The Washington Post has launched a new weekly Sunday feature called OnLove which focuses on couples and weddings. This week features four couples including White House Chief Domestic Policy Adviser Melody Barnes who recently wed Marland Buckner Jr. Melody and Marland were married on June 13 at the Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C.
At Last, Ever After
It Took Years of Friendship Before Melody Barnes and Marland Buckner Forged the Bonds of a Relationship That ‘Felt Like Home’
By Ellen McCarthy
The Washington Post
We swing our eyes around
as well as side to side
to see the world.
To choose, renounce,
this, or that —
call it a council between equals
call it love.
— Alice Walker, “Beyond What”
The time for conforming, if there ever was one, had passed. Melody Barnes, at 40, had become too much herself to engage in shape-shifting for the sake of romance.
Besides, she was doing just fine. More than that — she was a revered political staffer who spent nearly a decade as senior counsel to Sen. Edward Kennedy, a woman who painted watercolors and took acting classes in her spare time, whose curiosity about the world had only grown over the years. She was a woman who would come to serve as President Obama’s domestic policy adviser, who never married but had a life rich with family and friends.
Among those many friends was Marland Buckner. They met in the late 1990s, when Buckner worked as chief of staff to Rep. Harold Ford Jr., and within a few years wound up in the same tightknit social circle of political types who’d often gather for barbecues, weekend trips and movie nights.
“I always remember thinking, when we got together, ‘What a nice person,’ ” Barnes says of the man she married June 13 in front of a crowd that included Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett. “He was always the one who made sure everything was organized, and would make sure no one was stuck in the kitchen doing dishes.”
But at the time, she didn’t think much more than that. Nice guy. Just a friend.
When the group met in Annapolis for crabs by the bay on Labor Day weekend in 2007, Buckner was seated by Barnes, whom he’d known well for three years by then. Then he reached for a crab out of her pile.
“I was hungry . . . so I figured, ‘I’ll help myself,’ ” recalls Buckner, 42, who worked as a lobbyist for Microsoft before opening his own firm in February 2008. “And she — well, there’s really no other way to put this — she threatened to stab me. With her knife.”
“And I meant it,” Barnes chimes in during a rare afternoon off from the White House.
Congrats to Melody and Marland.
Another couple featured in today’s OnLove section is Betty and Edgar Glick.
Betty and Edgar have been married for 65 years and have one son.
‘Even if You’re Angry, You Still Kiss Each Other’
A Few Dates and a Few Simple Rules Formed the Glicks’ Firm Foundation
By Ellen McCarthy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 21, 2009
65 Years In
Sure, Betty Glick’s been married, rather delightedly, to the same fellow for 6 1/2 decades. There’s a strategy behind the longevity, and she’s happy to share it: “Be nice.”
You expected something more elaborate? Well, maybe that’s the problem. It’s a relationship, not advanced astrophysics, and you just stick with it, day after day after 23,876th day, trying, at least, to be nice to each other.
Because “if you’re going to be cruel, unkind, say mean things,” she explains, “it spoils it immediately.”
Of course things haven’t always been perfect in the lives of Edgar and Betty Glick. Really, it’s amazing that things worked out as well as they have. They got married the fourth time they saw each other, in February 1944, and three weeks later Edgar shipped off to Italy.
“Here’s two kids, 19 and 20. It’s a war. They’ve seen each other three times over a year-and-a-half. They get married. And I wouldn’t give you 20 cents for the chances of that marriage lasting,” says Edgar, now 85, from an armchair in their Reston home.
The two met on a blind date in 1942. He was a Pittsburgh boy who drove up to Erie after a friend told him to “date Betty Shapiro — she’s fun!” They went out twice before he left for Army duty. And that was it, until a friend told Betty that Edgar was in Sioux Falls, S.D., sick with pneumonia doctors thought would kill him.
Congrats to Betty and Edgar on their 65 years of marriage. It’s nice to read about couples who’ve been married for more than 50 years.
Check out the entire about Betty and Edgar Glick at the Washington Post.
I was reading the Washington Post Express during my lunch break today. One of the sections I love reading is the B.I.O.(By Invitation Only) section which features upcoming weddings and union. I enjoy reading about how different couples met. Well one couple in particular caught my eye. You see they’re both black but he’s a Republican and she’s a Democrat. In the black community if you admit you’re a Republican it’s like you slapped someone’s mama. Check out the article below. Even the title is cool.
I couldn’t help but laugh when I read the part about how they both pushed back away from the table and she was close to showing him the door before the relationship even started. I’m glad to read that they got over their political differences. 🙂
Anyway Jonathan Johnson and La Dale Felton are getting married on June 20 so congrats to the happy couple.
With all the talk about gay marriage and seeing an increase in some black folks becoming more outspoken against gay marriage, a Los Angeles couple is seeking to increase marriages amongst African Americans. La Grande and Sonja Mason teach marriage education courses through their nonprofit group Helping Angelinos Live Optimistic (H.A.L.O.).
BY NADRA KAREEM
The right to marry is the talk of California, if not the nation, right now. But as the gay community fights for marriage access, African Americans have routinely been singled out for not marrying as frequently as other ethnic groups do.
About 42 percent of black men and 41 percent of black women are unmarried, compared to 27.5 percent of white men and 21 percent of white women, according to the African American Healthy Marriage Initiative, a campaign of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To boot, African Americans divorce at higher rates, live in more single-headed family households, and have more out-of-wedlock births than their white, Hispanic and Asian counterparts, the marriage initiative found.
The Masons have also hosted the annual Black Marriage Day celebration in Los Angeles. They’re now involved in a new campaign called “Divorce is Unacceptable,” which aims to keep black families intact. The Masons feel that we need to go back to the days when divorce isn’t an option and talk about the numerous benefits to marriage. Though I agree that marriage has its benefits I wouldn’t want to go back to the days of divorce not being an option. If you’re married to someone who’s abusing you or your children why should you stay in that marriage?
“I really want people to understand we have to get back to those days when (divorce) wasn’t really an option,” Sonja Mason said. “People simply worked things out. The system has made divorce so easy. They even advertise quickie divorces.”
She said marriage is vital because it’s the foundation of the family. She and her husband say the benefits of marriage are numerous.
La Grande Mason, a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist, says that children raised in two-parent families are less likely to get involved with gangs or drugs and are more likely to go to college and have successful marriages themselves. His wife added that life expectancy is longer for married people and financial situations are better. A school administrator in her day job, Sonja Mason said that she’s seen firsthand how divorce damages children.
The Masons don’t believe in cohabitation due to the level of commitment that marriage has over cohabitation. The Mason also believe that even though some black folks might prefer to stay single, some singles come to regret being alone.
Of course, some people simply don’t want to marry. They appreciate the single life. Sonja Mason said that, while she and her husband aren’t imposing marriage on everyone, they believe that many singles come to regret a life alone. They ask themselves, “Is this really how I want the rest of my life to go?” she said.
Others shy away from marriage because they didn’t have proper role models and, thus, fear repeating their parents’ mistakes, the Masons say.
But Sonja Mason admitted that marriage isn’t for everyone. However, part of being a marriage advocate is to show those who would benefit from marriage that they, too, can have a thriving union.
“Marriage doesn’t (mean) you lose your individuality,” La Grande Mason said.
You can check out the entire article here.
Mildred Loving, the black woman who along with her white husband Richard Loving, challenged the ban on interracial marriages in Virginia, passed away last Friday according to her daughter.
By DIONNE WALKER
Associated Press Writer
Mildred Loving, a black woman whose challenge to Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling striking down such laws nationwide, has died, her daughter said Monday.
Peggy Fortune said Loving, 68, died Friday at her home in rural Milford. She did not disclose the cause of death.
“I want (people) to remember her as being strong and brave yet humble — and believed in love,” Fortune told The Associated Press.
Loving and her white husband, Richard, changed history in 1967 when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld their right to marry. The ruling struck down laws banning racially mixed marriages in at least 17 states.
“There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the equal protection clause,” the court ruled in a unanimous decision.
Her husband died in 1975. Shy and soft-spoken, Loving shunned publicity and in a rare interview with The Associated Press last June, insisted she never wanted to be a hero — just a bride.
“It wasn’t my doing,” Loving said. “It was God’s work.”
Mildred Jeter was 11 when she and 17-year-old Richard began courting, according to Phyl Newbeck, a Vermont author who detailed the case in the 2004 book, “Virginia Hasn’t Always Been for Lovers.”
She became pregnant a few years later, she and Loving got married in Washington in 1958, when she was 18. Mildred told the AP she didn’t realize it was illegal.
“I think my husband knew,” Mildred said. “I think he thought (if) we were married, they couldn’t bother us.”
But they were arrested a few weeks after they returned to Central Point, their hometown in rural Caroline County north of Richmond. They pleaded guilty to charges of “cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth,” according to their indictments.
They avoided jail time by agreeing to leave Virginia — the only home they’d known — for 25 years. They moved to Washington for several years, then launched a legal challenge by writing to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who referred the case to the American Civil Liberties Union.
Attorneys later said the case came at the perfect time — just as lawmakers passed the Civil Rights Act, and as across the South, blacks were defying Jim Crow’s hold.
“The law that threatened the Lovings with a year in jail was a vestige of a hateful, discriminatory past that could not stand in the face of the Lovings’ quiet dignity,” said Steven Shapiro, national legal director for the ACLU.
“We loved each other and got married,” she told The Washington Evening Star in 1965, when the case was pending. “We are not marrying the state. The law should allow a person to marry anyone he wants.”
After the Supreme Court ruled, the couple returned to Virginia, where they lived with their children, Donald, Peggy and Sidney. Each June 12, the anniversary of the ruling, Loving Day events around the country mark the advances of mixed-race couples.
Richard Loving died in a car accident that also injured his wife. “They said I had to leave the state once, and I left with my wife,” he told the Star in 1965. “If necessary, I will leave Virginia again with my wife, but I am not going to divorce her.”
RIP Mildred Loving.
You can read more about the Loving case at the following links:
I was reading this article in the Washington Post this morning, Learn to Be Nice to Your Wife, or Pay the Price. Japanese men are learning the hard way that it pays to show some lovin’ to your wife. And after reading this article they need some serious lessons.
FUKUOKA, Japan — Salarymen — the black-suited corporate warriors who work long hours, spend long evenings drinking with cronies and stumble home late to long-suffering wives — have danger waiting for them as they near retirement.
Divorce. A change in Japanese law this year allows a wife who is filing for divorce to claim as much as half her husband’s company pension. When the new law went into effect in April, divorce filings across Japan spiked 6.1 percent. Many more split-ups are in the pipeline, marriage counselors predict. They say wives — hearts gone cold after decades of marital neglect — are using calculators to ponder pension tables, the new law and the big D.
Can you blame the wives after being neglected all those years?
Men near the end of their corporate lives, he said, are especially edgy. “To be divorced is the equivalent of being declared dead — because we can’t take care of ourselves,” Amano said.
When his wife told him eight years ago that she was “99 percent” certain she was going to dump him, Amano said, the only things he then knew how to do in the kitchen were to fry eggs and pour boiled water over noodles.
Since then, in addition to learning how to listen and talk to a wife he had ignored for two decades, Amano said, he has learned how to take out the trash, clean the house and cook.
Imagine being in a marriage where your husband ignores you and treats you like his maid for two decades. I would bolt too.
Marriage in Japan is going through an increasingly rough patch. As in the United States and most wealthy industrialized countries, the age of first marriage is being pushed back in Japan. Between 1962 and 2006, the average age at which a woman married for the first time slid from 24 to 28.
But for well-educated (and presumably well-informed) young women in Japan, marriage is fast becoming a sociological rarity.
In 1980, about three-quarters of Japan’s college-educated women were married by age 29. Now, seven out of 10 are single at that age. In the past 20 years, the percentage of women in this elite demographic category who do not want to marry at all has almost doubled — to about 29 percent.
These young women are seeing what the older married women are going through.
Hisano Itahashi said that she is heartened that her husband is trying to make amends for the decades he ignored her. Still, she said, the war in her household is not over and her husband has lots of work to do.
“There was only one time he said he loved me,” she said. “And that time, he was standing behind me.”
I couldn’t believe what I read when she said her husband has only said I love you to her once in all their years of marriage. That’s trifling.
You can read the entire article here.