Many people would agree that it takes a stupendous sense of humor, a pit-bull determination, old-fashioned cussedness and a huge dose of simpleminded blind luck to maintain a marriage for forty-one years. I agree. That‘s why to commemorate this accomplishment Jersey and I headed to Las Vegas where we met up with our very, very dear friends, Thor and Veruschka–who’ve been married longer than Jersey Squeeze and me. (And yes, V and I were child brides!)
Vegas is not my favorite vacation spot. It wasn’t always this way. Once upon a time I was young, sexy and foolish enough to think that I’d never have to live on a pension. But since I no longer work or smoke and have already lost enough quarters to those devilishly enticing one-armed bandits, gambling is no longer my thing.
Nonetheless, Las Vegas still offers a number of delightful things that I absolutely adore doing but can’t do at home, like seeing shows and visiting unusual exhibits. And overeating.
At any given moment of any given day, Vegas provides a veritable smorgasbord of deliciously fine food. Steaks, seafood, twice baked potatoes which are about the size of my cat, Jabba. And the endless flow of overpriced wine…fantastic! BUT, the number one thing I love to do in Las Vegas, even on my 41st wedding anniversary, is shoot the breeze with my bud, dear, darling Veruschka. Armed with pockets full of money and bellies full of well-marbled steak, the ‘boys’ find a couple of Texas Hold ‘Em tables and have fun. That’s when V and I find ourselves a secluded little table for two, order up a couple of those fancy ‘umbrella’ drinks and chatter away like the old pals we are. We can sit for hours sipping wine and babbling.
And that’s why, this trip was such a bust for me. I had a killer cold. I came down with it the night before we left for our trip. I began to sneeze…and cough; my eyes became so red and irritated that I could barely see. I was hoping it was an allergy, but no. Things did not improve once we landed in the dry desert city. In fact, they just got worse. My cold became so bad that food literally had no taste. Even the long-anticipated, sky-high corned beef sandwich from the famous Carnegie Deli tasted like cardboard. So did the steak and seafood dinners and the overwhelmingly diverse Bellagio buffet. My throat was so parched from the lack of humidity AND that crappy cold that a constant stream of bottled water was all I craved to keep it ‘lubricated’ enough to support my breathing.
But the worst of it was that my much anticipated Vegas chatter-fest with Veruschka was virtually unable to happen…for I simply could not talk. The moment that I uttered a few words, my choking cough would kick in–in Aces. It was not a pretty site. In fact, it was positively ugly. Bummer, bummer, bummer.
To be honest, we four did manage to share a lot of laughs, see some interesting sites and play several hands of not-so-cutthroat cards all of which made for a delightful, if germy, trip. On the last evening Veruschka and I did have a ‘kinda’ conversation. It wasn’t the hours-long, girl talk session we usually have, but it was wonderful nonetheless.
As for a few last words concerning our marriage…after forty-one years together Jersey and I still haven’t divorced or killed each other which sounds like wedded bliss to me. Happy Valentine’s Day!