by Mary Anne on February 10, 2011

Tomorrow will be my 17th wedding anniversary!


We lived together “in sin” as my mother would have said for almost three years before so what I’m really trying to say here is that seventeen is the new twenty around the House of Stiletto.

I get so many reactions when I tell people how long I’ve been married. Most of the people I work with are a lot younger than me and if they are married at all most of them have not been married for more than five years at the most. There is a whole lot of “Congratulations!” that goes on. And then there is always the “How did you make it this far?” question which is the one that always causes me to scratch my head and look back while wondering…

How the hell did we make it this far???

My Mom used to tell me, “Marriage is not a privilege, it’s a job.  Never forget that.” And maybe I never did.

Look at her in her wedding picture…things were so different then.  Roles were defined.  Women had their place.  She knew what her job was.   But what about now?  Where the lines are blurred, responsibilities crossed?     For her entire life, she signed every document that ever crossed her path as “Mrs. Hugh C.  Calhoun, Jr.”      Her life was defined by his life, his name.

It’s not so easy any more is it?

The truth is, it is a job.   It’s a really, really hard job but one that comes with great benefits.   It doesn’t have a paycheck per se unless you are on the cast of The Real Housewives of  Beverly Hills anyway.  It comes with long hours, scary times and a whole lot of work.

But then there is the flip side.   There are moments when your heart could burst with joy looking at your spouse.   There are the children, if you choose to have them, that fill your heart with wonder and love when you realize you created these amazing humans that would not be on this earth if there were not a “you and him”.     There are the plans for the future and most of all, at least for me, there is the knowledge that there is one person on this earth who knows every part of me.   He knows the good and the bad, and trust me, there is a good amount of badness with me, and he loves me anyway.

We’ve fought like cats and dogs, we drive each other crazy.   We cross the line with each others personal boundaries at times.  We go to the brink but then we come back again.

But still…we move forward.

We try.   And then we try harder.

If you were to ask me today how we got this far?   I’d tell you to look around your own house and realize that the person you are standing next to today, with all their faults, might just be your happily ever after even if the road has some bumps.

I guess the bottom line for me is this…I want what my parents had.   I know how lucky I am to wish for that because so many can’t.   I want my children to have the childhood I had with two parents committed to each other no matter what happened.   I understand that many would not wish their childhoods upon their children.   I know in my heart how truly blessed I was to have such an example from two people I miss so much it kills me.   I want the fairy tale they had that I was privileged to witness and I owe it to my kids to try as hard as I can to give them the same gift.

Most of all, I owe it to myself to have that fairy tale for me.   It just takes work.  And I can do that.

Here’s looking forward to our 18th honey!   I love you now, I loved you then and I always will.



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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sara at Saving For Someday February 10, 2011 at 8:55 pm

How very sweet! In my family it skipped a generation. My grandparents were married 56 years. My grandma was married the shortest of all her siblings. I want that. I know my mom wanted that but it didn’t work. It is a job. It’s like a job share, to use a modern explanation. It takes a commitment to succeed by both parties to make it not only work but to be so awesome that it’s admired, inspired and perspired. OK, not perspired. But the other two definitely!

Rock on, girlfriend! Here’s to 17+ more!!!
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2 Living the Balanced Life February 10, 2011 at 9:14 pm

I so get how you feel. Hubby and I will celebrate 30 years in June. Has not been easy but we love each other dearly. We have 4 kids and 7 grandchildren.
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3 Cris February 10, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Very, very sweet. I too was blessed with parents who are truly each other’s best friend. It is a (rare) blessing to have that example and then have the opportunity to work for the same thing.

Congrats to you and your hubby too!
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4 Dawn @ What's Around the Next Bend? February 11, 2011 at 12:13 am

I hope to have that job again some day…

Dawn @ What’s Around the Next Bend?´s last blog ..Since when am I THAT girlMy ComLuv Profile

5 Nic's Notebook February 11, 2011 at 4:01 am

This is such a lovely post!! Me & my OH fight a lot and it really drags me down – sometimes I think it’ll never work out. But it passes, and we go on. Your post has really inspired me that we might have a happy ending after all ;) x
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6 Gigi February 11, 2011 at 4:31 am

Happy, happy anniversary!
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7 Jamie February 11, 2011 at 6:40 am

Happy happy anniversary!!! Here’s to many more happy years together.

Yeah marriage IS a lot of work but it is worth it (most of the time…heh). ;)

8 Michele February 11, 2011 at 7:06 am

Happy 17th! Or 20th! It takes special committed people to make it this far. Knowing you, I’m not surprised.
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9 Braja February 11, 2011 at 8:44 am

Awww, Mary Anne, you dear thing…happy happy days, well done, don’t stop now :) )) Loved this post….missed you :)
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10 Keely February 11, 2011 at 11:44 am

Happy anniversary! I’m glad you were smart enough to choose someone who ALSO knows it’s work ;)
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11 Captain Dumbass February 11, 2011 at 6:59 pm
12 pamela February 11, 2011 at 9:14 pm

you are so freaking adorable.
i can’t even stand it.
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13 Kate Coveny Hood February 11, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Oh congratulations!

Marriage is complicated. But doesn’t everything worth valuing require maintenance? You’ve expressed this perfectly and even made it sound a little romantic (romance after 17 years???)

Wishing you all the best!
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14 Dana Parker February 12, 2011 at 9:12 am

Hubs and I will celebrate 25 in May. Why, Yes, I did get married when I was 12 ;) Congrats!
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15 Cassie February 12, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Congratulations MA!

This post gave me chills. So beautiful.

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16 Lynn MacDonald February 14, 2011 at 11:19 am

that’s awesome…we lived together before we got married too. In fact, i’m going to insist upon it for my kids. I think it weeds out the bad relationships. Congrats on your anniversary!
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17 Chrisor (ynotkissme) February 14, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Happy Anniversary a few days late! We’ve been married 18 yrs. (19 in June) and all I can say is when it’s good, there’s nothing else like it and when it’s bad, it’s horrible. I think one of the keys is just not giving up. It’s easier to throw in the towel and walk away when you hit a rough patch. You’ve got the right attitude and are in it for the long haul. Keep up the great work and you’ll be rewarded with a sense of accomplishment at another year under your belt and a happy home life. :-)

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