Silver

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Apparently 25 years of marriage is celebrated as the Silver Anniversary. Fifty is Gold and 75 is Diamond. I propose they switch it around. Not for the value in the metals or the rock but for the difficulty in achievement. 

You make it to 25 today, and you’ve survived Normandy, Khe Sanh and Midway. And that’s not because you’ve survived the person you’re with. You’ve probably survived because of the person you’re with. 

I have. 

Twenty five years is crazy in this methed-out mess of early 21st Century post-modern relationships. Twenty five is the new seventy five is all I’m saying.

Of course the moldy oldies would disagree, but their first 25 years were easy by comparison. I mean they had the summer of love. 

But this is not to bash on those who’ve gone before us. You’ve all seen your own battles and victories. No disrespect. 

I look at the landscape around us, and I see a lot of dead soldiers. Lifeless bodies moving through the losses of existence with a lot of anger, remorse and bitterness in tow.

And I can’t blame them.

We all fell in love around the same time with the same girl. Not literally the same girl but the someone for each of us in that moment of our existence. 

If I look back at our wedding photos, I see some people who are still together, and I see some folks who aren’t. But I also see so many different pathways taken and not taken. 

Our class of friendships established in our early twenties is dwindling. Edges frayed to single strands. They’re not dead, just dead soldiers along the path. Trying to find a new story line. 

Maybe it’s the state of the world we’re in today, but the only solid thing in this world is us. We literally cling to it. To each other. 

I don’t mean this to sound morbid, we’re turning 25, it’s just that 25 looks a lot older than we thought it would with the number of mortalities we’ve seen. 

Silver is one of the metals of antiquity. Generally more abundant than gold if you consider the process of extraction. As a native metal, it is one of the rarest on earth.

Older than time, some form of Homo sapiens have always used silver to fund their wars, explorations and conquests.

We named an anniversary after its ranking in order of difficulty to obtain. 

Ironically the hairs on our head are silvering, a valueless ode to our triumph and a reminder of our precipitous decline towards gold and, albeit unlikely, diamond status. 

We don’t have much silver in the way of accumulated wealth. We’re a single-degree family, and that comes, as you may imagine, with a single income. But that was a choice we made a long time ago so that the kids were raised at home and not at daycare.

Pathways. We all take different ones, and those pathways lead to different outcomes. Success isn’t the outcome at the end of the pathway, it’s the pathway at the end of the outcome.

We’ve re-invented ourselves so many times in so many different cities it’s hard not to look back at photos and second-guess our decisions, but here we are. 

Yes, I wish I could play this game again with more knowledge. More emotional intelligence. But I could never, ever find this one series of paths again. The algorithm is too big. Time is too short. 

Silver is beautiful. Because it is reflective. Not in the way that gold is seductively reflective, the way it keeps people chasing it. Silver is reflective in that it makes you pause and look at who you are. 

I can’t even imagine being lucky enough to get another 25 years with her, but if I do, that’s another lifetime, another chance to play this game with more knowledge. More emotional intelligence. 

But that’s too optimistic for my jaded, Gen-X heart. We grew up on perennial losers, underdogs and the everlasting endurance of Rocky Balboa. 

Silver. Twenty five. It’s like a Disney Land ride we got on with a bunch of friends a long time ago, and now we’re the only ones left on the ride.

We could get off, but we’ll probably go another round or two. The lines aren’t very long. 


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