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Marital promises and New York landscapes

We just got back from New York City where we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary and I fulfilled a promise I made on our honeymoon, also to New York, that if Pat stayed married to me for a quarter of a century I’d take her back for our 25th anniversary.

It seemed like a pretty safe bet at the time. I couldn’t imagine anyone agreeing to put up with me for that long, given my bad habits, which were probably even worse then, or not, depending on which source you believe.

My mom and dad only fed and clothed me for 18 years, after which they shooed me off to college and sold my bed. (Maybe my memory is a bit slippery on that and my mother insists that I make up things that never happened. And she’s always glad enough to see me when I stop in for a visit in South Carolina that she cooks as many biscuits as I can eat before I have to leave.)

But we made it to 25 years and being a man of my word, I booked a hotel and airfare to New York and wrangled some theater seats. We even invited good friends Ted and Diane to go with us. We all enjoyed a very funny play and did most of the touristy things folks do when they go to New York.

We rode an elevator most of the way to the observation deck of the Empire Sate Building. They only had one elevator making the trip the last six floors so we volunteered to hike up from there. Bad idea. Fortunately, they had landings at each floor with plenty of space to replenish our oxygen supply, allow the ache in our legs to dull a bit and to allow younger, more energetic tourists to move ahead.

The view from the deck, a nighttime vista of New York City, was spectacular, or at least I think it was from what I could see through the thousand or so tightly packed bodies milling around the building. We waited and took the elevator back down.

We spent a few hours in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MoMa, as native New Yorkers call it. I was impressed by some of the Monet paintings and Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”

But I figured out something about modern art. A modern painting really doesn’t have to bear even the slightest resemblance to its title. And Picasso’s depiction of women indicates he had some serious issues. I still don’t get how putting a loaf of French bread on a sculpted head adds much to the artistic experience.

We ate well. We had high tea at the Waldorf. The previous week I’d had lunch in Lubbock. I do get around.

We had breakfast in a restaurant where Hemmingway used to gather with some of his literary buddies. We ate dinner at Sardi’s, the place to be seen if you’re in the theater. And we actually found scrambled eggs and grits in a New York café.

I spent enough on cab fare from JFK airport to make a down payment on the taxi. Cheaper, and considerably more pleasant, was the boat ride out to the Statue of Liberty.

It was a good trip and perhaps by the time we hit our 50th we will have it paid off and can do it again. I sorta promised I would, but who knows, she could get tired of me before then.

Or maybe not. She did give me a fishing trip for an anniversary gift. You gotta love a woman like that.

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