Saturday, December 31, 2011


Today my husband Jim and I celebrate our 35th anniversary. Legally we have been married for 35 years, but I don't know for sure if I should say 35 because I have evicted him twice. Once for almost three years and once for almost two. Nevertheless, three decades is a long time to live with someone who is your polar opposite, so I feel somewhat proud that we've weathered our lives together. Whenever I ask Jim why he wanted to marry me or why he was attracted to me, he says the same thing: "Because you were so funny." Needless to say, this is not exactly what a romantic wants to hear. You may wonder why I ask Jim about these things that couples who are in normal relationships converse about easily. I ask because if I do not, Jim would never talk about anything. At all. Really. One of Jim's mottoes is - never volunteer any information. I kid you not, we were married for thirty years before I learned that he does not like beets, and the most amazing thing I learned about a year ago is that he actually had a dog when he was a kid. A german shepherd. Prince. That's all I got out of him about Prince, but I am fascinated. You see, Jim was raised in an orphanage where he was deposited at around age nine or ten. Since he was 21, I've been his family. Just me and our three children. And Jim remains a mystery man. But we have developed a relationship that works most of the time. I've learned not to expect emotional intimacy from Jim, although he says, and he may have a point, that guys who do that well are not sincere. Hmmm, I say. Very interesting observation from a stoic fellow like Jim.

I could write a book about this odd relationship we've had for so long, but it's our anniversary, and I thought our conversation first thing this morning kind of summed up our odd couple partnership. Here's how it went...

I was in the kitchen, everything clear, just starting to make more candy. (Yes it's becoming an obsession.) In scuffs Jim in his perpetual slippers, holy tee shirt, and his nod to the holidays, his candy cane pajama pants. Any other time of year he would be wearing Cubs pajama pants.

I said: "Hey, get outta my way, I'm making candy."

Jim replied: "Hey you, get outta MY way I'm making my coffee."

I said: "Dammit Jim you always do this stuff when I'm cooking."

He said: "Hey I see your tumbler came in the mail."

I began to dance and sing, "I'll tumble for you, I'll tumble for you, ...."

I said, "Did Boy George sing "I'll tumble or I'll stumble?" (I'm hearing impaired - for years I thought Eric Clapton was saying, "Captain Midnight" instead of After Midnight.)

He replied, "It was 'stumble.'

"Oh," I said, and began singing "I'll stumble for you..."

Then I saw his shoulders shaking - when Jim laughs he shakes all over silently - and I knew he had messed with me. I believe at this point I told him that he was an ass.

He got his coffee stating that I was going to have to turn off my Pandora mix of Patty Griffin as he was going to watch TV. (Do you know how much I hate TV - he loves it of course.)

I said, "Jesus Jim, I turned on my TV this morning since it's a holiday, flipped through the channels and turned it off. I've never seen such a bunch of trash. It's disgraceful. How do you watch that? I hate America. I'm moving to Great Britain."

I heard Jim muttering about how I wouldn't really get good health care there, it's damp, and the Brit-ish aren't funny, and then he became one with his idiot box.

I shouted as I finished a beautiful batch of toffee for my favorite pharmacist at the local drugstore, "FINE! I will send you a LETTER from there!"

A singsong voice came through the television blather, "O.K."

Jim and I have grown up together. We have very few like interests other than our children, grandchildren and our two dogs. He is my rock and a perfect counterpoint to my fly by night ways. And I am his personal jester and the one person who never bails completely on him. We have supported each other through sickness and in health. We have held each other up through the nightmare of losing one of our precious children, our son Nicholas. We've also spent some time apart. But guess whom I called every time I had a problem, or needed to tell one of my funny stories? So I think it's fair to say that we've been married for 35 years. I still crack him up and he still shows his affection by doing things like filling our freezer with way too many bags of brussels sprouts because long ago I mentioned I like them. Geez I get sick of those damned sprouts. But I won't tell him because I know that those silly little cabbages are love letters from the Mystery Man.


Anonymous said...

Amy Eades said...

This is beautiful, Cody. No worries about *how* it works as long as it *does* work. Much love to you and Jim, both.

~Amy Jo

Yoly Sanantonio said...

Cody...that was so beautifully written. I can see how Jim fell in love with you and your funny ways...I see your humor in the way you write as well.

RetroBabs said...

Cody, from someone who has been married to the same man for 33 yrs I can relate to your comfortable and loving, oddly beautiful relationship!

Great writing by the way, I felt like I was standing in your kitchen.

Happy Anniversary and thanks for the follow on Pinterest.


Cody said...

Thanks to all of you for your lovely comments! xoxo

bridbeck said...

Just perfect.

bridbeck said...

(oh, this is Rebecca, by the way)