Back in the ’60s, the Supremes belted out Mama’s advice: “You can’t hurry love—no, you just have to wait. She said, “Love don’t come e-e-asy. It’s a game of give and take.”
One of our high school friends just proved Mama was a genius.
Our friend was well-liked—not the best looking, best athlete or best student, but nice-looking, friendly, involved in sports and other activities, and smart. What made him memorable, I think, was his easy-going nature, wry sense of humor, loyalty to his friends and curiosity about everything and anything.
We all went off to college and started careers. The rest of us married and started families, but our friend didn’t—a big difference back in the ’70s and ’80s before so many divergent lifestyles became commonplace.
Today, people might just assume he didn’t care much about women. We didn’t think that wasn’t true—he always had an eye out. Still, he rarely dated and never, at least to our knowledge, had a serious relationship. We guessed it was because he had to manage tough family issues and for a time had some health problems (which thankfully were resolved); still, we wondered why he never met the “right girl.”
After his dad, the last surviving member of his family, died a few years ago, our friend continued running his successful business, sharing in his friends’ families and special occasions and pursuing many interests, particularly his love of botany—a pursuit that had the rest of us tramping through woods and creeks from time to time looking for unique specimens.
He retired not long ago, comfortable in his skin, which confirms that he didn’t want the same kind of life the rest of us have had, right? Wrong, because a few months ago, he surprised us by announcing that he had a serious girlfriend—a widow of several years with grown children. We were thrilled—some of us knew her. We met them for dinner and got another surprise: they were getting married. We started talking about having a party for them, but few weeks later they just up and got hitched, no fanfare.
Anyway, they are living happily ever after, or so we hope. Her kids and grandkids seem to like him very much. He clearly enjoys the younger generations and is comfortable with family life.
So Diana, Flo or Mary’s Mama was right. You can find love at any age—if you’re willing to give and take, a piece of advice that popped up recently when we met the newlyweds for lunch. Three couples sat down and then waited and waited for them. When they finally arrived, the wife explained in exasperation, “Since he’s never been married before, he doesn’t understand how long it takes a woman to get ready!”
The other guys guffawed. Having learned that lesson years ago, they welcomed him to their club. As one joker, probably my husband, proclaimed, “Every guy deserves to be married.”