Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Vows, twenty years later.

Did you see this article celebrating the twentieth anniversary of The New York Times' Vows column?  There are plenty of jokes to be made (and most of them have been) about how the paper's wedding announcements are the "single women's sports pages," and Katie Baker's monthly reviews of the announcements are truly hilarious, but kidding aside, the retrospective offers a fascinating look at twenty years of matrimony.  Lois Smith Brady, the writer of the Vows column (who didn't have an email address when she started writing it!), noted that "[t]he way people look at marriage, and live it, has changed over the years. It’s like farming, once considered drudgery and hard work, but now seen as a soulful utopian adventure."
Sunday's article highlighted six couples from the early months of the column, which started in 1992.  Some of the couples are married, some have divorced, some have been widow(er)ed.  Their reflections on marriage are sweet, funny, and in a few cases, heartbreaking.  
One woman, whose husband died of a heart attack, said she doesn't lock her car anymore, because after his death, "I’m beyond locking. I’m liberated. What could go wrong now?”
Another couple "talk about their marriage as if it’s a citadel, discussing the importance of protecting it from outside threats."  The wife said that she thinks it's romantic when her husband fills up her car with gas :) (as the designated gas-filler-upper and primary driver in my house, I agree!).  
My favorite line, however, came from a husband reflecting on his twenty years of marriage: “If I were to boil it down to one thing, Susan stayed nice and I stayed funny...If you can stay kind and keep a sense of humor, man, you can get through anything.”

That about sums it up, doesn't it?  

(All images by Max Wanger)

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