I’m married to a quiet man, a smart man—philosopher, writer, psychologist/therapist, father, grandfather (known as Pops.) On June 13th, we celebrate our 62nd anniversary.
We met at a Jewish Community Center singles dance, each of us determined to meet the other in defiance of a mutual friend who had offered to fix us up and rescinded. Marv was from Detroit, a Wayne University engineering major and activated air force guardsman stationed at Fort Williams in South Portland, Maine. I was a Simmons College sophomore.
The original plan had been to meet at the dance. I was home for winter break and in between boyfriends. Marv was new in town; there was no sweetheart left behind. I wore a white wool suit (skirt, not pants) with strappy black shoes. Marv wore his blue air force uniform with the short-cropped jacket and nipped waist. Twenty-three years old, he had a full head of curly hair, broad shoulders and the romantic allure of a serviceman.
There was swing music, dancing. I stood at the edge, scanning the crowd. He was my mirror image, the handsome young stranger in uniform also scanning. Our eyes locked. We met in the middle, arms seeking to dance, in the spell of Night & Day or was it The Very Thought of You?
Commonality in background and values, our mothers were like sisters, mutual respect, a bent towards history, and its effects. We married, went to graduate school, found jobs, became therapists and partners in our own mental health clinic, and raised a son and daughter during the seventies era of Rock and Roll. Both of us now in our eighties, Marv has a small practice and teaches courses on our early presidents at an independent learning in retirement program.
I am grateful to have chosen a life partner who has as much regard for creativity within the human spirit as myself. When I made the turn from therapist to poet, Marv supported my wishes to attend a summer workshop. To my surprise, the morning I prepared to leave for a two-week stay, he marinated a chicken. Mom had not approved of my decision. “How can you leave for two weeks, who will cook, what will he eat?” I laughed and still do about Marv’s message—no need for worry, when it comes to my stomach, I’m resourceful.
Marv’s support deepened when I closed my therapy practice and enrolled in the Solstice MFA program. It helped our mutuality in that I had supported Marv through writing and editing two family therapy books and in the years that followed, three more— his most popular, Tool Kit for Smart Living, a compendium of insight and knowledge accrued over his lifetime as a family therapist.
So many decades—some all good, some peppered with ill winds, illnesses among those we love, deaths, family challenges. Through it all, we have continued to partner, grateful for health and friendship, devoted children and grandchildren, and the continued thirst for learning and creativity.