Neil Offen: 44 years, and counting

Jun. 08, 2014 @ 05:06 PM

This past Thursday, my wife and I celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary, which is, technically, impossible, since I’m pretty sure I’m only about 43 years old.

Nevertheless, we have documents, as well as the same old dirty dishes still piled in the sink, that attest to the fact that we have been married just slightly short of forever.

We do not know any other couple more or less our age that has been together this long. In fact, we do not know any other couple that has been apart this long.  In fact, we don’t know that many couples at all and tend consequently to stay home a lot.

In any case, we cannot remember ever hearing about a couple of our generation who has been married for 44 years — generally speaking, to each other. But that may be because after 44 years, we just don’t remember much of anything anymore. We can’t even remember where we left the dirty dishes.

Nevertheless, we do understand that 44 years of marriage is a pretty significant accomplishment, particularly for people in their mid-40s, and we have started wondering, how have we done this?

How have we accomplished such a feat that has eluded so many others? How have we managed to stay together for so long despite the fact that we have never agreed on what toppings are pizza-appropriate?

We think this is how:

1). We married at a very young age.

I was 7. My wife was 5. Yes, it was an arranged marriage.

2). We never talk about politics.

In fact, we never talk about a lot of things since my wife is usually in another room and can’t hear me when I say I can’t hear her because she’s in another room.

3.) We’ve divvied up the important marital jobs.

I’m in charge of apologizing. My wife is in charge of accepting apologies. 

3.)  We both have a complicated relationship with technology.

I’m the one who doesn’t understand anything to do with computers. My wife can’t figure out a smartphone or a not-so-smart phone.  We work together on not following the microwave directions.

4.) We have the same taste in things.

I like tasting Breyer’s mint chocolate chip ice cream. My wife likes to taste my mint chocolate chip ice cream when I’m not looking and will taste it if I’m distracted by needing to fiddle with the microwave.

5.) While we disagree on some issues — how to spell fuschia, for instance, or how to pronounce fuschia — we agree on the basics, like global warming and never using fuschia in a sentence.

6.) We both have a good sense of humor. Actually, that’s a sense of Good Humor. Personally, I prefer toasted almond. My wife likes the strawberry shortcake. 

7.) We never go to sleep angry. Mostly, that’s because after 44 years, neither of us really sleeps very well anymore. 

Neil Offen can be reached at theneiloffencolumn@yahoo.com.