Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In Denial of our 25th Anniversary

There are plenty of articles out there about Boomers in denial.  OK, it's tough for me to admit I've been married a quarter-century.  Supposedly after 25 years, you're eligible for your quarter-life-crisis.  That's after 25 years of living.
    I look at the people who are my children, and feel like they ought to be my peers; their friends and I should be jumping in the car to go shopping and to a movie, but what is this? They don't want me along.  Somehow against my will I landed on the wrong side of the generation gap.
     As January 27, our anniversary, approached, I told my husband to just ignore it. "It's an important milestone," he protested. "No," I insisted, "every day is our celebration. We don't need a big deal."  It's such chutzpah to throw yourself a party, like everyone should fete you just for staying together.
     So my hubby arrived home from his business trip this week to find our house decorated (partly by a dearest friend who snuck in on our anniversary day and strung streamers and balloons while I was at the gym, wildly embellished by me).  I'd wrapped up my romantic gifts of two shirts and four pair of pajamas.  (Now, he'd been asking for pajamas.  I really meant it when I said I wanted to minimize the occasion.)
     Our close friends asked us out to a dinner celebration; I demurred, saying my hubby had mentioned a private escape, but when Hubby suggested we accept, I caved.  Yesterday it dawned on me: Surprise party.
     Oh yes. All the pieces started falling into place.  And sure enough, as we neared the restaurant--Indian food our hosting friends despise--I saw far too many familiar cars.  As I walked in to the chorus of "Surprise!" and the smiles of all our friends, I felt both honored and exposed, because proud as I am of our 25 years married, the idea of being more than 25 years old myself seems impossible.
    Misgivings dissipated amidst hugs and good wishes from friends I love, all of whom share a precious corner of my life. Their children have grown along with mine; living in proximity in our Jewish neighborhood, they have spent Shabbat afternoons in our home and shared graduations and birthdays and the dreary weather and snow days and heat spells.  That so many years could have mounted is mystifying, but the depth of ecstacy in sharing them is undeniable.
   We Boomers may never grow old; we may never admit our physical limits or open AARP solicitations, but we'll claim the friendships and recollections that sit like snapshot signposts of our satisfactions.  As my rabbi frequently reminds us, there's no word in Hebrew for retirement; to admit to maturity could slow us down as we collect marathon t-shirts, earn added diplomas and take on major projects.
   Thank you to all our friends for an unforgettable 25th Anniversary; to see my husband beaming with childlike glee at pulling off his surprise was almost as priceless as your presence, the context of our very blessed lives.


  1. Congrats you two! May you reach another 25 years and beyond!

  2. Oh, what a happy milestone! Congratulations to your man for finding and marrying such a lovely bride; best wishes to you for continued joy.