If you follow fashion trends even a little, you probably noticed the attention two luxury retailers received this spring for selling dingy clothing.
At Nordstrom, it was a pair of “heavily distressed” jeans with mud stains and a $425 price tag that caught fire on the Internet. The manufacturer also sells a muddy jacket and paint-splattered chinos that “embody rugged, Americana workwear that’s seen some hard-working action.”
Neiman Marcus offered “deconstructed” leather sneakers full of rips, holes and patches for $1,425. They look like the running shoes that your new puppy had its way with, the ones you keep in the garage and wear only on those late nights that you roll the trash cans to the curb.
I could not believe the interest generated by these new items that look like they have been through the wringer. I was looking for new clothes, when the trendy items were probably already in my closet.
So it is in love and marriage that new romances and newlyweds get a lot of attention; they are exciting and invigorating. But longtime loves (like muddy jeans) are more rare and of great value.
I asked veterans of marriage to share with me what makes their longtime loves the best. Several residents of Vi at the Glen were eager to explain.
Dolores and Jim Conway, who have been married for 61 years, said, “Longtime love is a longtime give-and-take process. You each give love, time and energy to the relationship. You may not even know you are doing these things. But because of these efforts the best of longtime love is you end up with a friend, a confidant, a teacher, a sounding board and of course a lover. What can be better than that?”
Added Sigi Veit, who has been married to Ruth for 69 years: “It has always been our motto that my wife always comes first in every regard, and in turn my wife puts me first in every regard. Therefore, we are both lucky to always be No. 1.”
Gloria and Leroy Redman, who’ve also been married for more than 65 years, listed three reasons why longtime love is the best:
“To be thankful for being and having your love grow stronger together. To be able to discuss life’s joys, happiness and sorrows together. And to be able to enjoy our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren together.”
It all sounds wonderful, but it’s not easy to get there. I was fortunate that other Vi residents shared with me the secrets of their marital success.
“Keeping your love alive should be a joint effort,” said Patricia and Jim Hunt, married for 57 years. “A good mixture of surprises, humor, devotion, understanding of each other’s imperfections and a mutual desire to keep that flame burning brightly can do wonders.
“A touch of humor will help carry you through almost anything,” they continued. “Shared memories are golden, and no one can take them away from you.”
Added Kathy and Don Carlin, married for 56 years: “Two important aspects of love in a marriage are a respect for each other and a trust in each other. These aspects will grow continuously throughout the duration of a happy marriage. Thus, the longer the marriage lasts the deeper the love.”
Tell me why you think longtime love is the best, via email, to firstname.lastname@example.org.