Wednesday, 6 June 2012

All you need is love

 Yesterday was our 20th wedding anniversary! Hard to believe! The time has really flown by! We have had our share of ups and downs--good times and bad, sickness and health, for richer for poorer and all that. But always, he is there by my side and not expecting me to be anyone but who I am. I don't have to pretend to be someone else, I can just be my weirdo self and he can be his and we have the perfect weirdness together.

When we were getting ready to be married all those years ago something happened that changed my life. We had gone to visit my grandparents for Easter and my grandfather said something to me that struck me in the solar plexus.

He said: You'll be married in a few months and then there will be one less Tisdale in the world. All that will be left are me, your Sweetie (my gran) your parents. There are no more after that.

I went home and pondered his words in my heart and I  thought that I really loved being a Tisdale. I loved who I was and I did not want to change my identity. I sure as shit didn't want to fall into that old fashioned trap where you not only lose your last name, but your first name as well.  How many of my grandparent's generation called themselves Mrs Husbands First and Last name??? That was like totally losing sight of who you were as if you weren't a whole person without a husband.

A few weeks later my grandfather dropped dead of a heart attack picking up pecans in his front garden and his words were there in my brain--There was one less Tisdale in the world. I was trying to think of a way to broach the subject with Spiderman. I didn't want to hurt his feelings, but I felt I needed to keep my name so I could still be me. but as always, that man knows me better than I know myself. He came to me and said, "I don't think you should change your name when we get married." So that was that. Or was it?

You cannot imagine the amount of grief we got over it in backwards Louisiana. Friends at our baptist college told me how Spiderman (and his family) would never respect me again for my selfishness.

We did it anyway. But it took an act of congress to get them to print it correctly in the local newspaper. Only because I had a friend working there did it get flagged up and not once, not twice but THREE times did someone phone and double check that I wasn't to be listed as Mrs Spiderman under my wedding photo but Mrs Spidergrrl.

Then when we tried to open a joint bank account we were refused until we brought our marriage licence in to prove we were not "living in sin." We brought it in and requested that our cheques be listed as:
Mrs Spidergrrl
Mr Spiderman
And you know what? 6 weeks later when our cheques arrived they said Mr and Mrs Spiderman. We phoned the bank furious and they said they thought we had made a mistake. I mean we were married, right? So of course we had the same last name.

Once a lady at Walmart refused to sell us birth control because the cheques has different last names and we weren't wearing wedding rings. Seriously.

Sometimes hotels would not give us a room unless we showed our marriage licence. it was a nightmare--but we never gave into the pressure to be "normal."

So this year to commemorate 20 years of marriage--and 23 together--I celebrated with a new tattoo and Spiderman celebrated by rolling his eyes and humming circus music.
Spiderman once said to me that we didn't need the same last name to unite us--all we needed was an ampersand. So that's what I got. |It is beautiful but still in the scabby stage at the moment, so I'll take a photo later when it heals.

We also celebrated by training into London, having a slap up meal at our favourite veggie restaurant Tibits and then hanging out at geek shops like Forbidden Planet and GOSH! Comics before heading off to the theatre to see the Olivier award winning musical of Roald Dahl's Matilda.

It is true--all you need is love..and an ampersand.


  1. Oh My! I totally forgot! I am so sorry! And Happy Anniversary!!! I love you guys!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Dear Heather & Thomas,
    Oh my indeed! I remember so much of this----do not remember the tale of the clerk refusing to let you buy birth control or hotels refusing you a room together, but I definitely DO remember the ordeal with the newspaper----but mostly I remember your grandmother Susie being so startled and scared about what other people would think. Funny and poignant, that. But mostly I remember what PawPaw said about their being "no more Tisdales." I am proud that you followed your angels where they led you, and I am proud to be your mum, who will always be a Tisdale too.

  4. don't be fooled by "this comment has been removed by the author"-----it was the same comment, but when I published it, I saw several typos, so I deleted it to correct them. silly mum.

  5. I remember your wedding as a very fun event! Married life is always full of ups and downs, but those of us who stick it out know that we have someone that we can count on to be by our side. Ronny and I will hit the 45 year mark in December.

  6. Here's a FB posting that Thomas's dad said about this blog entry. I thought it was a really cogent little summary.

    "And in that 20 years they have survived Thomas' cancer scare, briefly owned a book store, moved to England, became Quakers, taught a semester at what the BBC called "the worst school in England" and then discovred the lovely village of Hitchin where they can look out the window of their flat at an 800-year-old church. Quite an eventful two decades."