Friday, February 11, 2005
If my father were still alive, he and my mother would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary today. He died a few months after their 50th. I don't know if I would describe their marriage as blissful, but it worked for them in some weird way. Low expectations may have had something to do with that. When I was splitting up with my first husband, my dad wanted to know what had happened...what he had done to me. "I'm just not happy," I tried to explain. He was confused. "Happy? Happy?? If you wanted to be happy, what the hell did you get married for?"
At some point I'll write more about my father because he was kind of a complex guy. But for now I'll just say that it wasn't until I was an adult that I realized who the boss REALLY was (my mother) and that she manipulated and controlled everything my father did. One of her main areas of control was the finances. She put the tight in tightwad. My father was a mailman. He wasn't exactly pulling down the big bucks, but with my mother working most of the time we seemed to be ok. We certainly weren't poor enough to warrant buying canned food from "Joe the Dented Can Man", but we did. The blackened grease produced by frying bacon was refrigerated and saved for future use. Brand loyalty extended to "Brand X" and not beyond.
Penny-pinching didn't take a holiday on on their wedding anniversary either. Every year they would go to the local card store, pick out their cards, exchange them, read them, and put them back.
The ultimate in recycling, I suppose!