Today is the 39th anniversary of our wedding. It was 1974 and we were 22 years old. I had just graduated from the University of Michigan three weeks before and Stephen had just finished his first year law school final exams one week before. It was a Saturday of Memorial weekend, just like today. That night we stayed at a hotel (the Dearborn Inn) for the first time in my life–a very mini honeymoon. And then we moved our stuff the next day into married student housing in Ann Arbor. In thinking back a few days ago, I wrote this poem which I read to Stephen this morning at the kitchen table. We had a lovely, low-key day being together. Happy anniversary one more time before midnight, Stephen!
I might tell you
what I remember
from 40 years ago
and though you were there
and we were simpatico
your memories may not be
even recognizable to me,
either morphed over time,
put through that gauze sieve
we each have or
true from your point of view
but maybe the image
has blurred or completely erased
and what mattered to me
enough to file away
just vanished from your life story.
Or we each can remember bits
and piece together say, that date the first summer
when we were supposed to go to a horse show
but ended up making out on the beach
and you remember the color and make of the borrowed car
or where we went for dinner after
and both of us recall the unexpectedly cold wind
blowing off the lake, the threat of rain
and I remember the insistence of your lips on mine
as we made our tent under the sandy blanket
and my passionate body awakened for the first time
like an iron slowing heating up to red hot
not an incandescent bulb you could turn on or off,
the abandon of desire almost scaring me with intensity.
Margaret Dubay Mikus
What are your stories about long-time relationships? How reliable is memory? How can you tell?