A long hard day dwindled down to me walking my sorry butt into a car service station in Park Slope, Brooklyn and buying a ride home. An older women, in her mid-late 60s, is the driver. She wears her bleach blonde hair in a small high pony tail atop her head with a bright pink scrunchie and has these fantastic thick black glasses with a hearing aide. She is stunning. Oh and she has a GPS, as she states several times throughout the ride home, because 'I get lost all the time.'
I love it already. Only in New York. We start talking, chatting about mean customers who call her driver and sad customers who tell her their stories of loneliness, and then we start talking about relationships and she tells me that she has been married for 40 years. I lean in and ask, “What is your secret?”
“I let my husband do what he wants. He wants to go to Chinese, we go to Chinese. I am really not that picky.”
I wonder, there must be more. “Have you had affairs?”
She replies, “No, but I have had crushes. You gotta have some new attention sometimes from other men, because your husband gets used to you.”
And kids? “We didn’t have any. We didn’t want it. Everyone said we were so selfish, but what about when you get older? they said. What about when you get older? I say, You don’t have kids for them to take care of you!”
Righto, Lorraine! There was something so wise, and frank and sacred about her union with her life with her husband. She was waitressing, he was a manager. They met, fell in love, and got married 6 months later. “When you know, you know.” according to Lorraine. Forty years later, they are still married. Living happily in Canarsie, Brooklyn. Both are cab drivers, because his feet couldn’t take the restaurant world any longer. They are going to Hawaii this summer for vacation. It’s stunning. A portrait of contentment in a world of discontents always looking to trade up.
So, there you go, in a nutshell: Secrets to a successful marriage according to Lorraine. (Though I do believe there are many ways to negotiate a successful marriage, not just according to these rules.)
1.Let your partner make the small decisions. Eat Chinese food more often.
2. No Affairs, but crushes can fill that need for attention.
3. And don’t have kids.