50 Years of Being Together!

50th Anniversary Picture

Last weekend, we threw a surprise 50th wedding anniversary party for my in-laws.  As I was planning for the centerpieces and decorations, I found that most craft and party stores had very little for a 50th anniversary party. There were a lot of things for a 25th, but not a 50th.

Fifty years is a long time to do anything, but especially to be with the same person every single day of your life.  Every marriage has ups and downs, but it seems that the key is going through life together.  Together, they endured hardships and pain.  Together, they shared the joys of raising two sons and working hard to make a good life for their family. Together, they created many happy memories with families and friends and together, they have remained.  For fifty years!

I got to thinking…how many people in my generation will get the chance to celebrate 50 years of marriage? Let’s face it. Once a couple marries, there are only two ways to not remain married – divorce or death.

As far as divorce goes, most people in our parents’ generation have stayed married (sometimes for the wrong reasons). The divorce rate is very high in our country and many of the people who are divorced are of my generation.  But I have hope.  I really believe that the fact that many people are getting married when they’re a little older may lead to more lasting marriages. People can get the partying and carousing out early and not want to do it once they are already married.

Getting married in my 30’s was right for me.  No way I was ready to settle down in my 20’s, and I don’t think my husband would have been either. I think you know yourself better as you get older and have a deeper sense of commitment and loyalty.  Many of my friends also got married in their 30’s and their marriages are also going strong.  That is not to say that if you marry young, it will not last, but with everything going on in today’s world, I think people really need to know themselves first and know what they truly want out of life before making a lifetime commitment to another person.

As for the “death” part – luckily, we are living longer and longer which also makes me think that celebrating 50 years is more feasible. With new medical technology and early detection, illnesses are being identified early and cures are more possible.

So, to all the craft and party stores that currently do not have supplies for 50th anniversaries – better get those shelves stocked!  A new generation of golden anniversaries will be coming in the next few decades!!  Get ready!

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Cheaters and Liars and Dopers, Oh, WHY?

Today is the big day. Oprah’s interview with disgraced Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong, will be aired.  Another disappointment. Another cheater.  Another person who did not admit to cheating when he was caught.  Another disgrace to sports.  And competition.  And to his fans and children all over the world.  

A few years ago, my husband and I went to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.  As we walked through the museum, we saw the gloves, bats and pictures representing baseball’s “best” players over the past century.  As Yankee fans, we were especially excited and impressed by the memorabilia and plaques for Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Phil Rizzuto, Babe Ruth, etc. There were also other plaques with the current leaders among hits, strike-outs, etc. And on these lists were known cheaters.  Seeing names like Sammy Sosa, Mark McGuire, Barry Bonds, and Jose Canseco (among others) made me completely ignore those names or the records and move on. I don’t think their names should be anywhere near the legends who legitimately earned those records and their places in the Hall of Fame.  Those players admitted using steroids or “performance enhancing” drugs during their careers.  Some sportswriters even call it the “steroid decade.”  I call it the “cheating” decade.

It’s not just cycling or baseball, though. There is cheating in the NFL (remember the scandals with the Patriots and, more recently, the Saints?), boxing (where fights are fixed) and I am sure other sports as well.

My question is this – WHY?  Why are athletes cheating and using steroids?  Those of us who are competitive want to be the best.  But, when you win because you have cheated,  you do not get that same feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.  It’s a false sense of winning.  And when we lose?  Yes, it feels rotten, but for many of us, it makes us strive to be better and to do better the next time – fairly, not by trying to find a way to cheat.

I strongly believe in competition.  Let’s face it, life is full of competition from doing well in school to getting into college to getting a job to moving up in a company.  It’s all around us and people need to be taught that there are winners and losers in life and that what you EARN is what makes you great.  Cheating is not earning.  It’s stealing.