23rd Wedding Anniversary

On this auspicious day, 23 years ago, Charlotte and I were married at Brunnby Church near Mölle-by-the-Sea by the family priest Ola Stålnacke. The photo above was taken during our very first trip to Asia – the year before our memorable wedding on August 15, 1998. Both Charlotte and I had been to Southeast Asia before, but never together. This was also my very first time in India.

When I snapped this shot of her outside of our bungalow in Goa, it was very early in the morning and we’d just woken up after spending the better part of the previous evening and most of the night sick as dogs from eating grilled shrimp that had gone bad.

Our marriage is nearing a quarter of a century, which is a long time, no matter how you slice it. Yes, we’ve had our fair share of challenges and a few seemingly unsurmountable uphill treks. But when I think of all the good times, unforgettable adventures, and, most importantly, our ability to teamwork our way through tough patches, I realize that our relationship has always had a solid foundation built on love, trust, and loyalty.

We were both hard-core singles when we met sometime in the fall of 1996 and truth be told, both of us had more or less given up on the idea of starting a family. But once we’d committed to sharing life together and seeing where our pact would take us, as long as we had fun doing so, life evolved.  Just a couple of years later, we were blessed with Elle.

To this day, despite all kinds of weird shit going on in our world and on this troubled rock we share with everyone else, Charlotte and I still have a lot of fun and laugh a lot together, and, thankfully, at each other. Life as a concept is way too absurd not to laugh at oneself from time to time.

Happy Anniversary to us and to everybody that attended our wedding ceremony and the unforgettable party afterward.

Twenty Second Wedding Anniversary

Twenty-two years ago today, Charlotte and I were married at Brunnby Church not too far from where these very words are being typed right now, in Mölle-by-the-Sea.

Twenty-two years means I’ve been a married man for more than thirty percent of my life. Who would have thought that considering all the short-lived relationships I had had up until meeting Charlotte. I always felt that since my parents had both been married and divorced a few times, I was doomed in the marriage department. My father was married four or five times, all depending on who you ask.

I have never been as nervous before or since our priest Ola Stålnacke married us. My Best Man, Jonas Bratt, had thoughtfully stashed a flask of liquor in his tux, so, after a few swigs, I calmed down. Standing at the alter was a sweaty affair, nonetheless.

It rained during our wedding ceremony and back and forth throughout the 15th of August 1998. And even though the speeches ran long, the food was mediocre and our DJ totally sucked, the party was a tremendous success that friends would mention and praise for about a decade afterward.

Charlotte and I went through the wedding dinner’s seating arrangement yesterday (during dinner!) for the first time in 22 years. Sadly, of the 67 invitees, four have passed away Lars Fransson, who died from Covid-19 at the beginning of June, is the most recent. The other three are my aunt Lillemor, brother Tyko, and friend Jan-Axel Olsen.

I’m not typically a fan of religious institutions. I realize the service, purpose, and value to the evolution of human societies religions have – and to a lesser degree – still provide. When we were married on that drizzly, late summer day in southwestern Sweden, I saw it as a polite gesture, a nod of respect to the “elders” but also to experience one of the more pompous ceremonial traditions within Christianity. In retrospect, I think it was well worth it.

To this day, I continue to love Charlotte for a multitude of reasons. Our roles as Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are interchangeable and our journey continues to unfold as we carry on, evolving individually and as a pair.

We’re both doing what we can to avoid having our pact fall into the doldrums and become institutionalized – something we often see happen among other couples that have been married or together way too long – sadly, without even realizing it.

Most importantly, after close to a quarter-century of mostly blissfulness, Charlotte and I appreciate how uniquely strong and respectful our bond is.