oday marks my wife and my’s 20th wedding anniversary. April 17, 1999. I have never been one of those husbands who forget their anniversary, mainly because we chuckle that every year since 1999, April 17 is warmer than our wedding day.
Our wedding was held at Macken Park in North Kansas City. Outdoors. The day was raw, cold and drizzling. We had a four-piece brass ensemble and about a hundred huddled guests. Every year since? Sunny. Sixties or warmer.
It’s customary, I’ve heard, to ask the happy couple what their “secret” is to stay together so long. I haven’t yet come up with an answer. Our marriage is not flashy or overly passionate. It’s not filled with trips to exotic places or fancy jewelry.
We ended up getting ourselves new desks for our separate offices for our anniversary rather than a trip to Hawaii or England. Sometimes having time apart is one of those keys.
But I guess I’d say this to anyone looking to have a 20+ year marriage…
Picture every morning without your partner. Picture every evening coming home and not having someone to talk to about your day. If you can picture that, then he or she probably isn’t the one.
For me, I simply can’t imagine a day going by without talking to my best friend about my day. Yes, after the first few years, it’s really just a rundown of making sure this gets picked up, or you run by the store for that other thing. But I can’t see my life without it.
Back in the day it was a voicemail. Today it’s text messages. Tomorrow it might be mind mails or something. But it is that basic togetherness that’s hard to describe but impossible for me to be without. Kara is, simply, the one.
It’s easy to have a husband or wife during the good times. But you want to make sure that’s the same person you want by your side during the bad times. Especially when you do dumb stuff. That’s the one you want.
When I asked Kara what her “secret” to a 20 year marriage is she said “humor” and “the leeway to leave each other alone.” Which, I assume, is code for “you can go watch your Star Trek movies, honey.”
There are couples who have done it better and there will be couples who are worse. Truth is, there’s no formula and there’s no code to crack. If she makes you laugh, keep her around. It’s that simple. Even if she snores.
So happy anniversary, Kara. Here’s to 20 more.
(Catch a less romantic Chris Kamler on Twitter where he is @TheFakeNed. If you’re not a Twitter person, you can also find him on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube)