Sunday, June 6, 2010

Forty years: Warners vs. Gores

We’re celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary this month. After hearing Al and Tipper Gore’s recent announcement to end their 40-year marriage, we’ve carefully considered our options and have decided to stay together.

It’s hard to believe we’ve been married as long as we have. Forty years is a hella-long time. Back in 1970 a new house cost $23,000 (ours was $32,000), gas was 36 cents a gallon (practically free), a stamp was 6 cents (and there was no e-mail), and we could have bought a Gremlin for less than $2,000 (what’s a Gremlin?).

Most of our milestone anniversary celebrations have been simple. We’re usually in a cheap hotel somewhere near Disneyland, sharing cupcakes with the kids, and planning our next rides. This year we’re looking for something really special to mark this momentous occasion, in memory of our 1970 wedding.

And what memories we have of that time. It was the end of the sixties, the dawn of the seventies, and—unlike our parents’ traditional weddings,we wanted something different, right down to the song performed at the ceremony—-something by the Beatles, of course (“Baby, I’m amazed”).

For my wedding, forty years ago, I made my own bridal gown (using a Simplicity pattern) and the bridesmaids’ dresses (psychedelic orange and yellow). I whipped up all the food for the reception (tiny sandwiches), held the reception at my parents’ house (only a couple of people fell in the pool) and hired a relative to provide the live music (my brother). We spent our honeymoon night at some hotel in Oakland (not the one that rented by the hour) and I broke out in hives the next day (my mother said it was nerves).

Today’s weddings are nothing like ours. Last weekend we attended the wedding of my daughter-in-law’s brother, Ken, and his bride, Kelly. The invitations were incredible hand-made three-dimensional creations. The wedding was held against the picturesque backdrop of Lake Tahoe, surrounded by snow-covered mountains, majestic pine trees, and a babbling brook. The bride wore a stunning beaded gown I could never have made. The sumptuous buffet was provided by the lodge. And the wedding cakes were covered with frosting flowers that looked too real to eat.

But some things haven’t changed in forty years: Happy brides and proud grooms, beautiful bridesmaids and handsome groomsmen, and lots of family and friends there to celebrate a special day.

So we’ve been trying to brainstorm ideas for celebrating our Big 4-0. Take a cruise to Alaska? Too cold. Tour Europe? Too much volcanic ash. Rent an RV and drive to the Grand Canyon? Too far. Have a big party? Too tired. Go to Disneyland? Been there, done that, every year for the past 40 years.

Oh well. Maybe we’ll take a short drive down the coast for the weekend, catch up on our reading, go out to dinner, and then get a good night’s sleep. After all, we’d better keep it simple if we want to get through another 40 years together. I just hope Ken and Kelly have as many happy years as we’ve had.

Because now that so many years have passed, truthfully, I’m amazed.


Blogger Camille Minichino said...

Happy anniversary to you and Tom! What a pair -- no problem imagining another four decades!

June 7, 2010 at 1:31 PM  
Blogger Penny said...

Thanks Camille!
I think having a sense of humor is the only thing that really works!

June 8, 2010 at 1:04 PM  

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