Well, we are actually. My husband Michael and I. We have been married 29 years this week. If I had been a betting person, which I guess I was once I said I do, I would have bet the odds were not in our favor.
My third marriage, his first. Our eight year age difference, I am his elder. Our different religious upbringings. He is Jewish, I was a lukewarm Lutheran and eventually cooled completely.
We did do one accidentally brilliant thing before promising to share a bathroom for the rest of our lives. We went off to a small village in the Yucatan with iffy electricity, no radio, phones, television and very little English spoken and lived there for a year in a house which wasn’t completely built. It was a grand experiment. If one is not going to get along with the other it will become obvious quickly. I recommend it to anyone who may be thinking of serious commitment.
Oh it was not without glitches. I do recall a long night, moonlight as bright as day, when Michael “went missing” with Gonzolo for 20 hours or so and I, who had no car, began walking up the dirt road mesmerized by the giant army of black ants who were munching their way across the road and through the jungle. Now and then one or two would try to hitch a ride on my bare legs which caused a bit of dancing as they attacked me with their fiery sting.
My plan was to hike to the nearest neighbor, wake them up, beg to borrow their truck, and drive up to the next village where the two men had gone earlier the day before to buy a surfboard. It was round 3 a.m. I was confident that the neighbors would be happy to see me.
I was almost there when I heard the rumble of a vehicle coming down the dusty road. Then I saw the lights. Then I heard Michael and Gonzolo. Laughing. Really laughing. At me, in my nightgown in the jungle with the ants in the bright, bright milky moonlight.
Anyway. We survived it all. And now it is almost three decades later. So this past weekend we decided to test the relationship once again. With a home repair project. And in this particular area we are both totally inept. But we are also on a never ending budget. So when I noticed that the French doors in the living room were getting foggy and also noticed that the French doors in the bedroom were not, rather than hire someone to come in and fix said foggy doors, I suggested we switch them. Same size door opening. How tough could this be?
Okay, a couple of hours in if Gonzolo had popped in and invited Michael to go up to the next village to look at a surf board Michael would still be gone, I’m sure. But there was no Gonzolo. Michael and I were in this for the long haul. We had come up with an idea and we were going to see it through.
Now I have heard tales of marriages falling apart over home repairs. I know people who have had to use the bathtub to wash Thanksgiving dinner dishes. But I was also confident that after 29 plus years, raising a kid, dealing with illnesses, job losses, the deaths of loved ones, a couple of doors, especially French ones, would not be able to take us down.
It was touch and go. Mistakes were made. Some we were able to correct. And the fact that there is a gap between the doors in the living room which makes me think of David Letterman’s front teeth only makes me smile. We did it. We tested our relationship once again and we passed.
I will not be asking for a grade on our craftsmanship when it comes to hanging doors. But as far as working successfully as a team, a celebration is called for!