Friday, August 1, 2008


On August 1, 1975, shortly after my 40th birthday, Jerry and I were married. Statistics show that second marriages have a high failure rate. Jerry brought into our marriage the sadness of being widowed and I brought into the marriage the pain of a divorce. And to compound matters, I still had two daughters living at home and step-parenting is one of the minefields of a second marriage that requires lots of careful maneuvering on the part of both adults.

However, we also brought into the marriage some strengths. We had known each other for a couple of years at work, and by and large we were the same people at home that we were at work; there were no surprises. Jerry also had a daughter and a granddaughter and he was very attuned to the temperaments of teenage females; my girls adored him from the first and he was good to them. And with his background of engineering, which translated to neatness and tidiness in our household, it certainly was a much needed complement to my tendency toward, well – shall we say “freedom of expression”?

To make a long story short, we blended well, and while I can’t say that there weren’t bumps along the way, they were minor and we learned to either ignore them or work on smoothing them out. It has been a good marriage; today we celebrate our 33rd anniversary.

Especially during the early years I worked exceptionally hard to make sure that our time together would not become boring or stagnant. It was not in Jerry’s nature to be fanciful, so I did my best to inject the unexpected into our life. I’d like to share one of those times here.

For one Valentine’s Day about five years into our marriage I planned a picnic to be held at the end of the jetty off Balboa peninsula. We had spent many evenings at Balboa walking along the pier and ending up at the Frozen Banana shop, and the area, day or night, had significance as one of “our spots.” I fixed a wonderful picnic lunch – rumaki appetizers, crab claws, asparagus with aoli, a cold bottle of Chardonnay and for dessert a chocolate cake frosted with chocolate and covered with Hershey’s Kisses. I spread a little red checkered tablecloth on a flat rock and we feasted. Luckily the day was gorgeous and although I didn’t plan it, a skywriting airplane overhead drew two hearts and a happy face for us. (Yes, I told Jerry I DID arranged it!).

For a gift, I had sent away for a black satin rhinestone-encrusted Chippendale G-String. I scrunched it up and put it in a black velvet ring box, tied with a big red ribbon. It looked for the world like I was giving him a ring. What makes this especially funny is that at the ages of 50 and 45, Jerry and I did not look like Rock Hudson and Kim Novak! We had started showing the middle-aged droop – but of course love sees something different, and it was with that sentiment that I gave Jerry his Valentine and his gift. He said afterwards that he really expected to find a ring in the box, so when he found a crumpled up black something he was really puzzled. There were other people on the jetty and they were surreptitiously watching to see his gift. It took him a minute to get the G-string all straightened out, and when he finally saw “Chippendale” on the front he burst into laughter. He also got a round of applause from the bystanders. He laughed all the way home. And the happy face in the sky laughed with him.


1 comment:

Stacey said...


Happy Anniversary! Love you guys!