Thirty years ago a quiet young woman married a long-haired young man who wasn’t quite so quiet. Both the bride and the groom wanted a small quiet wedding. They managed to obtain the beautiful front room of a brownstone in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. They only invited family and close close friends. Distance from home made the feat simpler. A friend helped us write the vows, and it was over in a flash. We had poppyseed cake (our favorite) and some chocolate cake and a bunch of stuff to drink, and then we borrowed a car and drove over into Manhattan for a couple of nights in the big city.
The date was actually the 14th (of August). While our short honeymoon was winding down (hey, we had no money) two days after the wedding, Elvis chose his time do die. I don’t know if he REALLY chose the time, but his death certainly overshadowed our wedding, at least in the Daily News. We drove the car back to a friend’s house, and took the subway home to our apartment in the not-so-wonderful neighborhood of East New York. It really wasn’t safe, but we didn’t care, because the friendship that evolved into love (and lust) helped us belie the fact that we lived in a scary neighborhood in a small apartment prone to break-ins. We were social workers. We came to save the world, but I think we mainly saved each other.
We lived in Brooklyn for five years and managed to have our first child. I had a cheap stereo (really really cheap so that it would not be stolen) and Lynn gave me Talking Heads 77 for our first Christmas. I still know every groove. Elvis remained dead, except in the pages of the Weekly World News. Thanks to his timing, I have a built-in reminder of my anniversary date every year. I really don’t need the reminder, but it does evoke a special day in a wonderful Brownstone in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn.
We are celebrating off and on this month. We began by having a fabulous dinner at the Canyon Cafe up on Lookout Mountain on the Georgia end. The off and on part is due to work and lack of leave (I had to take a lot of medical leave this year), but I think it is symbolic of something more. Marriage, or at least prolonged marriage, is damn hard work. Sometimes you want to leave the joint and drive into ‘Bolivian’ (as Mike Tyson once said) or maybe into the arms of someone else. Sometimes you just feel so damn lucky the world transcends magic, but one thematic argument later, you wanna jump off the roof. You don’t. You stay. You work and argue and love and work some more. Thirty years…the dividends compound.