She wore a sleek, black dress with small diamond earrings. Her hair was brown and smooth, brushed back to show her jawline and youthful face. He was smiling, his dark brown eyes contrasted his brand new white button-down. You could still see the creases from the packaging.
They held up champagne glasses and pressed their faces together for a selfie at their favorite Italian restaurant. They looked like they were laughing.
“Cheers to us. We’ve been married 25 years today!”
People liked the post and hearted the post and put hug emojies on the post, and I’m ashamed to say that while I clicked like, I became a light shade of green.
I do love seeing these celebratory posts, and I try not to focus on how much easier life would be if I had a partner. It’s not about needing help with physical chores or responsibilities, or about having someone to go on dates with to the local pizza joint, but more about the talking, the bouncing ideas and concerns off of each other’s minds. When I see a couple on social media going to dinner, or celebrating an anniversary, I find myself jealous, which is ugly, of the conversation. I don’t care about the dinner or the nice dresses, but the chit chat.
Even when he was deployed, Roger and I used to talk about everything. We planned and we figured out life puzzles constantly. We would communicate via email, phone, and even letters about our next family moves, the kids and their progress in school, or even what’s for dinner. Gosh I miss talking about what’s for dinner with him.
“Let’s do burgers,” I would say.
“I’ll make the fries.” He had a Fry Daddy and made the best, crispy hot crinkle cuts.
It even helped him feel he was still part of everything when we were apart and continued to discuss home repairs, the kids’ upbringing, and we loved to talk about our future, even our dreams. We loved “lottery” talk.
We got so excited when we dream-talked about Disney. The boys were the perfect age ranging from almost three to 15. We would stay at one of the Shades of Green rooms (a military hotel right on the Disney property) with a kitchen so we could cook most of our food to save money. Roger loved fast rides so we would look online and fantasize about the different ones we would go on. We talked about what meals we would make and how we would get to Florida. I took them alone a couple years after he passed. It was almost magical.
Planning is fun and scary, but it’s a little less scary when you do it with someone else, and it’s not my kids’ responsibility to plan with me, to listen to my constant chatter about what this family will do next. They do listen when I go into my dreamy rants, but they shouldn’t have to. I wish I would have appreciated our talks more while they were happening, and now I understand why widows talk to themselves so much.