Celebrating couples in the Cape Region

November 28, 2021

Among the unique phenomena I have observed since my immigration here from New Jersey many years ago are the number of married or otherwise connected couples who share the streets, highways, bike paths, restaurants, boardwalks and doctors’ offices of our community. The single or non-coupled person is indeed a rarity, and one wonders why, especially given the reality that such is not the case in our larger metropolitan municipalities. The simple answer seems to be that the Cape Region as a sociological entity lends itself more to the joint individuals than the single ones – not a criticism, merely a reality, and a good one. Two is a terrific number!

Let us immediately confer blessings upon the hundreds of couples who inhabit our peninsula, and extend to them wishes for continued health, strength and love. As one observes the couples, regardless of age, although I speak mostly of senior citizens (60 and over), it is readily discernible how much each partner cares for the other. From the hand-holding to the thoughtful glances during conversations (maybe just a word or two), assistance with carrying parcels, opening and holding car doors, and completion of sentences spoken by one or the other person, the observer notes with envy the nature of the bond between these two individuals.

Even on those rare occasions when parties venture forth spouseless, the conversation (yes, I eavesdrop) often makes reference to my husband or my wife or my partner. In fact, it appears that in these circumstances where “the girls,” let’s say, are having lunch, no more than five minutes may elapse before one or more of the ladies will allude to the absent husband. The same is true for the males, even though it appears that “the boys” tend not to dine together as much. However, I imagine that many times during the nine or 18 holes of “just men” golf, a word or two about the wife is undoubtedly uttered. This bond between two individuals is so special and loving that it bears notice and praise, since I suspect that the couples, and even the observers, may take it for granted.

So, what is it that assists in this enduring association one with another? Certainly, the obvious answer is love, but that is quite complex, especially since that four-letter word has so many definitions. Perhaps it is simply the hundreds of experiences the two individuals have shared together, from prom night to Beebe bedside. Every day of their joint existence undoubtedly has presented some event in which one has played a critical role with the other, from burnt toast at breakfast to greeting those adorable grandchildren. Discussions about the curtains or the car, politely heard but lightly comprehended by either; decisions about where to sit at the retirement financial planning meeting or in church; deliberations about calling the plumber rather than one or the other spouse fixing the leaking sink. Delegating the responsibility of setting the table for that dinner with the neighbors, inclusive of the preparation of that specialty dish. These and so many more shared verbal and nonverbal happenings are part of the glue which has bonded these individuals together for years and years as a couple, genders notwithstanding.

Thus, it goes without saying that our couples tend to spend as much time as possible with one another well into their 80s and even 90s. And sadly, when one of the partners departs our land, and leaves the other alone, there is a loss and thus a void which cannot be filled. The coupling has been severed, but lo, there is still reference to “When my ______ was alive, we would do such and such, but that does not happen anymore.” In most cases, we note with joy, both members of the twosome became such good friends that the very thought of separation was never an idea worth pondering, hence the reason we usually, if not always, found (and find) them together.

As we move into the later part of this year, let us salute our couples, and congratulate each partner separately and both members of the partnership together for a job well done as they carefully and gingerly tread into and out of our coffee shops, supermarkets, and hopefully and more importantly, recent family seasonal gatherings.

  • Peter E. Carter is a former public school administrator who has served communities in three states as a principal, and district and county superintendent, for 35-plus years. He is a board member for Delaware Botanic Gardens and Cape Henlopen Educational Foundation, and the author of a dual autobiography, “A Black First…the Blackness Continues.”

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter