“…I want to wear the life I’ve lived… 

Pat Benatar

What could one have made had he bet back in the 60’s that a half century later I’d be seeking Wieder’s advice on marriage? (Ed. Note 1: Bobby, Stuart, Ermine –of course. Treinish and Stockfish, yes. But Alan? The odds would have been prohibitive)!

And yet at Starbucks in April I sat with Alan:

“At this point you don’t really ask her. You can’t propose,” he counseled. “Just discuss it.”


—At age twenty, in Columbus…naïve and unwitting:

“It’s time you talked about marriage,” the Jersey Girl’s friend pointed out in the DPhiE living room. (Who knew?)

—At age sixty-five, in Cleveland…seasoned by a lifetime:

“Why do you need to get married?” I heard — she heard — from our blood ONLY.

Carrie told her kids first; they’re here. I told Stace in Chicago and then, excusing myself to another room, phoned Michael. Perhaps it was the culmination of blood, sweat and years, but as I spoke to my son, tears erupted.

“Just want you happy Dad.”
Overcome with emotion I was.
“I know. I love you.”
“Are you all right, Dad?”
“Yeah, we’ll talk later. I love you. Goodbye.”

Before I’d travelled out west, during the two-day window that her children knew but mine still didn’t, we agreed to tell no one else. After all, right it wouldn’t have been if my kids had heard on the street. (I would find out later that she couldn’t help herself; she told a friend. She would find out even later that I told someone too: Mark. Oh yeah, then Bobby and Stuart and Kraut).

Life-long pals, of course, were thrilled for us. I sensed it in the voice of one, the laughter with “Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” from another, and the “B, I’m so happy for you I could cry” from yet another.

I heard it not only in emails that trickled in— one even from a friend of the ex — but also through unabashed voice mails, one of which bubbled “We are SO happy for the two of you!”

How great we felt!

My friend offered up a Florida condo for the honeymoon. CJ’s cousin helped with tickets for a concert. Our agenda was moving forward.

It takes me back — takes US back, frankly — to my conversation with The Kraut back in 2012. Standing in Corky’s lot I’d just shared with Art that I’d be giving up my place and moving in with her. “It’s easy,” he told me, “Because it’s right.”

So here we are less than three years later: me pushing a pair of sixes and her teasing sixty. Getting married.  Meshing through legal issues, nuances, “stuff”.

Some, clearly, are wishing us well yet wondering why. Others, just as certainly, are quietly noting our age, our circumstance, our already being together, and … again … wondering why.

As noted before, what others think of me (us) is not our business.

For me though, I know that seeing is indeed believing. And that Carrie and I share at least one strong suit: we lead with our hearts.

— And yes, there is but one Rule Of Engagement: “Love conquers all”.


  1. Stuart says:

    Good things come to those who wait. All the best! ????

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