My grandparents have so often in my life served as my rock. As my cheerleaders. As my therapists. As my role models. When I was a kid, I would have told you that the two of them never fought and agreed on everything. As a pseudo-adult, I can tell you they disagree about many things, but needing to always agree is something they gave up on long ago. They fight the battles worth fighting and discuss everything else as they deem necessary. The two of them are inseparable. For example, grandpa leaves the house to pick up his son from the airport. He will be gone for no more than 90 minutes. He's gone 15 minutes before he calls to talk to grandma about things that simply couldn't wait until he got back. And while she rolls her eyes, not surprised at all that he is already calling, I have a feeling if he didn't call she'd miss it.
They started seeing each other I believe in their 30s and I remember being a teenager when grandpa finally proposed to her one Christmas. Grandma will tell you that if you wait long enough, you can get the ring of your dreams. They had one hell of a wedding that was all about them. No need to follow conventions and traditions that didn't really fit what they wanted. Hell at this point, why should they care. He rode up on a Harley in his jeans and she rode up in a horse and carriage in her beautiful wedding attire. Every year since that time they have almost always taken at least a weekend anniversary trip in celebration.
This year was the big 10th anniversary and my sister and I thought it would be the perfect time to throw them an intimate little anniversary party. We kept the guest list low to right around 12 people. My sister and I haven't gotten to put on very many gatherings or done a lot of big creative things in quite awhile. It is the funny thing about being busy with work and parenting and life. Those things get put to the side for other things that are so important. But this year, we were going to go big. This was going to be the most epic event we would host. And I must say planning everything out gave me a rush I haven't felt in such a long time. I had forgotten how excited putting my creative, crafty side to use makes me. And while some of our family members may have been a little weary of what all we had planned going in, not a single person left thinking they had wasted their night. In fact, the party went off without any hiccups and there were very few moments not consumed by laughter.
We decided on a Rustic theme so early on. First of all, I absolutely love the rustic look and second, it fits them so well. Drinking out of mason jars and keeping things just a little country. Perfect! And nothing goes better with a rustic theme than homemade BBQ meal. This is typically where my sister and I stop. We decorate, make a great meal, and act as the perfect hostesses. But not this time, this time we were going real big. There would be entertainment. Lots of entertainment. The Newlywed Game for the not so newlyweds. A lip sync battle between the grandchildren of songs they love from their past and my brother in law as the perfect host. The traditional match game with all their favorite celebrities. And jeopardy covering their children and grandchildren's misdeeds. To say Jamie and I were excited about the party is really the understatement of the year. We were ecstatic.
Starting the night off with the Newlywed Game, it was entertaining to say the least. My grandparents certainly aren't your traditional old sweet people. I'm pretty sure they never really left their 30s. They made it to financially responsible and stopped there. We pre-quizzed them long before the party and there were questions and answers that had us pretty sure they wouldn't match up with the other's response. For example, we asked grandma "what is grandpa's favorite colors?" She responded with "brown." Jamie and I thought for sure that wasn't right, but all be damned his favorite color is brown. I forgot to mention, prior to starting all the games we had had dinner with what my brother Ryan would later start calling "gipsy juice." It was this fruity drink with a little(or a lot of) rum. So as the night rolled on, we got to hear all kind of stories about them and about their children from the past. Apparently grandma isn't exactly fond of certain carnival rides.
Jeopardy was our little concoction to find out what things their children and grandchildren had done that they did and didn't know about. There was a lot of buzzing in prior to the questions being asked just based on the category or prior to the question being finished. We had categories like: "that one time I pissed you off," "I had a little too much...," and "naughty, naughty." There were lots of great stories that came out of these questions too.
We finished up the night with the Lip Sync battle. I must give props to my sister for pure creativity. She completely mastered this battle. The grand finale was us lip syncing together to an old Simon and Garfunkel song. When we were children, my grandparents had a record player and we would listen to their record and dance around the living room singing into hair brushes. It is a memory we both hold very fondly. We were very excited that grandpa's son, joined us in the lip sync battle and sent a video from Portland to play. An old Bob Dylan song that they had listened to when he was a kid. I couldn't have asked for the party to go any better, but we finished the night with grandpa reading his anniversary cards to grandma. He has a thing about getting multiple cards and he stood there and read each one of them in turn to her. They really do share such an amazing love and support that I can't help but hope that I one day find.
So maybe there aren't "soul mates" out there. But I know a couple of people who come pretty damn close.