Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Thinking About 30

May 14 has arrived once again, so I stop and consider what I have done in the past 30 years on this date. On this date in history was the Battle of Lewes (1264), the Coronation of Charles VIII (1483), the founding of Jamestown (1607), and the creation of Israel (1948). Thirty years ago today, I helped my younger brother deliver a load of newspapers for a friend that was on vacation.

And I married.

Spending most of one's adult life sharing living space with the same person is a bit daunting when viewed from the front end, but in looking back, I'm a little surprised at how much we've done, and how easy most of it was to do. We've lived in 5 different places: 3 in Southern California, 2 in Northern California. We've traveled to Mexico 3 times, to Europe twice. One or the other of us has worked, gone back to school, changed careers, and/or retired. We've stuck together through broken bones, major surgeries, and the loss of parents and friends. We've even managed to survive construction, remodeling, redecorating, and relandscaping. It's been, to steal a line from the Grateful Dead, "a long, strange trip," but by and large, it's been fun. OK, the broken leg while we were moving in 1994 wasn't fun, but most of it was fun. We've reached that stage in our relationship where divorce really is something that happens to "other people." We used to joke that we could never divorce because who would get custody of the books? Now, splitting us up would be the equivalent of splitting up that comfortable old pair of shoes: you might find another, newer shoe to replace the one you took away, but it would never be the same pair again.

So, was there a huge celebration for this momentous occasion? No. I actually spent it doing much the same thing I did 31 years ago today: dealing with school, and getting paperwork sorted out so I can continue my education. Got everything squared away (two weeks of telephone calls and letters, to solve an issue that should have taken--and took--only five minutes once I went down there), shared a sandwich on campus, then went over to the library to do some research on the Los Angeles student walkouts of March 1968. Spent part of the day working on papers that are due by the end of the week. Tried to deal with the oppressive heat and humidity (July has suddenly arrived in mid-May). Pretty much a normal day.

Number 30 has come and almost gone. Now it's on to Number 31 and beyond.