Friday, April 30, 2010

Our Second "First Date"

I stated in my first post that I knew there might be something in it for me if I postponed "nagging" for a year. Well, it didn't take long to reap my first reward.

I referred to our first date. It was on March 3, 1967 and I was a reluctant participant. Therefore, when Joe took me to The Marine Room (part of the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club) and we were seated at a window table looking out on the crashing waves of the Pacific, I decided to make the most of this blind date. I never looked at the right column and I found out later that my lobster dinner had used all but $5 of his monthly discretionary funds. The conversation that evening revolved around a package of Polish sausage that had been delivered to Joe while he was on temporary duty away from San Diego. After about five days its increasingly unpleasant aroma led his roommate, Pete, to open the box without permission. I had been introduced to kielbasa at my roommate, Francie's, wedding the previous year so I was able to join in this gastronomic conversation. With my knowledge of pieroghi (the Slovak answer to ravioli), I clinched a place in his heart.

Fast forward to May 1, 2008...Joe's first full day of retirement. He had asked me not to make any plans for the day because he had a surprise. That was an understatement. He planned every minute of the day, beginning with brunch at the Four Seasons Aviara Resort. The photo at the top of this blog is from that brunch. After brunch we went to the movies and saw "Baby Mama" (definitely a "chick flick"). We have a deal that if I pick a movie and it's too too "girly", Joe gets the next three picks. It works the other way around too. Last year I walked out on "Inglorious Bastards" after ten minutes. Couldn't handle the blood and gore. So I got three picks.

To top off this mega-date, after the movie, Joe scheduled massages for both of us. I remember thinking, "If this is retirement, I wish he had done it a lot sooner." Of course, like our very first date and the lobster, I knew this wasn't going to become a habit. But, it certainly was a wonderful first day of the rest of our lives.

I promised a shorter post this time. My first post was a rule for wives..."give up nagging". This is a rule for husbands: "spoil your wife".

Next time: Rule #3...fill the calendar.

I'm just getting the hang of this blogger thing and publicity is slow, but I'm doing some fine-tuning and hope to pick up more readers. I'd love to hear your "first day of the rest of your life" stories.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Beginning

This blog is intended to help couples out there who have been married for two or three, or more, decades and find themselves all of a sudden thrown together all day, every day….for the rest of their lives!

That sounds more like a "sentence" rather than something my husband and I have worked toward all of our adult lives. We met in 1967 and we never would have gotten together if the San Diego Zoo wasn’t so darn big. I was a Delta flight attendant and he was a naval aviator. One of the other flight attendants had a date with a friend of his and she called me to be Joe's blind date. My first reaction was to tell her to ask her roommate who was on the same trip. She explained that her roommate had gone to the zoo and she didn’t know when she’d be back. I told her I would go but only if the other girl didn’t get back by 5 pm. She didn’t get back and the rest as they say “is history.”

If you read my profile, you saw that I made a fatal verbal error while on our honeymoon. I said I couldn’t wait to “serve one passenger instead of 100.” Over the next 40 years of marriage that one slip of the tongue came back to bite me a thousand times. The "busy years" consisted of me raising the children, working part-time as a travel agent. Later when life dealt us some hard times, I went back to work full-time. “Serving” wasn’t my top priority; often I was just happy to have made it through another day. A friend advised me against retiring first. She said the ideal situation is to let him retire at least a year earlier so he could become acquainted with things like the dishwasher, the vacuum, and the washing machine. But, since that was not to be, I worried that Joe would expect me to revert to the "let me serve you, dear" mode of our newlywed days.  I had to have a plan or I would succumb to servitude forever after.