Today, the newsletter has two parts. Part one is about to remarry or not. And Part 2, mentions a trip to Nashville and Memphis.
Part One – The marriage question for older couples
Last week’s story about the marriage of Champs Chris, 83, and Tina, 76, after 13 years of long-distance dating, raised questions about remarriage later in life.
Maria, Northern Sonoma County, California – Why did they marry?
“Such a nice story! I'm wondering, though, why they decided to finally marry - maybe an age thing? Not mentioned, but I suspect you get to the point where it's harder to travel and you just want to be together for whatever years are remaining.”
Tom’s comment: I will try to shed light on Maria’s question, although she was pretty much correct in her assumptions. I am not trying to speak for Chris and Tina, but before their ceremony, three of the men present were talking to Chris. Someone asked him that question.
He said it had mainly to do with USA laws that state after three months in the USA, Tina would have to leave the country. She’d return home or they would take a trip together. But it was getting expensive to do that and ridiculous. They simply want to be together all of the time and not have to be travelling just to comply with the regulations in both countries for visitors.
Ellen and Tony – couple will not marry but a senior commitment ceremony
Ellen said, “My partner and I are having a commitment ceremony in July. We both lost our spouses and met on match.com. if I marry, I will lose $3,000 a month from my husband. So, we are having a pretend marriage! Our children and grandchildren are coming to a resort in West Virginia, from New Jersey, Wisconsin, Ohio, and the Netherlands! We will all have our own little cottages and there are lots of things to do.
“We will get rings too and say vows. I am beyond excited! We have been together for five years and will move to Sun City in Hilton Head area. We are so happy together!”
Janice and Ben – Still deciding what to do
Janice wrote, “I would very much like to know why Tina and Chris married now. What has changed after 13 years in a relationship that seemed to be working very well for them without marriage?
“My man friend Ben is in the process of relocating to Hot Springs, Arkansas, and for the time being, he and I plan to partake in a long-distance relationship. Since I am still working (self-employed), Ben will fly to my home here in Orange County, CA, for two weeks each month. It will be two weeks on, two weeks off.
“However, we don’t plan to do this indefinitely. We’ve chosen July 15 (Ben’s 78th birthday) to determine if we want to be together full time (under the same roof as Ben puts it), or move on separately.
“As far as getting married or only living together as partners for life, this is to be determined, however Ben wants to marry me. For me (due to past baggage), I’m somewhat skeptical of getting married again, however in my heart of hearts feel this would be right for me too!”
Gordon and Janine – Traverse City, Michigan – Senior couple will not marry but love each other
Gordon emailed, saying that both he and Janine experienced extreme financial difficulties in their respective marriages due to their spouses becoming ill and medical insurance coverage running out.
He said, “We both feel that the financial liability of either partner was greater than what we could accept and now go through life as single partners equally sharing the cost of everything we do without the liability of the unexpected healthcare or other devastating event that would destroy both, if we were married.”
He added, “A couple of things I have learned in the past 16 months after being a widower for 10 years and dating some lovely people, but never finding the one who kept me coming back or to whom I wanted to commit. Then he met Janine at a Meetup.com event.
“The most important measure of good a relationship is “Happiness.” Yes, a general and relative term, but I have found it to be most the important factor.
“Happiness, I have learned, is the ability to simply enjoy each other’s company and includes:
“-The willingness and ability to never have conflict that lasts more than (a few) hours and is always resolved by coming together, face-to-face, to expose the concern and resolve the issue before it spirals out of control.
“-The ability and willingness to accept the other’s opinions and views, while not always agreeing, but always maintaining respect
“-The ability and willingness to find and create fun in whatever we do.
“-The ability and willingness to celebrate the fact that we do enjoy one another’s company yet recognize the need and enjoyment to occasionally have time alone that always results in great excitement and appreciation the next time we meet.
“-The ability to laugh until you cry.
“-The ability to recognize that if we do “stop talking" (break up) we will have to continue to do things together because it is way too much fun not to.
“-My partner and I often say: “I love you, but I don’t know why” It’s not complicated - it’s happiness and that is LOVE.
I may feature the rest of their story in a future newsletter—it is very interesting.
Shelley, San Diego, wants to know, do cruise ships still have dance hosts?
She emailed, “Nice story. I am happy for them. I imagine it is very RARE that things happen like this.
“Do cruise ships STILL employ ‘dance hosts’ for single women passengers? I thought that was a thing of the past? Last cruise i took was in spring of 2010 with my late husband and it was on Royal Caribbean. I wasn't looking for dance hosts so maybe that's why I can't recall seeing any.”
Tom’s comment: Last year, on a Holland America cruise that Greta and I were on, there was a dance host on the Venice to Barcelona trip. And some cruise lines, offer singles an option to the single supplement, so they don’t have to pay the normal cost of a stateroom, based on two people.
Part 2 – Today, my partner Greta and I are in Nashville, Tennessee
Ryman Auditorium Stage--the home of the Opry 1943-1974. Now, holding concerts in downtown Nashville
We are here for a few days with my brother Bill and his wife Linda, who are from Dallas, to enjoy the Johnny Cash Museum, the Grand Old Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and The Heritage, Andrew Jackson’s home. Not to mention incredible restaurants and dining.
On Monday, we will visit Memphis—Sun Records and Graceland. I will report on our week-long trip next week.