I was getting myself a fancy cup of coffee yesterday (a treat to myself for surviving another year) and I decided to sit for a quiet minute and scroll through the paper sitting there on a table. As I sat down, I noticed an old(er) woman next to me. I looked over, we smiled, and I went back to the paper.
“It’s my birthday,” she said, “I’m 84 and my husband will be 85 tomorrow.” He’s getting us fancy drinks too (as she pointed to mine and then over to her husband). Her husband came over with the drinks and she introduced me as “her new friend.” With them both sitting and looking at me, I realized that my quiet time was over.
She told me they’ve been married 65 years (you do the math!!!). I said that was amazing (but felt a bit like a failure as I only made it 9 years). So I had to ask, “What’s the secret to making it 65 years?”
Honestly, it seemed like just the question she was waiting for and with speed that can only come from caffeine, she spewed out the following:
1. Be like the military: In the military they have rules for how to deal with conflict and skirmishes in order to keep them from turning into an all out war. Use the same principle – have rules for your fights and never allow a war to start.
2. Understand that you married the wrong person (I think this is actually a book title): No relationship (or person) is perfect and if you think it should be you will destroy the relationship with resentment.
3. Be different: Being the same is “boring.” Support your differences. But do have the same values.
4. Do things together: Do your errands together. Target is their “romantic” place. (Too cute!)
5. Be honest: Nothing will destroy a relationship like lying. Don’t ever do it.
6. Say I love and appreciate you: Don’t assume they know it. Show it and say it. (She looked over at him with a smile at this one).
By now, my drink was done and my brain exhausted from trying to keep up (I had to type some into my phone as soon as I got to my car!).
But, before I left I had one more question:
“What the best part about being together all these years?”
Now it was his turn, and he said, (as if he’d said it a million times), “Holding her hand. In the store, at the movie, and even when we go to bed.” And, as if I was sitting in a movie, he reached over and grabbed her hand. (deep sigh)
They left when I did and I honestly couldn’t tell who was helping who as they walked out the door. Beautiful.
I have no idea why me, the divorced woman, got this information – but I’m giving it to you … and banking it for when it’s my turn!
Best birthday java ever! 🙂
Welcome to Monday!