The First 33

A look back at a certain married couple's early years.

Last weekend, Cupcake and I celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary. ”Celebrated” might be too strong a word but we did do all the traditional things; a special supper (pizza), cards (to pay for the pizza) and announcing it on Facebook.

I mentioned on my “news feed”, I was excited about it being number 33 because in four months, we will be at 33-1/3 which is a record. I am certain only those of a certain age got the joke but some that did carried it further. As one wag put it, 25 years is silver, 50 is gold but 33 is vinyl. I have been waiting 33 years to use that gag, according to another. Many expressed amazement at our lengthy tenure. I temper my reaction knowing we’re slackers compared to my parents, who were married for twice that long. (Their secret: a huge head start.) The thought that Cupcake and I are only at the halfway mark was sobering despite the tequila. Still, beating Mom and Dad’s score is one of my nobler bucket list items. Most are like, “mooning a head of state”.

Reflecting on our early years together brought to mind our first apartment we shared in Edmonton. This was back when we were living in sin, although not nearly as much sin as I’d hoped. The apartment was small but well-furnished thanks to Cupcake’s frugal ways. She’d had her own place for a long while and had conveniently already collected the furniture we’d need. (She fumed when I described all her stuff as her dowry.)

All I brought into the relationship was clothing, a bicycle and my encyclopedic memory for jokes; none of which Cupcake had any use for.

That little love nest was so long ago, we still had two different last names, two different social circles and two different bank accounts. Mind you, we still have two bank accounts; Cupcake’s personal account and our joint account. (Joint account; whoever gets to the ATM first is the winner.) What Cupcake does with the money in her account remains unclear but I notice our utilities have rarely been cut off.

Recollections of our first cohabitation were reinforced when visiting our son in Edmonton who wanted to show off his new apartment he and his significant sweetie, Sasha, had moved to. Unfortunately, to be close to Grant MacEwan University, their apartment is an older part of downtown where the streets gain a labyrinth-like quality.  Although Cupcake and I had also lived in Edmonton, we’d moved to Calmar before we married in ’82 and became thoroughly inculcated into townie society. We discovered we’d lost, along with our urbane sophistication, our confidence in negotiating the downtown.

Somehow, it was decided Cupcake should drive while I navigate since she has driven downtown a lifetime total of once. (I didn’t get her logic, either, but seldom do.) She didn’t drive when we had the apartment. I didn’t teach her how until we’d lived in Calmar at least six years. (If you really want to test the bonds of matrimony, I highly recommend teaching your life’s love to drive on a vehicle with a standard.)

Despite some tense times negotiating all the construction detours (we’re not used to roads getting fixed, I guess) we finally found the place we were looking for. A little bit of crowbar work to free Cupcake’s fingers from the steering wheel and we were out of the vehicle, making our way through a dingy, scary parkade to a slightly less dingy lobby. The elevator made odd rumbling sounds and I wasn’t sure if it was a mechanical issue or the fact that I’d had a huge breakfast that day.

Entering the apartment, I had the strangest feeling I had suddenly grown into a giant. Everywhere one looked there were regular house things; a stove, a fridge, a bathroom sink, a toilet and all were significantly smaller than I am used to.

The furniture pieces were all Kijiji specials. The bookcases were full of neatly ordered video games and even some books. The psychedelic tapestry on their feature wall would have been at home in an acid-rock video but was it admittedly colourful, intricate and not devoid of artistic merit. They wanted to impress us so badly, and they did, but mostly it impressed on me how much I would love to be back there once again just starting out with Cupcake on our 33-year adventure. I guess, one could say, if this halfway, we are.

 

 

Just Posted

Flora Northwest was taken to the Ermineskin residential school when she was six years old. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
Ermineskin residential school survivor: ‘It just brings me back to the cries at night’

Discovery in Kamloops of remains of 215 children a painful time for survivors

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer drops to 71 active cases of COVID-19

Province adds 127 new cases of the virus

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Orange shirts, shoes, flowers and messages are displayed on the steps outside the legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 following a ceremony hosted by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations in honour of the 215 residential school children whose remains have been discovered buried near the facility in Kamloops, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Alberta city cancels Canada Day fireworks at site of former residential school

City of St. Albert says that the are where the display was planned, is the site of the former Youville Residential School

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Most Read