When I divorced my ex-husband I swore I’d never get married again. It was a horrible experience and I steered clear of any relationship that became too serious. In my mind, the only thing a marriage could assure was that a fell swoop of a judges signature would hand over 50% of the three things I would prefer to keep: my house, my stuff and my sanity. And then……I met Mark.
A few years back I was at work minding my own business. A woman I worked with was taking somebody on a tour of the ad agency and she stopped by my office to introduce her friend Mark. The three of us made a bit of small talk, I cracked wise about a few things, and then they were on their way. A week or two later, Mark called and asked me out. Since I was just out of a bad relationship, and I was going to be traveling for work, we set our date for a month later.
As I drove to meet Mark for dinner I wondered if I would recognize him. After all, we’d only met once. Briefly. I was listening to an Earth, Wind and Fire disc and “That’s the Way of the World” was playing as I pulled into the parking lot. I love EWF and waited until most of the song was done before I got out of the car. Little did I know that song would foreshadow my life.
- Listen to EW & F’s “That’s the Way of the World” here: 06 That’s The Way Of The World
A dinner I was worried would be uncomfortable turned into a 3-4 hour conversation where we shared laughs, jokes, life experiences, music, war stories, hopes, dreams. He, too, was a huge EW & F fan…so how bad could he be? He shared that he was in the middle of a divorce (red flag for me) and had custody of his three children ages 4, 6 and 8. But he seemed like a genuine person, so I told him I would be his friend, but I had “no intention of being caught in a threshing machine as you sow your wild oats.” (Yep. I really said that.)
For the next few months our friendship grew as we hung out, watched TV, went to festivals, sports events, movies, dinners. We talked easily, sat comfortably when there were no conversations, and listened to LOTS of romantic music. Barry White’s “Cant Get Enough of Your Love,” Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” and lots of EW & F drifted in the air. (He swore he used to be able to sing the high parts of EW & F’s songs, but I had to call bullshit…)
- Listen to Barry White’s “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” here: 03 Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe
- Listen to Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On” here: 03 Let’s Get It On
Our friendship was growing and it grew so big it blossomed into a full-blown courtship. In the meantime, I had met his kids and started a relationship with them; his divorce had become final; he had met ALL of my family – and they thought he was fabulous; I met his family.
Almost to the date a year later, Mark asked me to marry him….right before our annual family party. We celebrated, my family celebrated, our friends celebrated. We set a date for the following May and although there were naysayers and people overstepping their boundaries to voice an opinion about our impending marriage, we – and those people who knew us best – knew we were rock solid. We knew that our love was there to stay and the song of the same name, sung by Louis and Ella, became our anthem.
Listen to Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald’s “Our Love is Here to Stay” here: 08 Our Love Is Here to Stay
Mark and I have now been married for more than 15 years; we have a deep friendship and mutual respect for each other; the kids are grown and starting their own lives; we have moved around the country; we still listen to lots of romantic music and dance slowly around the house listening to Louis and Ella singing “The Nearness of You,” Alicia Keys “If I Ain’t Got You,” and Diana Krall’s “Dancing In the Dark.”
- Listen to Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald’s “The Nearness of You” here: 03 The Nearness Of You
- Listen to Alicia Keys “If I Ain’t Got You” here: 05 If I Ain’t Got U 1
- Listen to Diana Krall’s “Dancing in the Dark” here: 07 Dancing In The Dark
And yes….our love is here to stay.
All music featured here is available for download from iTunes by clicking the links below:
- Barry White, “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love”
- Marvin Gaye, “Let’s Get it On”
- Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald, “Our Love is Here to Stay”
- Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, “The Nearness of You”
- Alicia Keys, “If I Ain’t Got You”
- Diana Krall, “Dancing in the Dark”
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