Two Anniversaries

My bride and I celebrated 32 years of marriage this week. I think she gave up on trying to fix me up, so she is stuck with what she got. Kidding aside, my wife is easily the best half of us. She is “the girl who holds the world in a paper cup,” meaning she is as genuine as they come.

My wife likes to say we are friends first, when asked about our longevity. The friendship carries us through the ebbs and flows of the relationship. The other is keep a sense of humor. We often laugh at ourselves and can tease each other. Life is too short not to laugh more.

I had another anniversary this week. I passed ten years without a drink of alcohol. The cravings are far fewer and less intense, but they linger back there somewhere. My daughter asked me about my drinking habits as I made her and my wife aware of the anniversary as we traveled. It stunned them by the amount I drank, but at least I did it at home.

The key lesson I learned early in my abstinence is to say the following mantra, “I am not going to drink today.” This is a key reason recovering alcoholics know the number of days. Another piece of advice is to find a substitute – mine were green tea, fruits, fruit juices, popsicles or sorbet. The cravings will remain, you just need to drink or eat something else.

So, let’s toast with your beverage of choice (or necessity) to laughter, love and sobriety, at least for those who must abstain.


40 thoughts on “Two Anniversaries

  1. Note to Readers: For engaged couples, if you must marry in August, either be in the Southern Hemisphere or find a church with A/C. The groom in our wedding sweated like a nervous pig. I did say the “I do’s” in the appropriate places. But, pictures of the wedding reveal a stream of perspiration on my face. Thank goodness I was thinner then.

    • I was in my cousin’s wedding during the summer in the mid 70s. The wedding was held at a beautiful mansion in Chevy Chase, MD. You guessed it: no A/C and it was a very hot day. I remember feeling the sweat dripping down my back as I waited anxiously for the ceremony to end πŸ™‚

    • I was married in June in an “air-conditioned” church in the Cincinnati area.  Whoever put in the duct work assumed that divine intervention would circulate the cool air to the end where the vows were exchanged.  Nope.  The only cool air was in the back, so I sweated like a pig despite the miracle-dependent air-conditioning.

  2. Both anniversaries illustrate powerful and encouraging examples for all! Your post also reminds us of the importance of humor – if we lighten up, Life doesn’t get so heavy! It’s presently drizzling in the cloud forest, and things were looking quite dry when I arrived yesterday. Nights require long sleeves and/or jackets… On the foothills near the coast – at my new home – it’s also been cool at night and almost perfect in the daytime… Half an hour’s drive closer to the ocean – where deforestation contributes to the heat, it’s pretty hot there right now.
    May there by shade trees nearby to help nurse you all thru the August heat!

      • Yes, and I have to pull in my reins some times and remember that much of what was once forested in the USA is now vast and open…. we’re caught in a loop, and a poor landowner who sees how others are profiting by clearing and planting — he’s just trying to exist, and probably knows nothing about the scientific data and our world crisis…

        When the locals ask me why I have moved to their area – they seem shocked at one of my reasons and that is that I was looking for a place where the neighbors were not destroying the trees….!!!

      • Lisa, it does break your heart. And, it is not just climate change, it goes much deeper on its environmental impact, as you well know. Keith

  3. Note to Readers: A calming memory at my hot wedding occurred when my father-in-law got up to sing with his guitar from the altar. My wife’s niece who was the flower child, asked aloud “Where is Papa going?” It brought a chuckle and made me sweat less.

  4. Congratulations, Keith on both anniversaries. I applaud your resolve in the struggle to remain sober. Alcoholism is an addictive disease and I am proud of you!

    • Thanks Linda. It means a great deal coming from you. Of course, your sister gave me an anniversary present that said “I love you more than biscuits and gravy.” We both know that is a high ranking. Take care, Keith

  5. Dear Keith,

    Congrats on the two anniversaries as both exemplify real accomplishments. You are blessed to have your beautiful wife as your perfect best friend. Giving up alcohol for 10 years is no small feat. You have a lot to be proud of and may your future be your best years ever.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Thanks Gronda. I look forward to introducing you to her in the future. I have a niece in your area and relatives along the way, so we might venture south.

  6. Dear Keith … I offer you a belated β™« Happy Happy Anniversary β™« on both of your milestones! I apologize for my lateness, but I have fallen behind this weekend. Your wife truly sounds like a gem! I fully agree with her … in order for a relationship to work, you MUST be friends first and maintain a sense of humour. If we cannot laugh at ourselves once in a while, we are doomed.

    As for your 10 years of sobriety … I offer a huge GREAT JOB!!! I am so proud of you, and I know how hard it is. I once drank more than I should, and while I do not abstain completely now, I limit myself to an occasional (once or twice a week) glass of wine now. My guy Herb drinks far too much, and it is our biggest source of argument. Again, many thumbs-up, my friend!

    Hugs and congratulations to both you and your lovely wife!

    • Thanks Jill on both counts. Your guy can only change when he is ready. I tried controlling my drinking and failed, so I had to stop cold turkey. “The I’m not going to drink today” mantra helped greatly. My final impetus was a colleague’s wife dying at age 58 from complications from alcoholism. We had no idea she was. Best wishes, Keith

  7. Yes, though I really do know that, I am a stubborn ol’ wench, and I keep trying to get him to at least cut back. I tell myself that it is not my responsibility, but when you love someone, you just keep trying, y’know? Anyway, your accomplishment is commendable and I am proud of you. I know it wasn’t easy … I bet you feel better when you wake up in the mornings now, don’t you?

    • Jill, best wishes. It is funny, I feel best at the end of the day as the craving for alcohol has subsided. Around 5 pm at work, I used to get flushed and sweaty. Keep suggesting. That is all you can do. Keith

  8. Wow congratulations on BOTH anniversaries. I’m sure Jill deserves extra kudos for sticking with you before and after the abstinence anniversaries. But you deserve extreme credit for climbing out of that monster hole that could have swallowed you and separated you from everything and everyone that you hold dear. Many more to you!

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