Sunday, August 28, 2011

50 Years!

Last night I attended a 50th anniversary party.  The couple went to elementary and high school with my dad and actually introduced him to my mom.

As with most events I attend, I hoped I would end up with some good blog fodder by the end of the evening.  I thought I might explore the juxtaposition of a 50 year wedding anniversary and the 50+% divorce rate in this country.  As it happens this bloody heat has zapped every ounce of intellectual thought from my brain, and so I’m forced to just share two of the night’s funniest conversations.

I attended this party with my “Aunt” Betty, a dear family friend.  Since my dad is gone and my mom is in Hawaii, the two of us were happy to make an appearance together so we’d have someone to talk with.  Betty is a retired teacher, as is the wife of the happy couple, as were most of the people in attendance.  Upon arriving, Betty spotted many people that she had taught with or had known over the years in her school district. As these retired district employees are getting up there in age, health (mentally and physically) is a challenge for some.

#1 - Marion, another dear family friend passed away last year.  However, when one of these retired teachers saw Betty she said, “Oh, I hear Marion is here.”  Um, no, Marion passed away last year.  “Are you sure, someone said she was here?”  I’m sure, she passed away.  “Did I know that?”

#2 The husband of one of my former teachers approached Betty at our table to say hello.  He started off the conversation with, “I  was surprised  to see you here.  I'd  heard you'd  died.”   Apparently this man keeps a social security list and crosses off names when people die.  He said he’d have to go home and check his list for Betty’s name.

I think about how most of the friends I socialize with nowadays are those I work with.  Last night was probably a peek into the future.  In another 30 years or so, I may be celebrating a friend’s 50th anniversary when someone asks me if I’m dead.  Sounds like fun!


  1. A bit Kafkaesque as well. Why on earth was he keeping a list. Was it like a Race Card, crossing off those that fell at a fence. And why a social security list. You'd think given their age and how things were in their youth, lists would be the very last thing for people that reached majority in the 1950s.
    Christ, there are waaaaay to many questions.

  2. Scary and dreadful! And a little bit funny.

  3. Oh, but what fun you can have with this! "I heard you were dead." "Yeah, I tried it for a little bit, but decided it wasn't for me."

    There is something very affirming about long married couples who reaffirm their commitment to each other in front of their friends and family -- especially since they now know what that commitment means in terms of joys, disappointments and working through problems with each other. May you be so fortunate.

  4. @Vince - Many questions. On a more surface level...Who says that to someone else?!?!

    @Jason - Definitely all three, but a lot funny!

    @Will - Ha! I know. Now I know what to expect and can be prepared. I agree on the 50 years. It is a LONG time for anything, let alone marriage. That kind of commitment is impresive.

  5. Bobbi,

    Do you know about the Social Security Index? It is open to the public at no charge. I check it periodically to see if any of my former co-workers and/or friends who have moved are still living. It may sound morbid but it is a good way to find out. As far as the secret to a long relationship I'll tell you what mine is. First you don't get married with someone you lust after. That always wears off. Get married to someone you like and they like you. Also, remember a relationship is always a "work in progress." The tweaks and balances never end. One always has to work at them. And last but not least you both have to have a mutual respect for one another. If you don't, nothing will work. This is what works for us after forty-seven years and still going strong. Two friends of mine have both been married fifty years this year. The same rules have applied in their situation. My Mom and Dad were married for sixty years before he passed in 2000. Did they have problems? Sure. Pop was a womanizer. But Mom kept the family together and Pop finally settled down. You have to work at a relationship to make it work. None are perfect.

  6. "Bobbi"?

    Sorry Kimberly! Of course I know your name is Kimberly. I really do! ;)

  7. Oh my gosh! I can't even imagine saying to someone 'You are on my dead list.' : ) I love old people.

  8. @Ron - Ha ha! I was wondering...
    Good advice!

    @Becky - I know! Me too!

  9. When you didn't post anything for three days, I thought you were dead too. Glad to hear you're not. Let me know if that changes, okay?

  10. We are in Missouri right now missing CA heat, in exchange for humidity.

  11. LOL...hope I'm at that party!!!

  12. Wow - that guy is crazy on top of acquaintances' deaths.

    Yet, strangely, still seems out of the loop.