Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Four Decades of Wedded Bliss

This weekend my beautiful, lovely and patient wife, Susan, and I will celebrate 40 years of marital bliss - quite an amazing benchmark when you think about it. In an era when half of all marriages end in divorce, we just keep chugging along, enjoying our life together and having fun along the way.

Of course, you can see why I was so smitten by her four decades ago. She was a gorgeous bride, wasn't she? She still is! Not only that, but she was the sweetest, kindest person I'd ever met - and still is. I can remember
thinking what a lucky guy I was to have found my perfect bride that day when I waited for her at the front of the church sanctuary while she was escorted down the aisle by her father, I was right. I was, and am, an extremely lucky guy.

These forty years together have
been a wonderful, exciting adventure, beginning with our first date on New Year's Eve of 1966. When we got married eight months later we had no idea what was ahead as we drove in my Volkswagen through the desert heading east. Back in those days gas was cheap - it cost us $29.00 to drive across the country and included a stop at Niagara Falls.

Our first half dozen years together saw us move five times, traveling around the country like a couple of gypsies because my employer chose to move us from assignment to assignment as I climbed the corporate ladder.
During those years of bouncing around my wonderful wife supported every move we made. She actually loved the excitement of flying to the new locations to look for housing. In those days the company flew us first class, where salads were prepared at your seat, your meal was served on real china plates and you ate it using honest-to-goodness silverware. Ah, the good old days!

Finally, in the summer of 1973, we realized that we would eventually end up back at the corporate headquarters in New England again - we'd already been there twice - and made the decision to take a deep breath and jump off that safe career path and return "home". We've never looked back on that move and have remained anchored in our current home for nearly thirty-four years.

More than a quarter century ago, when I decided to strike out on my own and opened my consulting practice, she took another deep breath, crossed her fingers and supported me in that giant step. We were not sure that, when I jumped off that cliff, the parachute would actually open - but it did and we've had a lovely ride ever since. Then, a few years ago when I began writing my opinions to the local newspapers and, later, in this blog, she was completely supportive. She became the Jiminy Cricket on my shoulder, offering the occasional observat
ion and catching the frequent typo.

This weekend we will celebrate forty years of wedded bliss by visiting some of our favorite places, remembering the wonderful times we've had with our families and friends and be grateful that we found each other. Talk about a lucky guy! My sweet wife hates to shop and can actually still wear clothes she had when we got married. I'm a blessed man.

Sometimes folks will ask how we managed to stay together so long. I think they might mean, "How did she stand you so long?" But, assuming their question is legitimate, we tell them what we tell all young people we know who are getting married - usually in the form of a poem in their wedding card, which includes the phrase, "for a long happy life, as husband and wife, always be willing to go more
than half way." What we mean is, if you only go half way on an issue you have no common ground, no place to find a resolution. You just stand there, nose to nose, breathing on each other. However, if you each are willing to go more than half way, there's a little spot of common ground on which you both can carefully maneuver - kind of like a tango. Got the picture? Are you smiling? Me, too.

Oh, yes, it also helps if you remind your wife every single day just how much you love her.

Happy Anniversary, Honey... off we go, heading for 50!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations! And you're right, she's still beautiful while on the other hand...just joking!
We've got you beat though - 47 this year. It takes a lot of patience and love and common ground. I'm not sure couples today understand that its a long haul. They think, oh well, maybe next time!

Have a great weekend.

Betty and Richard Turner

8/02/2007 06:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Susan and Geoff:
Congratulations on 40 wonderful years. You both look great!
Continue to enjoy all the best life has to offer.
Love, Sharon and Joe Alfieri

8/02/2007 06:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulation Geoff.

You're a lucky guy. Your wife is muy bonita. Well, 40 years ago, you didn't look bad at all. You should've tried Hollywood. Kidding man! Take your wife to a nice dinner. Felicidades.

8/02/2007 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Congrats Geoff & Susie!! Happy Anniversary!

8/02/2007 09:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your lovely wife must be one of those people that only sees the "inner beauty" in others! (just kidding!) Janet and I just spent an entire day playing hooky from work and volunteer projects to celebrate or 25th this week. We are on our way to 40 and looking forward to it! Here is to you two celebrating many more!

8/02/2007 09:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations and best wishes to one of the nicest couples we know and count as dear friends! We're two years closer to our 50th. I still remember watching your VW disappear down Main Street in Santa Ana as the newlyweds headed east. Enjoy your weekend!
Love, Bob & Connie Mitchell

8/02/2007 10:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautifully written. Congratulations and much happiness always.
Love, Linda Pintarell

8/02/2007 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Geoff, thanks for sharing your happiness with us. We're grateful your common ground landed in our neighborhood. Blessings on you both and Tango on!
Peggy Normandin

8/02/2007 10:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geoff -
happy anniversary to you and Susan! just one suggestion: after 40 years, you might consider buying Susan some new clothes even if she can still fit in the old ones. ;^)
Terry Shaw
ps: how old ARE you guys anyway?

8/03/2007 09:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Susie & Geoff,
What a happy occasion to celebrate & what a wonderful tribute written as a memory of your womderful years together. May you be blessed with many, many more happy & healthy ones.
Love, Corki

8/03/2007 03:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations Geoff & Susie! Have fun and see you Monday.

Jane & Phil

8/04/2007 09:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats! From the Hammetts across the way, keep having fun.

8/05/2007 05:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats Mr. West

As someone working on one decade, four seems absolutely amazing. It sure is good to see people who enjoy each other so much.

Happy anniversary to you both!

8/06/2007 08:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Geoff & Susie,

CONGRATULATIONS! Forty years is a true accomplishment, and an inspiration to us "young married couples." Wishing you all the best as you embark on your next decade together. -SBK

8/06/2007 08:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recognize the hottie on the right of the wedding picture, but who is the guy with the dark hair?

Congratulations, so many couples could learn lessons from you both. I am honored to call you friends.

8/06/2007 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Thanks to all of you for your kind words. One of the reasons we've been happily married all these years is because of the role models we have among our friends. As we celebrated this milestone this past weekend we thought of you all and discussed just how lucky we are to have such wonderful friends.

8/07/2007 12:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't belive it has been 40 years! We have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful relationship with you both and have been close enough to have seen you so much over the years. We love you both very much. Vern & Yvonne

8/18/2007 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger Ron - Anna Winship said...

*Hmmm, 1967...the same
year as our big block
El Camino! Wow, Anna
and I hit the big 2-0
on February 29th, 2008!
We must only feel half as share
our lives and company as
you lucky guys!
Tremendous and Wonderful
Congratulations..go for
another 40....the first
one sounds great!

8/23/2007 11:04:00 AM  

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