Monday, September 19, 2011

Same as the Old Boss.


As a friend wrote on Facebook recently, You don’t kiss and tell, and you don’t fight and tell.

Except, of course, when you write a blog.

“When are you going to write about how you two argue?” asked a young woman who is involved with an older man. She wondered whether an age gap could contribute/influence/lead to a verbal wrasslin’ match. So I said to Sheri, “I think I’ll blog about how we argue.” And I mentioned something about authority, etc., etc.

What happens? She steals my blog idea, and now the world thinks I don’t know how to cut a tomato.

YOU WILL RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH!
I KNOW HOW TO CUT A TOMATO, SHERI!

You use a knife. Not a fork.

But it is true, I have more than once given way in arguments out of a sense that Sheri is more experienced, with a better vantage from which to see the world, and thus, bears a greater authority. From a young age I’ve respected authortiy, wanting to believe whatever God, the Declaration of Independence, and Captain Kangaroo had to tell me. Becoming a newspaper reporter, I think, gave me a structure in which to learn to question authority.

Then came Sheri. And I had no newsroom to back up my challenges.

Hot water in the ice cube trays makes the ice better? Cold water in the coffee pot makes better coffee? Okey-dokey. We’ll do it your way.

And when I insisted my way was the right way, we got into some of our most helacious cold-shouldered knockdown arguments. One was over chocolate chip cookies. I’ve never since tried to bake chocolate chip cookies. The marriage means that much to me.

But here’s something else that has happened over the years. Sheri has agreed that there are subjects in which I’m the champ. Where to get the car fixed? Me. Installing light fixtures? Me. Picking a dog from a litter and training it? Me. Sense of direction and where we need to turn? Me.

And because she’s ceded authority to me in those spheres, I’ve found it easier and easier to speak up in other spheres when I question a point-of-view she takes, or a method of doing things. After all, she didn’t marry me because she wanted an employee. She wanted a husband. So now, twenty years deep, my reactions aren’t based on a vassal-serf dynamic, nor are hers. Now, we’re better at listening to each other rather than playing semi-conscious roles.

So I get to cut the frikkin’ tomato any danged way I want.

11 comments:

  1. I enjoyed your article in AARP.
    My wife is almost 11 years older than I am.
    We will have been married 50 years in March.
    I am now 71 and she is 82. She is a remarkable woman.
    We've discussed the "issues" many times through the years, but never obsessed about any of them.
    We have a son and a daughter--no grandchildren.
    The issue about who will die when is one that I am sure many like us have spent some time on.
    My advice is don't worry.
    I had 2 liver transplants in the span of one month in 2000. I was expected to die from the trauma, and of course, livers for transplant are not readily available. I reject magical explanations in any form. I thank my wife for being there at all times for me. My doctors and surgeons saved my life. My two donors saved my life. But my wife deserves all of my thanks and love--more than I can ever express.
    She has had one mild heart attack. I hope I have been as supportive as she has been.
    Any discussion of who might be left behind has been and would be completely meaningless.
    I hope we and all couples know enough to avoid wasting time and worry about the age difference, and whether one will be left behind.
    Live and love each other today.

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  2. Dude, I gotta say :o, she looks younger than you do. ~Mary

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  3. I know. That's an upcoming blog post. But she likes the gray beard.

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  4. I don't know much about posting to a blog.
    My late wife of 41 years was 22 years older than me. No children.
    All of those years were intensely happy.
    She was an artist, sculptress and ceramist (google Zaida Figuerines for examples). She worked in animation for Warner Brothers, UPA Studios and Hanna-Barbera so if you ever saw Bugs Bunny, Mr. Magoo or Quick Draw McGraw as he came roarin' around the mountain in the opening credits (she did the spinning wheels) and the wisps of smoke from the campfires, you saw her work.
    She began loosing her eyesight to glaucoma in her late 70's and was totally blind at her passing in 2000 at 92. I have always thought that was the cruelest fate for an artist.
    I took care of her, as I know she would have for me, until the last.
    I'll be 80 in October and the gift I most wish for is to have her back.
    Be very good to each other. It does work!

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  5. Larry...That was a beautiful comment...you know exactly how to post to a blog! Thanks for the wonderful example...Love this blog!

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  6. I have never read a blog before I read the AARP article. I am a woman, 63, married 17/together 20, to a wonderful man 46. We are the best of friends and lovers. I had great reservations at first, but am so glad them did not get the best of me. Never seemed to bother him. I'll keep tuning in on this. Thanks so much, Carol

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  7. FrankandMary: Wow! thanks for that!

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  8. Larry,
    Thanks for writing about your wife. We both remember those cartoons, and are glad to know your wife did them. We are both sorry for your loss, but we are so glad to hear of your love for each other. Thank you, too, for reminding us to be good to each other. Michael can cut a thousand tomatoes the wrong way, as long as we kiss each other every day.

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  9. Hello I just wanted to stop by and say hello after reading your article in my granny's AARP magazine.you and your wife have an awesome story.

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  10. So glad to read your article in AARP and find your blog. My husband and I have been married two years, together four years. He is 40 and I am 60. I had real reservations about getting married, but he talked me into it and I am so glad I was brave enough to take the chance. it's not the first trip to the rodeo for either of us, so we both appreciate how easy and comfortable our relationship is, as compared to our previous ones. We sure found out who our friends were. We were astounded at the nasty, catty comments that were insulting to both of us, like he was only after my money and I was buying sex. We now have a new circle of friends! I look forward to finding community here at your blog.

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  11. I am new to this blogging... So bare with me please. I must say I have been reading this since I had learned about it in the aarp. The news article just so happened to be in my therapists office and I was so tickled to see it, as I was just telling my therapist of my new relationship with a much younger man. I have been seeing this guy for 7 months now, have known him for 15 months and he is 17 years younger than me. So far of course it's been great. I have been married before and I have been through so much and its has taken me some time to get my head, heart and soul together. When I first started withthis guy I really thought that this would just be a summer thing..... I have children that are not much younger then him and I must say, they were extremely upset... But now summer is coming to a close and he would like to continue on..... We have become very close.... My thoughts and concerns are... I have no time to waste..... I would like to settle down....... Being with him is awesome.... We are buds, lovers, we do everything together and for the first time in an extremely long time I am happy...... But I wonder that perhaps if I continue on with this relationship like he has asked that I will be taking away things that he has a right to have...... I believe that people should experience a one time, first time with some one..... Like I said I have been married..... I have 4 children.. I feel that I'm to old for anymore, he has told me he was and is okay with that. However, I feel that if I let this go on.... And start getting real serious.... Not sure where it would lead, but that I would be taking away something that he is not really truly thinking about, and naturally his brain is still growing..... So things would change.... Thoughts and feelings about stuff like that. I just want to do what's best for him. I somehow do not think it's me..... However he is bucking that 100%. I guess I just need to get that off my chest. Excuse the misspelling as I am writing on a tablet and am new at this.

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