then guilty even though it was a relatively small amount of money. Tommy felt that it was “fun money” to play around with and if I lost it well then it was lost~no big deal. I suppose his attitude is the right one to have but being in Atlantic City those few days made me realize I am totally *not* a gambler. I do not want to “lose” money. We work way to hard to make that money to give it away to a casino.
We did have a really nice time otherwise. We ate in the finest restaurants and went shopping a bit. We walked a lot. And I mean a lot. Oh my goodness my husband loves to walk! I’m not complaining just stating a fact. We walked the boardwalk quite a bit and it was A-Okay with me. We walked and explored just about every casino and mall within the casinos. It was fun because we were together and both wanted to do that. We laughed and talked and then didn’t need to talk. We people watched and oh yes we even sat through a time share sales pitch. Yes we did. No, we didn’t buy the timeshare but it was interesting to learn about what this particular company offered and of course it was sweet to receive the gift card we earned/were promised by sitting through the schpeal.
I’m glad we got away. It really does make you appreciate “home” more when you return. Even things you don’t realize you appreciate. Like showers that aren’t from a “low flow” shower head. I’d had enough of that. And just my house and my bed. I missed my “little” queen sized bed after sleeping on this huge California king. And yes I even missed my kids. I am so glad we were able to go and just be alone, together.