Today, we’re celebrating our wedding anniversary — 18 years!
I will joke that it only feels like 40. Basil will thank me for allowing him to live another 12 months. Sound anything like your marriage?
A less patient man would have sent me packing ages ago. I’m demanding and sharp-tongued, exacting and often inflexible. He is gregarious, laid-back, more open-minded and spontaneous.
It’s the laughter that keeps us together, getting us through rough times like the death of Basil’s dad shortly after we were wed; the time Basil contracted meningitis; and various other milestones, including the chaotic experience of having and raising a child, and buying a house.
He still makes me laugh — often in spite of myself, typically when I’m trying to be serious. No matter what is happening, together we try to remember to find the humor in a situation.
Which is not to say that there still aren’t times when I wonder, “What the heck was I thinking?!”
A recent event is a perfect case in point. Basil was grilling dinner — a favorite, year-round pastime, and one fraught in the past with danger.
He once set an entire chicken on fire and had to remove it from the grill with a pitchfork because the flames were so high. The darn thing burned for a long time before finally being extinguished by the snow bank where he tossed it. We ate Chinese food that night.
On this night, BLTs were on the menu, and he was going to cook the bacon and toast the bread on the grill. After cleaning the grill recently, he’d put an old towel down on the shelf below the grill and seeing it, I yelled at him to get rid of it, then went back into the house.
Where I waited a very long time for what was supposed to be a quick dinner. After cooling my heels, I was more than a little miffed that I had to drag the toaster out to finish the sandwiches. Finally, we sat down to eat.
Halfway through dinner, Basil announced, “The towel doesn’t need to be washed anymore.”
He had taken it up off the shelf and tossed it to the side of the grill. Where it caught fire when the bacon grease erupted. The flames melted the plastic side shelf, which then dripped down on the BACKUP PROPANE TANK — the tank a former neighbor had passed on to us when he moved, with a note scrawled on it in black Sharpie: “Don’t burn down the neighborhood.”
How Basil didn’t set our house on fire, I’ll never know.
He says I share blame for this because I barked about the towel. I argue that the darn towel had no business being there to begin with and that a normal person would have waited until after dinner to remove it.
Of course, I am the person who drove to Shelton earlier this week trying to get to Wilton, so what do I know?
Thank goodness we can laugh about it now.
Happy anniversary, Vasili!