Life Deconstructed: Not even a pizza on our 29th wedding anniversary

Maria Jiunta Heck - Life Deconstructed

Nancy and I recently celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary. Twenty. Nine. Years. I keep saying it, but I don’t believe it. Who let two 14-year-olds get married, anyway? Crazy. Ha.

Listen, I’m not an elaborate celebrator. Oh, except for my last “biggie” birthday. That’s a blur but I heard I had a blast at my party. All I remember is I laughed, then cried, then laughed and then jotted down my suggestions for engravings upon my funeral urn. Some women take that birthday kind of hard. Apparently, at the time, I was also planning my imminent demise. And a eulogy about how awesome I was.

At any rate, while I didn’t expect gifts or cards or a lot of fanfare for my anniversary, I did think at the very least, going out for a pizza may’ve been in the cards. At the very least. Well, it wasn’t. Unless I brought the pizza to the ninth hole. And if I did that, I would also bring a stun gun, tarp, duct tape and a shovel.

Nancy does indeed have a death wish.

It cannot just be me, right? I can’t be the only woman out there who thinks that commemorating an anniversary — and one that has beaten all the odds betting on its early extinction — should be between a man and his wife. And not between this ding dong and his golf “league!” (Apparently, a group of golfers numbering more than four is now considered a “league.”)

As with any longer marriage, ours is not without its challenges. We began dating as teenagers, went our separate ways plenty of times, and then decided since no one else wanted us, we would get married — 29 years ago.

How does one couple get through that many days without at least the consideration of murder-suicide? I really couldn’t tell you. But what I will say is to just forget that crap about never going to bed mad. That’s stupid. I would never get any sleep if I heeded that idiotic advice. Of course you have to go to bed mad! Because you have to wake up mad in order to finish the fight and, ultimately, be declared the winner! Duh.

I don’t know why it has stuck for so long, but honestly a huge part of it is that he lets me be me. And me isn’t easy. Me can be a b&%$. And let’s multiply that by 75 percent during the current stop on our dangerous tour called menopause. We are as opposite as sauerkraut and candy canes. I am more buttermilk and he is more vanilla milkshake. But I do realize that an enormous component in our formula for longevity is this: The dude has my osteoporosis-battered back. He really does. And to me, that’s almost everything. Almost.

As we were moving my father to his new residence, I was packing a piece of china which was an intertwined set of swans. My father loves them. He said, “You know, swans mate for life. Like your mother and I. Mated for life.”

I was a bit teary-eyed, and then I shook it off and asked, “OK. Say hypothetically that one swan attempts to drown the other swan in a pond surrounding the golf course. Then what?”

My father, who was married 60 years, replied, “Well, I guess the male swan could decide the grass isn’t always greener on the 18th hole. Or, he may think being in the pond with the stray golf balls is just a better option.”

Huh. Happy Anniversary.

Maria Jiunta Heck

Life Deconstructed

Maria Jiunta Heck of West Pittston is a mother of three and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life. Send Maria an email at

Maria Jiunta Heck of West Pittston is a mother of three and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life. Send Maria an email at

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