Wedding anniversaries leading up to the 50th may seem insignificant, except to those celebrating them. I'll have to admit that I recall looking at the smiling , white-haired couples in our local newspaper who had reached this pinnacle of married life and thinking, "wow, they are OLD to be married that long". But now we are approaching our own 50th and, yes, I guess we are old in the eyes of many dewey eyed young couples.
Strangely enough, more and more couples are celebrating their 60th anniversaries together so that says something about our life expectancy and state of health, doesn't it?
Last year David and I celebrated our 46th wedding anniversary in Niger,Africa. This unlikely place served us well and we had quite a celebration with our fellow Peace Corps volunteers and staff. (See earlier blog entitled, "46 in Niger"). Now just recently we celebrated our 47th wedding anniversary in a totally different part of the world where many weddings are arranged and divorce is frowned upon by the prevailing cultural practices. On our 46th we'd never have thought that our 47th would not also be in Niger, however, life has a way of presenting surprises along the way and our move to Armenia was certainly one of them.
Here in Armenia couples do not usually date as we did in the U.S. and once a young man and young woman are seen in public together, they are generally considered to be engaged. This assumption , if true, is followed by a large party for the couple's family and close friends where their future together is discussed . The wedding is then planned for not too long after this event. Of course, there are exceptions to this chain of events and there is also "bridenapping" , an entirely different side of the marriage picture.
This year for our 47th wedding anniversary we ate alone at Gaucho's, an Argentine steak house which is one of our favorites in Yerevan. We'd spent the day in meetings at the Peace Corps office and turned down an offer to eat with fellow volunteers so that we could "celebrate" on our own. The following night we did join the group for pizza at a local restaurant and were asked questions about our marriage, secrets to success, and what it was like last year as we celebrated in Niger, Africa. For the 47th, this quiet recognition of our many years of married life was perfect---no need for a huge party for EVERY anniversary. The best part was that we were together in a place where we felt committed to staying, despite its challenges and disappointments. For here in Armenia, one must seek the positive in life and our marriage is truly one of them. Our service with the Peace Corps certainly offers new experiences and chances to learn about a different part of the world as we get older. We hope our work improves the lives of a least a few people we encounter during this 2 years.
In anticipation of next year's 48th wedding anniversary, neither David nor I will even guess where we'll be. We'll just enjoy the present and deal with the future as it comes. And, as we near the golden 50th, we'll appreciate the time here in Armenia and wherever in the world we might be, striving for continued good health and the blessings of supportive family and friends around the world. 46 in Niger; 47 in Armenia; 48 somewhere in the world. Please check in now and then and see where we are. Judy