Uncle Shorty spotted my Aunt Evelyn across the campus of Norman Park Junior College back in the early days of 1947 and just knew she was beautiful he told me. So he decided to make it his mission to get her in his life I guess. My Aunt Evelyn tells me that he asked her to the movies and she told him that she would go with him -- but only if he would go to church with her. He agreed. It was date.
Here's the part that blows my mind -- on their first date -- he told her that he was going to marry her. She was only sixteen years old at the time. Uncle Shorty apparently was a smoooth talker, because, I don't know about things back in 1947, but in 2011, if you tell some girl you are going to marry her while on a first date with her -- you will send her packing. How can you even feel so strongly about somebody on a first date? I've never felt that.
Uncle Shorty was a man of his word though. Aunt Evelyn turned seventeen years old in April of 1947, and they ended up getting married June 15th of that same year. Uncle Shorty would have been twenty-one years old. Fast forward sixty-four years and they are still happily married today.
When I asked Aunt Evelyn how she responded when he told her that he was gonna marry her (on their first date I remind you) she told me, "I was so naive back then that I believed anything anybody told me, so I married him. It's been a good sixty-four years though -- I don't regret it."
"What's y'alls secret to staying happily married so long?" I asked. Without missing a beat my Aunt Evelyn said, "You gotta think about the other person before you think of yourself." Uncle Shorty gave me his answer just as fast. He told me, "You gotta be kind and considerate to the other person, and be willing to give in to them sometimes. Not always, but sometimes. And no serious arguments -- you can't talk badly to each other."
As I talked to him more I expressed my admiration for them having stayed together so long. I told him how scary the thought of marriage was to me after having seen a few friends go through some nasty divorces. "Marriage doesn't mean to most people today what it obviously meant to the two of you when you got married, and that scares me." I told him. I asked how he knew that it was right to marry her so quickly -- expressing that I never could imagine feeling so strongly about somebody so quickly. "How do you know that sorta thing, and then manage to make it work for so many years?" I asked. "There is one way to know that it's right." he said. "Let the Lord lead you, and if possible marry a Christian."
Today Uncle Shorty & Aunt Evelyn seem to be as in love with each other as they were the day they got married -- what more can you ask of a sixty-four year old marriage? You can't ask any more of it. God Bless them both for not only making a tough thing work -- but for making it look like a good idea.