Monday, December 20, 2010
Last night we celebrated a once-in-two-lifetimes event—a 50th Wedding Anniversary.
My Mom and Dad’s.
It was glorious—becovidike--honorable, fun and full of warmth. They had gathered the people who meant the world to them—and everybody they invited came—and so so happily: from
Israel, Arizona, Maryland, New Jersey.
The last was us. My big boys in sleek black trou and glossy button-downs.
Our baby twins: he in a black velvet vest and she, refulgent, in a black velvet dress with satin roses—and RED SPARKLY SHOES!
(My first girl!)
French bread, Cabernet, beet salad, steak, fries, chocolate mousse cake--oh yeah.
Three other couples there—old friends of my parents, had also hit this milestone. I wondered if they had gotten married 20 or so years ago like I did, instead of 50 years ago, if they would still be together.
Betcha at least one of them wouldn’t.
There’s an old Jewish joke that starts with a guy waking up on the morning of his 50th wedding anniversary—and he is crying hysterically.
His wife wants to know what’s the matter. He says: That very first night—oy--I wanted to kill you—but my best friend told me I’d get fifty years.
He sobs. “I’d be a free man today!”
My Mother had her role—housewife, Mommy, pretty and accommodating hostess. Daddy was the breadwinner, the intellectual, the instigator of community contact. Mommy couldn’t really have a career—it would interfere with Daddy’s vacations.
We three girls were groomed to model ourselves after Daddy now, growing up-- and Mommy, after we got married.
Of course it didn’t work out that way.
But watching them both, last night, speaking lovingly into the mic that we schlepped up two flights to the party room of the glatt kosher steakhouse—
I realized that there is something to the acceptance of one’s place on the gameboard.
That when you have a happy marriage, the world looks different.
That Daddy really thinks that Mommy is the most beautiful woman in the world, and even though he sees every Scarlett Johanssen movie, he still thinks so, and it’s really nice for Mommy.
That they are really great people who moved with the times to accept our new relationships because they value happiness and are not jealous with it.
That when you live with someone for fifty years and that person gets a kidney removal operation you sleep on the chair by his bed in the hospital and neither of you would have it any other way because you are always together.
That your friends are just your friends—not His friends or Her friends-- because at some level you are really one person, one unit.
That you are fused.
And I realized that it might take 50 years which is an awfully long time and there
are no guarantees in life but my parents have something which makes 50 years
and all the risk worth it.
Mazel Tov, Mom and Dad.