Ettie Newlands

Because my daughter rolled her eyes — I knew that even on the telephone — and my married grandchildren haven’t been married long enough to get it — I have to tell somebody.

So roll your eyes, smirk, whatever…but please listen.

Every year on our anniversary, my husband — that’s Richard — brings our wedding ceremony booklet to wherever we’re going, and at 11 o’clock, wherever we are, we repeat our vows.

One year we were in a flea market parking lot. Another year he pulled over to the side of the road. Several years it was in a restaurant, and so on.

He always does it, but it always surprises me all over again. Partly because at this point in life, I forget from one year to the next.

After all, it’s been 54 years.

And partly because I think he’s going to think enough is enough.

After all, it’s been 54 years.

So this year, we went away for a few days, antiquing.

The morning of our anniversary, a couple hundred miles from home, he told me he forgot to bring the wedding ceremony booklet and I figured that was that.

After all, it’s been 54 years.

Please understand that Richard considers the longevity of our marriage to be a personal victory for him, but that’s another column.

That said, he pretty much told everyone we encountered what the occasion was. Wouldn’t have been surprised if he opened the car window and told the guy in the next lane at the red light.

So, we’re in an antiques store on the big day and as happens in antiques stores, Alexa was playing oldies and the Shirelles were singing “Dedicated to the One I Love.”

I found out after the fact that Richard told the lady running the store that it was our anniversary [no surprises there] and that the Shirelles also sang ‘our song,’ “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?”

Apparently, the amazingly sweet store-running lady had a talk with Alexa and the Shirelles started singing “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?”

And as I looked at my watch which told me it was 11 o’clock, Richard found me and we danced to our song right there in the antiques shop.

The man never ceases to amaze me, and I just want everyone to know that I know that I’m incredibly, undeservedly, humungously, ginormously blessed to have spent 54 years with this man.

Can’t imagine how he’ll top that next year!

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