Presenting a couple of Very Hot Jews.
They were married around this time of year 58 years ago, and they remain, to me, a model of nuptial loyalty and companionship.
They are there for each other. This is the irreducible kernel of married life – not flowers or neckties or nonstop lovey-dovey. The "in sickness and in health" part of those vows is no joke when you spend your entire lives together.
Mama recently had some (long-awaited and much anticipated) surgery and Dad was there, just as she was there for him during his procedure not long before. They are wise enough to know they also need outside help, but each remains a pillar for the other.
And that matters a lot – not just for them, but for a lot of other people, too.
Julia and I just celebrated our anniversary as well. The date marked two years of marriage but also 17 years together; having both survived ill-advised early hitchings, we coasted along in unwedded bliss for 15 years. But the same principles apply, I'm happy to say.
The cake actually reads "Keep up the good work."
We went to the movies and then to a fantastic restaurant, where we drank rosé bubbly and looked moonily at each other and ambled (with much hilarity) down memory lane. 17 years have truly flown by, and it's because we're having a blast together.
But the thing that I realize with increasing clarity? The best, the absolute most sterling and precious thing about a long-term relationship? Being known. Not having to explain. Anticipating and being anticipated. The way one's reflexive bullshit collapses in the wake of a wry look from the other. Hearing something on NPR in one's car and knowing the other is laughing at it in her car. The mere thought of doing all that work to be known, ever again? Exhausting beyond belief.
And as we get older we succumb to the vicissitudes of aging and must of necessity fuss over each other. We will (and do) talk of pills and doctors and exercises and the diminishing keenness of our senses. Sunrise, Sunset. In sickness and in health.
photo by Josh Pickering
For as long as possible.