The very first argument Jim and I had as a married couple was on our wedding day. We left the courthouse in Norfolk, Virginia and drove back to Knoxville; he was on leave from the Navy for the rest of the week. After a very long eight-hour drive, we got off the interstate and had to navigate through downtown Knoxville, which has lots of one way streets and odd intersections.
It wasn’t long before we got completely turned around and totally lost. This was way before cell phones and GPS navigation (imagine that, kids!), and we didn’t have a map in the car. I wanted him to pull over so we could ask for directions and—not intentionally reinforcing male stereotypes here but—Jim did not want to do that. We alternated bickering like crazy and shutting down almost completely until we finally found our way out of there and to his parents’ house.
I was reminded of that argument on Thursday when, on our way out to celebrate our thirty-third anniversary a couple of days early at a restaurant in downtown Knoxville, we got turned around again. I had looked at the map on my phone before we left and thought I knew where I was going, so I didn’t set up the navigation in my car. When I accidentally passed what I thought must have been the correct exit, a tiny bit of chaos ensued because our reservation time was coming up in six minutes. Also, it was not quite as important as arriving at the restaurant on time but the sky was displaying the most vibrantly red, orange, and yellow sunset and when I passed the exit I also took away Jim’s opportunity to get a picture. I circled back as quickly as possible while we went back and forth about where I should and shouldn’t turn. The argument wasn’t anything like what happened on our first day as husband and wife. This time it ended a little like “Oh, YOU!” with some head shaking and quiet laughter, and then we went on to have a lovely dinner.
We’ve learned a lot in thirty-three years of marriage. Mostly (and truly paramount now that I think about it) we’ve learned that no matter who is driving or what happens along the way, we always do the best when we’re in the same car with the same destination as our goal. He’s my favorite person, my ideal driver AND passenger, my true love, and I can’t imagine getting lost–and found–with anyone else.
Happy anniversary, Jim. I love you!
*The picture at the top of the page is the only one we have from our wedding day. We were still dressed in what we wore to the courthouse. I was reading Teen magazine. We were adorable.