I can’t believe I am married to a ninety-year old man! Next week my husband will have reached the magic number with birthday candles that would singe eyebrows and burn the house down.
I can’t believe life and so many years have flown by so fast for us. Seems just yesterday he was this older-life-committed bachelor with prematurely white hair who was pursuing me. We met in New York through a friend. I wasn’t at all interested. A week later unannounced he was knocking on my door in New Jersey. Six years later, I said ‘yes’ and two years later we walked down the aisle. His friends couldn’t believe that at fifty-seven he finally made the plunge into married life. I couldn’t believe I was marrying this white-hired guy.
My father was 10 years older than my mother, my late husband 10 years older than me, so age difference in partners never made me think twice about my marriage choices. Not that ten years today is considered a big gap in age, but when I remarried 32 years ago, there was a 13 year age difference between my new husband and myself.
Let’s look at it like this, when I was ten years old and probably in the fourth grade my husband was twenty-three, had already finished his service in WWII and was making his way in the world of singles while I was learning to double-jump rope.
Somehow I kept falling in love, stretching the age difference boundaries. There might be something psychological in my love/comfort choices, or maybe because of my parents successful marriage and healthy aging – who knows – but I never considered to think beyond anything more than that.
In spite of it all, so-called May-December relationships, in which there’s a big age gap between the partners, can be rewarding — and also challenging if the husband was a bachelor for fifty-seven years. The good news is those issues can be handled, just like any other relationship issue — regardless of age if you are a saint like me. Plus you just have to know how to meditate.
You know that switch most of us have that allows us to not always say what we are thinking? GOD forgot to give my husband one. Too many embarrassing moments as a result of this Divine mistake in engineering to fit into this blog, but if he has an opinion about you, or anything, he has no qualms sharing it immediately with you.
He is a master at exploding Gorilla glue in the microwave, controlling the tv remote and lovingly breaking most things he handles. I can’t count how many new sets of dishes I’ve gotten throughout the years, or how many clothes of mine that have worn his water, wine or any liquid he has been served at weddings. On the positive side, I always have a reason to buy new things.
My love has slipped and fallen on me in Big Lots dislocating my shoulder, in a Hilton parking lot tearing my rotator cuff and in Honolulu, resulting in a torn leg ligament. Collectively I’ve spent at least two years of my life with him either on crutches or in physical therapy.
Think of a cross between Larry David and Chevy Chase and you’ve got it. For instance, throughout our lives together he often has walked whatever sweet dog we have had at the time and come into the house without realizing for hours our pet is still waiting faithfully on the other side of the closed door.
Then there was the time he once drove away with our now-deceased caged bird in top of the car. Now don’t get sad, the bird lived to die of old age and didn’t die as road kill. The Pet Angels intervened once again and the cage landed safely in our neighbor’s yard.
In the end I’ve had to understand there’s a big difference between being swept off your feet and staying for the long haul. Hard questions about love, aging, permanence, sacrifice, and acceptance have been an important part of our partnership. We are a perfect pair. I have the patience, understanding and independence needed for his personality and he has the Scorpio fire, loyalty and stability I need.
I have just learned to sit far across the table from him at weddings, check to see if the dog is around after a walk, hide the Gorilla glue, never get another bird and not be offended if he waits a week to notice the Christmas tree is up. And of course, never forget that good night kiss!
Happy Birthday, Love. Ninety more for you!
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