Thursday 23 November 2017

Fourteen years of wedded bliss? Now that is scary

Getting married at Halloween puts paid to anniversary romance, writes Aine O'Connor

Aine O'Connor

Last Tuesday was our 14th wedding anniversary. The years plod along and you don't really pay attention, five, seven, they don't sound that much, even if they can feel it, but as if out of nowhere, who knew it followed 13 after all? Fourteen seemed like a lot of years to be married.

We got married fairly quickly, we weren't especially young but we were probably fairly immature. So in lots of ways we have grown up together and if you consider that adulthood starts at 18, we have been married adults longer than we were ever single adults. Which is sobering.

When we were setting the date we already had a child, but he was still a very little child and although we realised the wedding would be on the day after Halloween, we didn't make anything of it. Halloween had been fun back in the Seventies and Eighties, hordes of children traipsing around housing estates in various forms of not very elaborate fancy dress. You would have collapsed before you let a parent go with you, it's not that there weren't any perverts and weirdos but the fear of them was not so acute.

We got mostly monkey nuts and apples, the odd time there might be sweets, but it was a Black Jack or a Fruit Salad or half a penny toffee. No one said "trick or treat", we just mumbled stuff then. We'd go down to wherever the biggest bonfire had been built, health and safety free zones, and the parents did come to those, then go home and bob for apples or have apple tart that had five pence pieces, the silver ones with the bull on, in silver foil. I never liked brack, Beloved did but I didn't know him then, our tranches of suburbia were five miles apart.

Then you became an awkward teen (I feel certain that Eighties teens had the awkward market cornered) and perhaps went to a fancy dress party but more than likely didn't dress up and forever after, especially as a single twenty-something adult, Halloween was a non-event. Which was why getting married the day before Halloween didn't seem that important.

One scary thing about being an adult is how nothing changes from one year to the next, how thunderously fast everything can change is terrifying.

But each year of a child's life marks stunning progress and so the baby we had when we set the date was a year and a half when we got married and two and half by our first anniversary. His Halloween oblivion had ended -- not least because by then Halloween was no longer just a question of sticking a sweaty mask on and borrowing your mother's tights.

That first child has grown beyond dressing up, (teenagers at Halloween, would it be so wrong to handcuff them all at home in comfortable but totally manageable and restrictive conditions?) but there is still a very enthusiastic girl child in the house requiring costumes, decorations, pumpkins, the whole Halloween package. So, because we were never married without children our wedding anniversary has always been eaten by Halloween.

But the girl child went to her first (children's) disco a few weeks ago. The boy child was out so Beloved and I found ourselves, in the space in between drop off and collection, alone and out together on a Friday night in an entirely new way.

They will grow and move on, no one will want pumpkins and Halloween will become a wedding anniversary.

Sunday Indo Living

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