July 14, 2024
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July 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

I often say that being married is like being in recovery-you have to take it one day at a time. As little girls, we are taught about fairy tales and happily ever afters. Princes rescuing us and saving us from a life of loneliness and evil stepmothers. But the reality is that marriage is a challenge—well, life is a challenge, and “happily ever after” looks different to different people. No one knows what goes on behind closed doors and even though it seems that everyone is in Italy or Alaska on vacation, you can never envy anyone, no matter how perfect their life looks. Sometimes, a night in Scranton, Pennsylvania is just what you need.

Husband #1 and I met at an NCSY convention in the spring of 1984. He had a head full of curly hair and a big, goofy grin. Of course, we didn’t start dating until the summer of 1994. We were both at a wedding, a wedding where he was the last person on the guest list (fun fact) and it was there where my friend encouraged me to invite him to a graduation party I was having from graduate school. My exact words to him were, “You probably don’t have anything else to do, do you want to come to my party?” He showed up, without a gift (another fun fact), and as my parents would say, “He never left.” Our first real date was to a Yankee game where we traveled by subway and I wore white shorts (don’t judge, I was in my early 20s) and we went to Joseph’s for dinner (I miss that place). There was wooing and flowers and signs of things to come—both good and bad.

Lesson to young women who are dating—sometimes, a man thinks that a romantic picnic is a bagel and an orange soda. Sometimes a man does not know how to wash a pot, but he will keep taking it in and out of the sink as if to hint to you that you need to wash it. Sometimes a man will never learn to open a can of tuna fish…yes ladies, these things happen. But if you don’t teach them, you cannot expect miracles, and that is okay.

But, sometimes you will see that when your friends have deserted you for reasons that make you continually scratch your head, you realize that you have married your best friend. He doesn’t always agree with you, even if that doesn’t serve him well and he doesn’t always defend you, another sore topic, but you need to marry someone who you know will always be there for you. Even if it is because he is too lazy to be anywhere else.

Husband #1 and I will be celebrating 21 years of marital bliss. If you are reading this, we have survived the anniversary and lived to tell the tale. I want to thank husband #1 for helping me survive a very difficult summer. This was supposed to be the “Summer of Husband #1” and the only thing he accomplished was spending many, many hours with his in-laws. No easy feat. He insisted that I go to Israel and every time I think back to those magical five days, my eyes well up with tears and I thank him for making me go. I could not have done it without him—really and truly.

So for those of you who constantly criticize me for mocking husband #1, here is the column you have been waiting for. Happy anniversary! It isn’t always easy, but it certainly continues to be an interesting journey. May you be blessed with good health and even better mental health to remain married to me. Even though I am a great wife, I do bring out the crazy all around me…and thank you for our incredible sons. You are a true role model and they are lucky to have you. Now please, stop snoring… (Hey, you can’t have everything!)

Banji Ganchrow is looking forward to a peaceful Shabbos with sons 1, 2 and 3 as she prepares for son #2 to go to the Holy Land… possibly for years 1,2 and 3…

 

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