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.