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Friday, November 4, 2011

Still Learning after All These Years

Recently, I presented at a conference in California and Jim came along to make it a mini-vacation and celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary.
We meandered up the coast visiting beaches between San Diego and LA. Like me, you’ve probably heard how different the west coast is from the east. It’s one thing to hear about it – and a totally different experience to stand with mountains at your back while you look down, down, down at the sea from a cliff.
I saw and learned a lot of new things on this trip, but here’s the thing that really blew me away. In spite of being married for 29 years and thinking we knew everything about each other, for the first time, I learned Jim doesn’t like heights. Wait, maybe that doesn’t quite capture it. What I mean is, Jim, who hates vegetables except peas and corn, is a huge baseball fan and isn’t crazy about Glee, would eat a bushel of beets and skip the World Series to watch a Glee Marathon rather than look down from an elevation higher than say twenty or thirty feet.
Considering the Pacific Coast Highway boasts elevation gains of over 35,000 feet - it was perhaps not the best place to be.
Who knew?
This is a man who back in the day, could sit on the balcony of his 17th floor bachelor pad overlooking the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philly and not throw up – who as a facility manager at Temple walked on roofs.
Should I have known ocean bluffs would do him in?
The only thing that saves me from feeling like an unobservant self-absorbed wife for not knowing is that it was a surprise to him too! Yet another reason to be grateful we live in (flat) Cape May.
Q 4 U – Are you still learning things that surprise you in your relationships?


  1. I love it that you are learning about the man you thought you knew. I wonder what he is learning about you.

    My biggest surprise about my own marriage is that it has lasted as long as it has. Amazing! Never thought a woman could be so patient and so loving. Emphasis on being so patient.

  2. A reminder for me not to take those I love for granted or to simply "assume" based on past history. Life...and love...are full of surprises!

  3. one of the great things about surprises with the ones you love, is they surprise you into falling in love all over again

  4. Seeing my husband as a father has brought about many surprises. There is still occasionally a story I've never heard before, which I love. You think after 12 years you know everything, but as we keep changing, so do our loved ones.

  5. absolutely, and the fun and amazing thing is, it doesn't end...imagine what you'll learn as parents in the next 21 years!

  6. I think that vacations place us in uncertain territory and this is when you see each other differently. However, I have faith that JIm would overcome his high anxiety if faced with an overdose of Glee.

  7. Libby JacobsNovember 19, 2011

    After 42 years of marriage I am surprised and delighted by the joy my husband, Jack, takes in playing with and teaching our grandchildren. He was so busy as a new physician when our children were young that he had little time to enjoy them.

    Your blog post also gave me the idea for a writing exercise. I'm going to go through my novel and make sure there is at least one scene where a character makes an important discovery about someone he/she has known for years.

    Thanks for an insightful article.

  8. Libby,and thank you for the insightful writing exercise idea - just may try it myself.