Monday, December 24, 2007

What would it be like to be married for 50 years?

You might think that I already know the answer as Mr and Mrs Lear have made it past 34 years, so at a guess the next 16 or so won't be all that different to the last few.
But whilst I was in Romania, one of their local traditions made me think a bit about it.
All couples that have been married for 50 years get given about £20 at Christmas time. This year, there were 22 couples in Mosna who were due to get this. The envelopes are handed out at the Old Folks Lunch. The problem is, what's the definition of " married for 50 years".
I've related before the story of The Last Communist who has certainly been with her " man" for more than 50 years, but they didn't marry so that they would not get one of their apartments taken from them. The Mayor has decided it HAS to be proper marriage as we would understand it. Unfortunately, there are lots of people who disagree with this purist attitude, and when the golden wedding-ites came up, there were over 50 looking for the handout.
So he made the following announcement. " Would all couples who cannot produce a marriage certificate please go back to their seats." Certain amount of muttering, but there were still about 40 couples.
" OK," he said," Would anyone who is not on this list I am going to read out please sit down." This left 22 couples - and one old woman.
" Was you name on the list?" he asked.
" No, but I have been married for 50 years and I have the certificate with me." The Mayor took the paper proferred and conferred with other Town Councillors.
" Madame, it would appear you are correct. I must apologise. Where is your husband?"
" Oh well he died twenty years ago, but it certainly felt like 50 years with the old bastard"
Whereupon the whole place erupted in hysterical, thigh slapping, cackling laughter.
The OAP's had set it up as a joke.