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Over 60...and Getting Younger: June 26, 2009

A Memory Exercise

How many of my married readers remember the first meal that your spouse cooked and presented before you? I would guess unless the meal was truly memorable most of you have forgotten the details. Not me! Let me tell you why I have a distinct memory of that supper meal, almost 47 years ago.

Lorraine and I had moved into an apartment in downtown Jamaica. It was on 163rd Street and only three blocks from my first and only dental office, on Parsons Blvd. It was a six-story apartment house, and we were on the 5th floor. One bedroom, a large living room, an eat-in kitchen and a full dining room, a large bedroom all for $127 a month. It was heaven!

After our Caribbean honeymoon, Lorraine cooked the first meal. It was a red sauce spaghetti. The problem was that the sauce was very watery. My mother’s sauce came out of a Heinz Ketchup bottle, but it was never watery.

I asked Lorraine “Did you drain the pasta before you poured on the sauce?” She looked at me sheepishly, but then she recovered quickly to assert, “In my home we never drained the pasta!” Not seeking a fight I ate the watery spaghetti.

As our first meal was ending I was still at the table and Lorraine had begun to wash the dishes. She queried “What are you waiting for?”

“My fresh fruit compote,” I uttered. It was routine in my Bronx home to have a compote (prunes, canned peaches, apple sauce, etc.) at the end of a meal. Again Lorraine looked me in the eye and gave me her standard answer, “In my home we never had compote at the end of a meal.”

I stood up, left the table and realized that this was not the Bronx and a new but happy life was about to begin.