So today I was on the road, destination; North Carolina. Made my usual rest area stop. At a picnic table nearby there was an older couple with their dog so I walked over to pet it. No intention of losing an hour travel time chatting away with two complete strangers from a completely different lifetime as I, but the universe has a funny way of working out.
Turns out, Harold and Mary have been together their whole lives. Married 30 something years, from California, no children, and a really cute yet also very old pug.
They were on 17 weeks of traveling around the country in their RV, something they dreamt of doing since they were newlyweds. `
Harold came from a prominent wealthy family who believed that success was measured by education and money. Harold said he always knew it wasn’t the life for him but he was too afraid to go against the grain.
They always wanted children but sadly Mary wasn’t able to.
He said he worked very hard to provide a life for them and he is proud of his accomplishments however, they spent alot of their life conforming to every day life. He said they are just now fully living the life they have always dreamt of thanks to retirement.
Harold said if he could do it over again he and Mary would have spent their days traveling and making memories out there in the world. Not spending his life just going through the motions.
Now Harold, as much as the old timer liked telling me about him and Mary, he wanted to know about me. “My story” he said. Now thats when I hesitate. I told him some things..past, present, future. Alittle, which then turned into a lot, which I normally don’t do face to face with complete strangers. Had me questioning what the hell I was even doing.
But I reminded myself about this new thing I’m trying to interact more with humans, complete strangers to be exact. Harold and Mary didn’t judge me for a thing. They were so welcoming and caring. They had lived a life, a very good life, without financial worry, but a life full of regret.
Something I know about.
I took much advice away from that hour or so I had with Harold and Mary. But one was very crucial to me in that moment, in this moment in my lifetime. He said always go with instinct and passion. Go against the grain. Live life to the fullest. Take chances. Do not let past obstacles and mistakes define me. Get the hell over it. Move on. And most importantly not to wait on life to happen.
I asked them how theyve managed to stay together this long? the typical “whats the secret” question. Harold was funny. Intense, cutthroat and loving. Mary was quite but quick witted. Harold laughingly replied “Ya gotta give her a good pat on the ass” SO THERE YA GO FELLAS… WHATEVER THAT MEANS! THATS THE SECRET TO MARRIAGE A GOOD PAT ON THE ASS.