Travel takes the backseat this year as my wife and I prepare for our golden wedding anniversary. Same time, same day, same tiny, old chapel as 50 years ago. With a huge clan that our grandparents have sowed, the domed chapel will be in danger of crumbling because of the heat and the music vibrating. We shall ask the priest if we could play an Earth, Wind, and Fire number as our entry song and dance to it.
“Stay alive, and we promise to stay alive, too,” we say when we ask the few guests to save the date. No barong Tagalog or Filipiniana gowns this time, as we requested during the silver anniversary (also in the same chapel). It is hippie and/or bohemian hobo look. Tumanda tayong paatras! That is a blast! Also, no gifts unless it is an artwork. Donate to Angat Buhay - that would be best.
Our children told us to relax and sit back. They will organize the event and foot the bill. Thank you! The very first one wiped out my meager savings as a student who did small art jobs here and there; my Dad had to come to the rescue, well, like we have replicated for our own children and their spouses’ huge days. Our contributions were not equitable, though. They were dependent on the erratic nature of our income as artists. Also, some in-laws came out with bigger antes. Why am looking at it as gambling? Teehee.
There have been serious suggestions that marriage licenses should have expiry dates, so that couples could uncouple without going through the severe stress of explaining through legal eagles why the partnership must stop. It just is. Tama na pagtitiis. So, when a couple celebrates the precious metals and stones of anniversaries with full will and consciousness, there must be something about the marriage that is wonderful. Or weird.
Ours, like probably 99 percent of marriages, is not perfect. I concede that I have caused the wife more anguish than she, the rebellious and bull-headed lady that she was and still is, has inflicted on me. I am so driven, she says. She is so laid back. I am OC, she is messy. I am focused, she is ADHD. She has soaked in Reiki, Emotional Freedom Technique, Vipasana Meditation, and what I define as esoteric pursuits, I suspect, to cope with me. I believe in universal energies but I do not dive into them. I seek understanding and penance in praying Our Father every night. That is just about it.
The wife has voiced out apprehension about whether she, indeed, could stay alive for the 50th. She had a stroke that she miraculously survived a few years ago. She has sleep apnea, vertigo, gout, and other minor maladies. She hates exercise and loves fat. Though self-indulgent, she used to have strong will power. She could command a pimple from growing or a fever from persisting. Now she asks: kanino kaya kita ihahabilin? She wants to choose my next wife. Susginuu, even in death makikialam pa. Will you miss me, she asks. I retort: I will look for you in the arms and thighs of other women. And we laugh.