20 Years

The other day I looked at Howard as he was gazing out of window. The light was hitting his face at one of those photographically perfect angles to highlight all the best features and I wished for a camera so I could capture in an image exactly what I see when I look at him. He was quite handsome, despite the fact that he was wearing a green shirt I’d made the mistake of buying for him without quite realizing that it exactly matches his car.

Oops. All day he wore that shirt and I kept feeling like he was wearing his car around the house. But I watched him anyway because I often do even though I don’t say anything about it.

This is us together 20 years ago today.

I can’t say that our wedding was the best day of my life, because it was far too full of various agendas, rejoicings, and stresses to be peaceful. I can say that choosing to marry Howard was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It is one I keep making over and over as we muck our way through the various stresses and joys of sharing life, household, children, and a business.
As you can see, Howard took this wedding business quite seriously.

Very seriously indeed.

At least I had some inkling of what I was in for.

I have a smattering of photographs in between those wedding pictures and the green shirt picture above. I thought about digging out an array of them and creating a (probably cheesy) Howard-through-the-years montage, but the albums are currently buried behind boxes of merchandise which I had to move out of our storage room because the air conditioner repair guys needed to have more that two square feet of work space. Then I thought about drawing forth some larger meaning from the pictures being buried by work, but really that is just life. Things get shifted around to take care of problems and then they pass through organized before being jumbled up again for some other reason.

The important thing is that twenty years in, I don’t regret it. Not a bit of it. Not any of the dumb mistakes (see green shirt above), or the grievous mistakes (investing in real estate in early 2007), not having four kids, or buying this house, or planting all those trees half of which died. (Okay I regret planting that one maple in that one spot, but it is nothing that a saw can’t fix when we find some time.) Most importantly I don’t regret sharing all of it with Howard. I’m glad that we leaped together into creative work. I’m glad for all of the things I’ve had to become (stronger, less afraid, an accountant, a graphic designer). I say all of this even though this past weekend has been one of Howard’s worst-ever depressive episodes. For a little bit things were heart-wrenchingly, achingly hard. I don’t regret that either. He makes me laugh even when I want to cry, or even when I’ve already been crying. He’s brilliant and clever. He just keeps getting better. We keep getting better together.

Twenty years, that’s a good start.

21 thoughts on “20 Years”

  1. So my husband wasn’t the only one who thought real estate was a brilliant investment in 2007. *lol*

    Grats on 20 years of decision success. 🙂

  2. I’m going to assume there is supposed to be a “best” in front of decision up there. Unless you’re going for the whole purposeful ambiguity thing, which I can endorse. More seriously, though (I can do that, honest!) thoroughgoing congradulations from a couple much closer to the beginning of that journey. It may embarrass you (I’m fine with that, because I’m a friend) but you and Howard are one of the couples we look to for lessons and inspiration. Sarah and I have greatly enjoyed getting to know you and your family, and look forward to many more years of association. I’d offer to get the youth out of your hair for a bit, but the distance is prohibitive. For now. Know that you and yourn are part of our family, and always have a place here, wherever that happens to be. Joy and peace to you, Sandra.

  3. Did you know that 3 years ago, during what I deemed 2010: Year of the Newlywed, I began developing a theory that the way in which a couple cuts their wedding cake is indicative of their personality as a couple?
    Thanks for proving my point, and for sharing those great pictures. 🙂

    If it makes you feel any better about your real estate in 2007 decision, in July of 2008, I decided to quit a full-time job with good benefits to be middle management in fast food.

  4. I’m pretty cynical about love and marriage in general, but you and Howard are one of my all-time favorite pairings of humans. Proof of concept, if you will.

    It is also amazing to me that you look exactly the same as you did 20 years ago. How do you pull that off?

  5. many congratulations, our first anniversary is this month so we have no idea if we will manage as long as you.

  6. He doesn’t look quite the same: his hair migrated. If I had seen your wedding pictures uncaptioned, I would’ve had no idea it was you guys.

    Congratulations! Dan & I are only at 4 years, I hope we are as amazing as you guys at 20.

  7. What a great blog entry, and I loved the pictures, you guys still look great. I think marriage is a grand adventure full of ups and downs and lots of suprises. But the person beside you can make all the difference and life is suppost to be a hard thing, so…. I too am so grateful at the not near perfect person that married this not to perfect individual and for the grand life that we have most of the time.

  8. Congrats! My hubby and I are only at about 2 and 1/2 years so far, but I thought it would be fun to tell you that we got married in part because of Schlock, so it’s all your (and Howard’s) fault! 🙂 Hubby introduced me to Schlock when I was supposed to be writing my dissertation. Dissertation went out the window because of some odd number of years of Schlock archives, and with the time leftover from no dissertation, I finally managed to get hubby to actually NOTICE me. So thank you Taylers, and thank you Schlock! 🙂

  9. Sandra and Howard:

    Congratulations on 20 years. Time flies when you’re having life! It’s never all fun, but never all bad. When I think of what my wife and I have had to learn and do – father/mother, teachers, nurses, administrators, repairpersons – it’s a cinch that we are not the same at 20 (or 27) years that we were when we got married.

    I suspect the secret is living, growing and loving – and you two seem to have it in spades.

  10. Congrats to both of you and hopes for many more.
    My wife and I are approaching 25 years together now and are still very much in Love. We too have had good times and bad, far more good than bad tho.
    Howard passed the link to this on the Schlock site, which I read habitually. As a Retired enlisted man I truly appreciate his take on the comic. And I Love the Maxims. Actually a bit more than Murphy’s laws of Combat. Perhaps because those often invoke memories a bit too painful.

  11. Congratulations.
    I looked up the other day, and realized “Its been four years almost” about myself.
    Congrats on making 20. Through the hard times (and the not so hard) being married is an adventure.
    You may not remember, but when I first met you (and Howard, really) I asked questions about how you stayed afloat, how you dealt with his work, and how you kept your life together. I paid attention, and over the years, I kept an eye on it. A few years later I got married, and have applied the lessons learned from watching you, both in “easy” times and hard. Your example has helped keep together myself and my wife. Thank you.

  12. Phil Morse-Fortier

    Congratulations to both of you! Thank you so much for helping support Howard as he made a job out of Schlock Mercenary!

  13. congratulations, “gunners mate” and i met on a blind date, 46 years ago. we’re still hanging in there.

  14. I got teary reading this. It’s exactly how I feel when I look back. I never regret the choice. And yes, the wedding day itself was too stressful to earn “best day ever.” But in the end, I think every day is really the best day ever because it’s the day you choose each other again and again.

    Happy (belated) Anniversary, Sandra & Howard!

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