Simple Love

A story: Gayle and Frank Newby met one day on a triple blind date. Unlike the two other men, Frank couldn't afford to buy Gayle a Coke, so they sat in the car and talked. A few days later, she stood him up for another date. But she apologized, they did their second date and two days after that they were married. They were engaged for 24 hours. Their honeymoon cost $20, consisting of a $3-a-night motel room and a beer garden, which had a good deal on burgers. They've been married now 57 years.

I hate two things in life: The Yankees, and romantic comedies. And yet I'm drawn to this NPR project called StoryCorps, where regular people visit a van and record their personal stories for archiving at the Library of Congress. Specifically, I can't stop listening to these stories about romance.

I'm drawn to how simple all of it seemed back in the day -- not just engagements, weddings and honeymoons, but love and life in general. Is that the way it's supposed to be? Is it in our new nature to complicate everything? What about worrying about her previous sexcapades and how much money he makes and what your friends think and whether you're "ready to settle down"? What about keeping it cool and playing the game and waiting three days to call and oopsies, let's run to CVS and get you some RU-486?

The StoryCorps true-life tales include the woman who sent her husband 700 letters while he was in the Army -- and he kept every single one. There's the teacher who fell in love with the custodian, convinced him to go to college and become a second-grade teacher. They married on the auditorium stage at the school and served milk and cookies to the guests. There's also the toll collector who married a driver who frequented his booth, and old-timer Danny Perasa, who said this: "Being married is like having a color television. You never want to go back to black and white."

Ha! As if there were ever black-and-white TVs. Now that really would be simple.

So on that note, as covered in cheese as it may be, here's wishing all of you a happy, healthy and simpler new year, in both love and life...

photo credit: NPR's StoryCorps


Old Man Snap said...

Oopsies jokes. *Always* funny.

chris said...


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