I had the pleasure of talking with a sweet grandmother today. She told me she has been married for 61 years. I’m always so touched when I hear stories of love that is cherished in that way even though I cannot even imagine being married for 61 days right now. Sweet Grandma talked some more about her husband, then her grandson and then I showed her my son’s school pictures. She asked me how long I’ve been married. I responded, “Oh, I’m not married.”
I waited for a sad look or for her to change the subject or even ask me a series of questions. Then she laughed. She told me the reaction of my face was sheer disinterest. We laughed together and then I shared a little bit with her about why.
I’m not opposed to marriage nor am I dreaming of it. The one thing I do feel strongly about is not just test driving it to see if I might want to commit to it. If two people can get married as teenagers and stay married for 61 years that can definitely make me open to having that type of connection with someone else. But I certainly would rather get married at 50 and to have 30 years of that than to lease a marriage for a few years at 30.
Sweet Grandma shared some wisdom with me too. She told me that after you say I do at the alter you never stop saying it and you never stop doing it. “It’s more than the flowers,” she said. “So many people get married just for the flowers.”
I have no idea how I would even care enough to pick out the flowers, or colors, or theme of a wedding. Or the table linen or invitations or even a dress. I could go on forever just because I’m not a person who likes all of those little details. I admire people who can put all of those things together but I just don’t enjoy it. I would however enjoy the cake tasting.
I appreciate conversations like these with people who have the wisdom to share. Sweet grandma invited me to her church and told me she had an old sermon she did many years ago that was recorded on a cassette tape that she would share with me. She said she still applies those things to her marriage today.
I don’t know when I might be ready to get married. In fact, there’s no room for it on my to-do list but I am going to buy a cassette player and listen to her tape to get prepared for the days and years of I do’s. And when I start to think about orchids and calla lilies then I will know that I am ready.
Holla at me if you want a bootleg copy of that tape….