So, What Have You Been Doing During The Last 35 Years?

I had a three-hour lunch on Friday with four old friends. It was a long lunch because three of us haven’t seen each other in about 35 years. That’s a lot of catching up to do! We actually could have spent three more hours, but other obligations beckoned.


All of us worked together in the mid-70s at Norelco, the company that’s well known for its electric shavers. Back then, it also produced a full line of kitchen products, including microwave ovens, coffeemakers, and food processors, as well as personal care products like hair dryers. I was the publicity director; Pat worked for the brilliant but completely crazy president; Diane assisted the sexy, smart and roving-eyed vice president; Alice worked for an adorable, hard-to-understand Dutchman, and Theresa worked for fun and intense me. Theresa and I lost touch for many years, but reconnected a few years ago and have remained pals ever since.

First, we took turns presenting synopses of our lives during the last three-and-a-half decades.

Four of us still live in the New York metropolitan area; the fifth lives on the east coast of Florida.

Four of us have a boy and a girl. One has three boys and a girl.

Two of us are divorced, but remain friendly with our ex-husbands; one is about to be divorced; one lost her husband about 10 years ago because he never took care of himself, and the fifth, Alice, has been married for almost 39 years.

Four of our 12 grown children are married; one is separated. Our children are working at jobs ranging from a fashion textiles designer and senior writer at a brand consultancy to a teacher and a fireman. Two of our daughters had children with African American men; one daughter is gay. We’ve all had our ups and downs with our kids, from estrangement to chronic illness, but have coped with them or worked them out.

We have 7 grandchildren among us.

Four of us are working; the one who isn’t quit her job a few years ago, when she underwent treatment for benign brain tumors. She has periodic MRIs, but she’s in good shape, thank goodness!

Two of us are on estrogen therapy. And, speaking of estrogen, one woman asked: “Do you think it’s possible to feel passion for a man at our age?”  We didn’t arrive at an unanimous answer, but another of us said, “I’d be happy just to have companionship now.”

I asked Alice about what attracted her to her husband and the secret to their decades-long marriage.

alice-and-her-husband“Jeff and I believe in the same things. We’re each other’s best friend. We know we can always count on each other. We’ve raised our children together as a united front. We’ve worked hard, together, to acquire what we have now and we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished. I like to think we’ve instilled those values in our kids. I’m proud of us.”



0 Responses to “So, What Have You Been Doing During The Last 35 Years?”

  1. Trish Barley Merkel says:

    My Husband and I met in the first grade. We stayed Boyfriend and Girlfriend until I moved away for 4 years. We met again in our Senior year of H.S. We just always knew,we were,meant to be together. November 17th we will be married 52 years.

  2. Lisa says:

    Marriage failure here! But I love the getting together with old friends.
    Lisa @

  3. Deb says:

    Friendship, compassion and compromise with respect. After 40+ years we still enjoy each other’s company on vacations and family gathering. Life is too short.

  4. Mary says:

    Loved the article. As was mentioned, we are each other’s best friends. I say my husband is my ribs, he protects my heart. We never take each other for granted & genuinely think of ways we can make the other’s day better. Our marriage is based & lived out on biblical principles. I respect my husband & he honors me; these things were examples lived out before our family & grandchildren. It’s no wonder our grandchildren respect & absolutely adore their Grandpa! He’s the solid foundation of our family & he’s the very beat of my heart.

    • geribrin says:

      Beautiful, Mary, just beautiful!


  5. Bessheit says:

    My husband was Japanese and we loved each other for 30 wonderful years. I think our marriage was great because he was always trying to understand me; I was always trying to understand him. We had the same taste as my fortune cookie on our first date said “Fools pursue pleasure regardless of cost” He had a great sense of humor and he traveled 10 months of the year! You know absence makes the heart grow…

    • geribrin says:

      Love your photos, Bess! And your comment!

  6. M. B. says:

    Understanding that men are like children and that it takes lots of patience, maturity, tenacity, looking towards the future, counseling and using wisdom, a lot of psychology of having a strong back bone. I’ve been married 38 years!

  7. Cynthia Richardson says:

    36 years together and we made it through with perspective and a good sense of humor.

  8. Cheryl Lee says:

    Patience, compromise, similar values, love and respect for each other and our children. We’re coming up on 42 years together and we are each other’s best friend. Plus we still have plenty of passion! ❤️

    • geribrin says:

      Love your comment, Cheryl Lee. Many more years of happiness to you! Geri, FOF


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