The story begins when girl meets boy on a blind date. Not so impressed, the girl decides she will not go out with the boy again. So she refuses his invitation when he calls for another date. But when the boy keeps on calling, she begins to feel sorry for him. So she finally gives in and accepts the boy’s invitation for a second date. And then later, for who knows what reasons he asked and she responded, they went ahead and got married.
This public story of how my parents came to be married makes me wonder about the underlying personal stories I do not know. Unlike my Aunt Jo and Uncle Bob, I do not believe my parents were a love match. For fifty-two years, they treated each other more like business partners than lovers. And I don’t think they dated very long. Because even basic facts like my father’s age were not shared until later. My mother learned that my father was four years her senior when he provided his date of birth for my birth certificate. It wasn’t that Dad was hiding the fact; Mother had just assumed that Dad was a year older than her since he had graduated high school a year ahead of her. Since Mom thought she knew, she’d hadn’t bothered to ask. And only when it was clear she didn’t know did Dad bother to set the facts straight.
I only saw my parents kiss one time. And that was at my request, some Christmas Eve afternoon, almost fifty years ago. So if is wasn’t for love, why did my parents marry? Was Dad looking for a mother figure? Did he hunger for the stability of a real home? Did Mom marry Dad on the rebound? Or did Mom marry Dad because it was time to marry rather than because she’d found Mr. Right?
But even without romance, my parents stayed married. Like many others of their marital vintage, they stayed married because they said they would.