In a few days, a dear old friend of mine will be celebrating her 30th wedding anniversary. Happy, happy anniversary, Jaynut! A few weeks ago we attended the first of what I am calling the Next Generation weddings, as the children of our friends and friends of our children begin to take the plunge.
I’m so lucky that my little circle of friends comprises people who have all been happily together for a quarter-century or more. It makes me ponder why we have been so fortunate, or wise, or just how it is we managed to successfully find The Right One. And as I watch the current batch of young people navigate the relationship waters, suffering the painful breakups and awkward dates, I want so badly to be able to give them that perfect piece of wisdom that will help them know when they’ve found The One.
Of course, because my memory is still reasonably intact, I know perfectly well there really isn’t anything I can say. When you’re in love with someone, even if everyone around you knows he isn’t right, there’s nothing in the world that will convince you of that. He’s yours and you LOOOOOOOOOOVE him, warts and all. No matter how immensely ginormous those warts are. All over his body. No matter that he beats you with a stick every other Tuesday. (I hasten to add that in this I do not speak from personal experience. I never dated, much less fancied myself in love with, anyone who had either warts all over his body or beat me with a stick. At least not literally.)
The one and only way any individual will ever know the difference between The One and the Rest of Them is by finally meeting The One. And then you go, “OHHHHHH. Okay, then.” Until then, you won’t know, you can’t know, and no one can tell you.
But still, it doesn’t stop me, as a mother, from trying to give my children advice. Of course not! My kids have been doing the dating dance for quite a few years now (my son since he was about…um…fetal) and I’ve considered various techniques I could suggest for recognizing The One. But I think maybe the best is something I said to my daughter on the ending of a relationship a few months ago. And it’s this: In the nearly 27 years that RH and I have been together, there has not been one day, one hour, one MINUTE, that I have doubted that I come first in his life. Through all the vicissitudes of marriage, my belief in this has been pure and absolute and unwavering. And no one should be walking down the aisle with anyone who has ever doubted that about their significant other.
And that’s all I have to say about that.