Having messed up our plans for 25, 30, and 35, I was determined not to let “stuff” ruin the 4-0, as it had on the previous big ones. But it wasn’t easy.
Our original plan was to take a road trip to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. For the better part of, like, all of our married life, baseball has always been important…whether I was playing it or coaching it or watching our boys play it or funding it or simply cheering it on, it has always been huge. I was the envy of most every dude friend I have, being the guy whose WIFE chose to go to the CWS on our 40th anniversary! My rockstar status and Wanda’s sainthood was firmly secured in the Manhood Hall of Fame.
Until we had a serious conversation one night.
After we spent a couple of days watching games at Ameritrade Park, what else were we going to do? Drive through Iowa? Visit South Dakota or cruise through Kansas? Nope. So back to the Internet to shop for the best prices on plane tickets back to the Motherland (SoCal, for the uninitiated).
So, armed with a prescription for Valium (Wanda doesn’t really care for flying) and a wrenched back from working in the yard the day before we left (I should have been taking the Valium), we embarked on a real, live, not-tied-to-a-speaking-engagement, honest to goodness, nine-day vacation. All in honor of marriage. Here are some of the highlights:
- We got a rental car and traveled all over San Diego, Orange, and LA counties, visiting places that made a mark on our dating life and the first twenty years of our partnership.
- Many of those, uh…really, most of those places included eating some of our favorite foods. After living in Tejas for the past twenty, we have grown to savor smoked anything, good Tex-Mex, and sweet tea. But my adopted Texas family is going to have to forgive me for this: there is nothing in the world like San Diego taco shops, right-out-of-the-Pacific-Ocean fish tacos, sausage and pepperoni pizza from Munchies in HB, and apple fritters at Adams Avenue Donuts. Nothing. Ever.
- Someday. Soon, I hope. May the quality of play produced by the home team get in the same league with the quality of going to a game at their home field…Petco Park. (all snarky comments will be deleted)
- Walks along the coastline. Salt air. Waves crashing.
- Visits with a few of our closest friends.
- A visit to the church we were married in, for Sunday worship on our anniversary day, June 21. Dinner right on San Diego Bay, later that night.
- A few restful days at the Omni Hotel in downtown San Diego
- There was a ton more, but you get the picture.
So how do you make it 40 great years?
- Make the right choice in the first place.
- Make it more important than anything else in your life.
- Take care of your own spiritual life. Nobody can do that for you.
All other marriage advice is simply repackaging those three. So if you’re not married, don’t screw up #1. If you’re already married, don’t screw up #2 and #3. You can send me a thank you card for my free marriage counseling anytime you want.