Just a week ago, Sam and I celebrated another wedding anniversary. So many memories and so many years. When we look back at that day, I cannot believe how young we were. Sam had just turned 21, and I was still 20. My dress was from a beautiful Vogue pattern, and my dear aunt sewed it for me with so much love. Sam wore a new suit and looked so handsome. There were all the trimmings of a traditional wedding. Carefully chosen music. Spring flowers with lots of baby's breath. My youngest sister as my flower girl. A veil over my long hair as my crazy, wonderful father walked me down the aisle. Family and friends filling the chapel.
But I really was only focused on one thing. It was Sam's face as I walked those last steps to the altar. He had such a big grin on his face, and his eyes were on me alone. I do remember us loving each other so fiercely that the rest of the world sort of faded into the background like a blurry photograph. That feeling that we had forever.
Then there were the vows we spoke to one another. It was a generation when feminism was coming into its own, and young women were burning their bras. Did not join in that activity then, and now, at my age, I shudder to think of life without a bra! However, I rather doubt either Sam or I included "obey" in our vows that day. After all, we were a thoroughly modern couple.
Historians believe that the origin of wedding vows came from Roman times and through them became part of the medieval church of England. Of course, there are passages in the Bible and other religious books about submission of a wife to her husband and a husband's duties to his wife. But "obey" is not the only vow in early marriage ceremonies. "Love" is, of course, the most constant of the words we hear between couples, even between couples who choose to write their own vows. Common promises also include to honor, to worship, to respect, to protect, to have and to hold.
There is one more vow that we probably said that wedding day long ago. That one is to "cherish." At the time I certainly don't think either of us gave any thought as to what that word really meant. We were young and in love and that was enough for us. It is a pretty little verb and still is.
- to protect and care for someone lovingly
- to adore, hold dear, be devoted to
- to revere, hold in high esteem, keep safe
- to treasure, look after, feel special love for
Until about 4 years ago in our long marriage, I don't think I ever thought about the word nor understood that "cherish" could be a part of the love Sam and I share. We have loved each other for decades now, and we thought that was the most any couple could hope for. There were so many other people we knew that split up and divorced. We were the lucky ones.
And then we took our first steps into the relationship we now call This Thing We Do. Thought I would spell out those little letters that have an awesome power to bring us such happiness. When I wrote our "Chapter One" and talked to Sam about how I wanted spanking to be in our lives, I had no idea of where it would take us; I just knew that I had yearned to be spanked for my whole life long. TTWD has changed and evolved over these last few years into an intense love and closeness. As far as we can understand it, we found that by letting me be as female as I wanted to be was followed by Sam finding his most masculine self. To revel in the yin and yang of this life.
And now we both know what that word means that we spoke and vowed to each other. Sam makes me feel cherished each and every day. In the way he holds out his hand for me to come sit with him. When we are out of the house and he puts his hand gently on the small of my back. When he draws me to him as we are working next to each other in the kitchen. Holding open the door or holding my hand no matter where we are or who is there. The little tap on my backside on his way through a room. When he asks about my driving and holding my temper and hugs me so hard when I have remembered his words all through my day. And the smile on his face when I follow his lead. When he writes or calls to tell me he loves me. How he likes to hear me laugh. When he spanks and gifts me with an orgasm that shoots me straight out of this world for a few moments. When he pulls me over to spoon each night and tells me I am the most beautiful woman in the world.
As we count the ever growing number of candles on our birthday cakes and the years that tick by in our marriage, there are so many opportunities to complain about getting older. But then I think of how I feel now, how cherished Sam makes me feel, and I really don't think that I would trade this feeling for youth. It has taken many years for me to understand that those old-fashioned vows of "obey" and "cherish" are so much more than pretty words you recite standing at the altar. They are the pillars that give us the greatest joy we have ever known.