Forty-three Years Ago . . .

So Young and Soo Clueless!. . . Happy and CLUELESS! 

On June 19, 1965 two kids who were 19 and 20 got married and moved into an apartment that was the bottom floor of an old house. Neither one of them had ever cooked a meal, done laundry, or cleaned a toilet or bathtub.   They had never written a check — she had never even had her own bank account. 

She worked as a secretary at a large insurance company and made $260 a month.  He was a bricklayer and made about $400 a month.  Their rent was $89 a month, and in a big week, they spent $20 on groceries.  She ate lunch at the company-subsidized cafeteria where a full meal with drink and dessert (young metabolism allowed for that then) cost 25 cents (cheap, even then).  He carried the same lunch every day:  three lunch meat sandwiches with mustard, a can of shoe string potatoes and a store-bought dessert like cookies or a Twinkie.  Neither one of them liked coffee.  Their drink of choice was milk.

His parents gave them a kitchen table and chairs as a wedding gift.  He sold his Corvette (replaced by a much more practical used, 2-door Pontiac Bonneville) so that they could buy bedroom and living room furniture.  He said later that he never liked the floral living room chairs they bought from Sears (which he helped pick out!).  No surprise though, since probably every time he looked at them he thought of the loss of his super-cool black 1962 Corvette convertible with a red interior!  She thought the furniture was wonderful and luckily didn’t find out he didn’t agree until many years later!

Two products that had just hit the market heavily influenced the gifts they received — teflon and corning ware.  This was before the day of registering for every little thing.  The one thing they did register for was Lennox china, which could only be purchased at a jewelry store downtown.  Now, 43 years later, they still don’t have all the pieces to that set, and can count on two hands the number of times that china has been used. 

In the next two years they did alot of growing up, and learned to do many “adult” things like keeping a checkbook, but also had memorable, fun times like taking judo lessons.  They learned to cook a little and found out that keeping your living space clean is harder than it looks.  But one thing they didn’t learn was to do laundry.  For those two years, Mama did their laundry every week and returned it to them neatly folded and stacked in brown paper bags. 

Then, they found out they were going to have a baby, and their life as “adults” really got under way.  When they told Mama she said, “Great.  I’m happy for you.  Now, get a washing machine.  I don’t do diapers.”

They’ve always said that if they’d known she would say that, they might never have had children!

It’s been a great 43 years. 

Happy Anniversary, Husband of Mine, from the president of your “fan club.”


24 Responses to Forty-three Years Ago . . .

  1. Laurne says:

    I love that post, just a perfect story. Happy anniversary.

  2. tz says:

    43 years…what an accomplishment!
    nice picture and glad you figured out how to upload pics!

    (my parents were married june 17, 1966)

  3. Gunny says:

    Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad. You are an inspiration to all of us.

  4. Candy says:

    GREAT PICTURE! Happy Anniversary and many, many more!

  5. SBW says:

    Happy Anniversary!!

    What a fantastic post. Truly wonderful, Sandra. Loved the part about drinking milk. Loved everything, actually.

    What a beautiful couple. (Glad you figured out how to post a picture!)

  6. ElleBee says:

    What a sweet, wonderful post. My parents are celebrating forty years in December. I hope to be so lucky! Cheers to you and your beloved on this special day!

  7. Linda says:

    Happy anniversary! Really great post.

  8. New Diva says:

    Happy Anniversary and many happy returns! Great post, and I must say I am jealous of the two years of laundry being done for you! 😉

  9. Sandra says:

    To all who think this might show that I’ve learned something about uploading pictures — I have a confession to make. I didn’t just do this. This picture is one that Linda and I managed to upload about a year ago. So, no I haven’t suddenly gotten “picture savvy.” BUT, I HAVE signed up for a photography class starting July 2, that might help! Pray for me!

  10. Sandra says:

    Thank you, Laurne — I don’t know about perfect, but it is true!

    Thanks, tz — When your parents and we got married wayyyy back when, June was THE month to get married. Now it seems like weddings are more spread out over the year. (Maybe that came with A/C!)

    Thank you, Gunny — I hope you don’t feel bad that you were the reason we lost our “laundress.” We’ve almost always been glad that we made that trade-off — clean clothes for you!

    Thanks, Candy. It’s always a pleasant surprise to get a comment from you!

    Thank you, SBW — You have such a gift for encouragement. And I’m so appreciative that you share it often with me!

    Thanks, ElleBee — My early best wishes to your parents. I hope you get to arrive at this stage too. It is wonderful to grow old with the person who “knew you when.”

    Thanks, Linda — and thanks for the card that refers to our “interesting” marriage. You know we only have those heated discussions for your benefit! So, that you and UD can see how the “pros” fight “constructively.” :}

    Thank you, New Diva — Isn’t it too bad that those two laundry-free years were wasted on someone so young and so unexperienced that she really didn’t realize until much later what a gift it was!

  11. rachel says:

    Absolutely Amazing! Congratulations on a truly wonderful accomplishment! We just celebrated 7 years on the 2nd and I feel blessed to have made it this far, I look forward with both hope and trepidation to making it to 43!!
    I love the way you wrote this and the picture is so sweet! Thank you for both sharing this, and being an inspiration!!


  12. Sandra says:

    Thank you, Rachel. When you celebrate 43, maybe you’ll write about it on the blog you’re STILL writing!! (It’s a quicker trip from 7 years to 43 years than you can possibly imagine!)

  13. Danielle says:

    Happy anniversary, what a beautiful post…

    I loved reading your journey…

    May you both always be as happy as you are today.

    Danielle x

  14. Sandra says:

    Thank you, Danielle — I feel the same way about your blog — I really enjoy reading about your journey. I wish you as many happy, healthy years as we’ve had. It is truly a blessing.

  15. Julie says:

    Happy Anniversary! What a wonderful story. I love the part about your mom telling you to get a washing machine… my folks helped my husband and I with so much through our 25 years so far, including taking care of our 2 babies while we worked (babies now 13 & 19). Your mom telling you to get that washing machine is exactly the kind of thing my mom would have said… what would we do without family?!!
    Beautiful photo of you and your husband. 43 years proves you weren’t clueless about the important stuff…

  16. karen says:

    What a lovely story. Congratulations and a Happy Belated Anniversary. Best wishes for many, many more!! 🙂

  17. Belinda says:

    Happy Anniversary to a great couple!

  18. Sandra says:

    Julie — I’m guessing she was gettin realllly tired of doing our laundry and was not only delighted at the prospect of a grandchild, but that it gave her an excuse to say, “Enough!”
    But she really was great to us in that, and many other ways. You’re right — family are the greatest!

    Karen and Belinda — Thanks for your best wishes. It’s amazing that 43 years have past — and most of them good! :}

  19. i LOVE that post – i really wish that the world would go back to those much simpler times…happy anniversary!!!

  20. Sandra says:

    Thank you for your good wishes, Libby. And thanks for stopping by. I’ll be checking out your blog.

  21. Wha???? You two are actually married? All this time I thought I had the cool parents who didn’t need a piece of paper to prove their love (this also accounted for the happiness of your relationship)

    You two are truly perfect for one another. Many, many more happy anniversaries.

  22. Sandra says:

    Welllll, Jen. Perfect? Not so much. But certainly pretty well matched (and we like to think you can be married and “cool” too!). :}

  23. What a great way to tell this story; I loved it. Happy Anniversary!!

  24. Sandra says:

    Thanks, HPKT — It’s a fun story to tell, especially about the laundry!

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