A guy is sitting in his favorite chair, looking melancholy; a tear runs down his cheek. His wife asks him, "What's wrong with you?"
He looks at her and say "Do you remember when your father found us in your bedroom, and he got out his shotgun and said if I didn't marry you, he'd have me sent to prison for twenty years?"
He sighs quietly. "I would have gotten out today."
As of today, I have been married to The Wife for twenty years. Counting the time we were affianced and just plain going out together, I have been with her longer than I have been without her. I am happy to say I have not regretted it.
I proposed after the third or so date, she didn't actually accept until several weeks later. We were necking in an old book store, and in a fit of passion I asked her to marry me again, and she said yes. As I opened my eyes in joy, I spied a first printing copy of Earthman's Burden by Gordon Dickson on a shelf, which I had been looking for just forever. If that's not a good omen, I don't know what is.
I didn't have a ring or anything, and we both knew we weren't in a position to actually get married, we just knew that we would indeed get married when we could afford it. (we were as annoyingly practical when it came to having kids too, which is why we didn't have The Kid for eight years after were got hitched) So to celebrate, I got her a piece of chocolate cheesecake. When she finished it, I asked her to give me the styrofoam box. When she asked why, I explained, "So when we finally get the ring, I can put it in the box and hand it to you. She thought that was adorable, handed it to me, and promptly forgot about it.
Several years later, we went to the Fortunoff's to pick up the ring; I was carrying a small paper bag. I got the ring, distracted her for a moment, there was a rustling of brown paper, and handed her a styrofoam pie-slice box. She fell apart - it couldn't have gone any better.
Our wedding ceremony was performed by my old High School English teacher, who had since joined the priesthood. Eight years later he baptized The Kid. Our reception was something out of of Goodfellas, complete with the satin bag full of cash, which was promptly siezed by the mother of the bride to pay for said reception.
We've moved four times in that time, which is as I understand it, below average. we've gone from job to job, but never reaching a point where money has ever become an argument point. Our arguments have been few, far between, petty and pointless, and quickly sorted. We spend most of our time quoting movies at each other, being witty and urbane, and generally laughing our asses off.
Her mom remains bewildered as to how we could possibly be happy, since we are not rich and do not live in a fourteen room mansion. But as the years have ground on, she has had to admit that we ARE happy, she just can't possibly grasp how.
She fits in my arms, and fills in the bits about movies that I don't. We have shared things with each other - she had never read Douglas Adams, and I had never seen Little Shop of Horrors. I explained how the DC Multiverse to her, and she eplxained the appeal of Shell Scott novels. I got a few writing gigs from her old boss, and she went to work for Jim Shooter at Defiant, where she met Steve Ditko. Twice.
Considering all the things that could happen in a relationship, and the few things that have, we've apparently gotten very good at dodging bullets. I'm hoping our luck holds out. We're both in pretty good shape (searches frantically for a piece of wood to knock - stupid pre-made cubicles) and expect to be stuck with each other for quite some time to come.
Works for me.