No Need for Ashley Madison

He was easy to spot on the busy street—an old man carrying a huge flower bouquet with one arm while using a sturdy wooden cane with the other. I caught up to him at the traffic light and as we waited side by side, I exclaimed how wonderful the flowers smelled. 

He looked over and proclaimed that the irises were the most fragrant of all. I nodded with a smile as I took off across the street.

He caught up to me at the next stoplight—reminding me that my fast pace didn’t really matter with Seattle’s synchronized lights impeding my effort to rush. 

This time he smiled and said, “Caught you.”   I laughed and then slowed my pace to match his.

He explained that he’d purchased the fragrant bouquet for his wife. He knew Pike Place Market would have irises—his wife’s favorite.  Their anniversary was today, so he’d taken the ferry to come across for this special gift. It was a splurge, but after sixty-two years of togetherness, she’d forgive him—he winked.

I nodded in appreciation—not so much for the thoughtful gift, but for the 62-year milestone. He was dressed in that respectable old-fashioned way—ironed slacks, button down shirt and a nice jacket. His white hair was neatly combed and for a moment I was reminded of my own grandfather.

Was it easier to be a faithful husband in his generation? Certainly fewer distractions. He’d probably never heard of Ashley Madison, or delved into online porn. Those are issues my generation brought to life. 

As we ambled towards the ferry I breathed in the scent of the beautiful flowers carried by a man who loved one woman for life. As I wished him a happy anniversary, I knew that even though this love story was in its final chapters, he loved his wife like it was just beginning.

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