I had been noticing this elderly couple, as I go for my walks. I loved watching them particularly as they had so much to talk, were always seen together and as they sat on a park bench a little distance away they’d be huddled deep in conversation. I loved the consideration they seemed to have for each other. The gentleman had bow-shaped legs, used a walking stick on one hand and held his wife’s hand as they walked. The lady seemed to be a little hard of hearing and the gentleman would speak up just so that she’d hear and that way the whole park heard them. It was really heart warming to see them as she held on to him walking a little ahead, frowning and navigating their way in all her self-importance and the elderly gentlemen screaming on the top of his voice to keep up the conversation while he walked swinging from one side to another, shaking his head and laughing and walking behind her as she yelled. As I laughed seeing them together, it also made my eyes misty, for the years they must have spent together, the beautiful love that was so obvious, the perfect understanding they seemed to share and the unflinching support they gave each other. I couldn’t help but yearn for that for my twilight years.
One day I summoned the courage to go talk to them. I smiled and wished the gentleman good evening as I knew he could hear me. I sat by him on the park bench and asked if he lived in 1st cross street. The gentleman was eager for company and started to talk. Soon the lady joined in. After some warming up I asked them what the secret of their perfect marriage was?
The man guffawed and the woman snorted and I jumped out of my skin. She said, nobody else would put up with this obnoxious man as he was extremely demanding, snored and farted loudly in his sleep disturbing her, had a tongue for the choicest of food and hence needed a variety in his food, his diabetes notwithstanding. So she was forced to be on her feet serving ‘His Lordship’ 24/7! The man on his part said he didn’t have choice as far as putting up with her was concerned, as he was stuck with her. He insisted she had a vile tongue, did not want to acknowledge she had a hearing problem, she kept the volume of her tv serials so high that he had to use ear-plugs, she made his life a living hell because he had to screech his lungs off to get his message across and just to spite him she made his food too spicy or salty. Right there in front of me, the two started defending each others’ actions. Not knowing what to say or do, I just quietly slunk away none the wiser.
Well, I guess every relationship is not what it appears to be on the outside. But the romantic optimist that I’d like to be reiterated, that at the end of the day the two couldn’t do without each other. You see, even to fight one needs company!