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I coaxed Pink Susie to give me this interview when she called me for another, unrelated reason. Sitting on my living oom floor, with Mr. P humming in the background, I began to gently probe her views on marriage. You will find that Pink Susie was raised in a different type of household than my minister was, and that’s just the tip of the difference iceberg. I tried to recreate her responses as a natural conversational flow (I need a recorder…please pitch in!), but this is a faithful rendering of our conversation. Feel free to comment, as always.

1. How long have you been married?

Since February 14th, 1970. It was a Saturday and there was a blizzard the day of my wedding!

2. How long did you know each other before you got engaged?

This question wasn’t really appropriate, I was informed, LOL

We had a six month courtship from the time we starting dating to when we got married.

3. How old were you when you got married?

I was 22,  I think…21 or 22.

4. Were your parents married until death did them part?

Yes, they were married until death did them part. They got married in 1934 at the ages of 16 (her) and 23 (him). It was the first marriage for both of them. They got married in Belle Glade, Florida (<—My grandparents!)

5. What were you taught about marriage?

If you get pregnant, you gotta get married–it was synonymous. No on e planned a wedding; you just went to the Justice of the Peace. No one talked about marriage, they just did it.

6. Why did you get married?

We were dating long distance. He was in Michigan and I was in New Jersey. We met at the NCO club in New Jersey.  He was driving from Michigan to see me. Then he said let’s get married? I said, OK, why not?

7. What was the biggest adjustment you had to make early on in your marriage?

The cold. It was so cold in Michigan. Also, I didn’t have any family in Michigan.

8. What was something you learned after you got married that you should have known before marriage?

That there’s so much give & take. When you live by yourself you don’t think about sharing, separate to joint bank account, sharing your thoughts before you do anything.

9. What was your first fight about?

Our first fight was over the long distance bill! I was always calling my family (in Florida & elsewhere, presumably).

10. Is there anything you regret or wish you’d done differently?

I wish we had gotten our college educations and had careers before we got married. I wish we’d had more money, didn’t have to struggle so hard at first.

11. How old were you when your son came along?

I was twenty-five when *Thomas came along.
12. What’s so good about marriage?

You have someone to share things with, talk to, vacation with. You have a companion, someone to share likes & dislikes, someone who respects you & thinks a lot about you.

13. What should you look for in a mate?

Similar ideas, values, views, expectations, wants…that’s the fabric that holds you together.

14. Why don’t people stay married today?

Money, infidelity, trying to be superman/superwoman, religion, political  ambitions…people just lose interest in each other.

15. What advice would you give people thinking of getting married?

Take time to get to know them; make sure your desires, wants, expactations are similar; you have to be compatible; you have to get used to the checkbook thing.

16. Was there ever a time you wanted to get away? Why did you stay?

Investment– all I had invested into this marriage.

So, there you have it– 40+ years of marriage experience, from a female perspective.