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Was it hard to live with someone after being single for so long?
M: We were kind of set in our ways. You have to get used to being with someone else on a daily basis.
D: We always kind of worked together and did things together. She allowed me to do my thing, and she was always able to do her thing. And I enjoyed her cooking, so that was good.
M: I remember one fight we had. I don't remember what it was about, but Daddy left, went to the movies, and came back, and he sat down at the table and we started to discuss it and everything. He said, "Aren't you glad we're not twenty years old so we don't have to continue to fight about this?"
What did people say when you finally did get married?
D: My mother hung up on me. I was disturbing her mah jongg game.
M: He had to call her three times.
D: She wouldn't take my call because she thought I was lying to her.
M: It's true! He called Grandma Peggy to tell her he was getting married, and she just said, "Jeffrey, leave me alone, I'm playing mah jongg." My mother didn't believe me, either. Even the rabbi didn't believe us. When we were getting married, we went to the rabbi and he asked Daddy how old he was, asked me how old I was, and said okay. And he said, "Well, do you both have a ghent?" — a Jewish divorce certificate. I said, "No, we've never been married before." He said, "Come on, you're thirty-nine years old. What do you mean you've never been married before?" At our wedding ceremony, he stood up there and said, "Because we've all waited so long for this marriage, I'm going to drag this out a little bit." If you see the pictures of the audience, everybody's hysterically laughing.
How do you feel now about getting married later in life than most people do? Today the average age of getting married is twenty-six, and that's actually higher than when you got married.
M: My grandmother had given up on me when I was seventeen!
D: I wasn't as mature in my twenties. I probably wouldn't have made a good husband at the time. It took me a while, but some men and women mature differently, at different times. It took me a little bit longer. I was having too good of a time to think of anything else. And there are times when I was pretty much being asked to marry rather than wanting to marry. That's very difficult.
M: My thing, like he said, I was having too good a time for a period there. Actually, I felt I was ready to get married when I was thirty-five. Of course, I didn't get married until four years later, but until that time I was really running around. I was traveling. Daddy was traveling too. Especially with me though, Grammy had been married so many times — seven — I wanted to know when I did it that I was going to be sure. I didn't want to do that. I didn't want to be married a lot of times. Or more than once, actually. Plus, Daddy's not too bad a guy, you know. And the shoulders, man. The shoulders! It was the shoulders first, the eyes second, and the brain third.