One Good Way to Enjoy 50 Years Together

By Jack Limpert

Last night my wife Jean and I celebrated 50 years together. With us were our two daughters and their children—a happy evening.

I’ve always thought one reason Jean and I get along so well was our birth order. She was the oldest of four kids, with a sister and two brothers. I was the youngest of five, with four older sisters.

I’d guess being the oldest of four kids may tend to make you a little bossy, which Jean is. As for my growing up with four older sisters—several of them on the bossy side—I think the youngest learn to develop some survival skills. You figure out when to stand your ground and when it’s best to quietly find a way to avoid fighting and to get what you want.

Another plus in our long marriage: My having older sisters gave me an attitude toward girls that was different from many of the boys I grew up with. Plenty of the boys at school enjoyed making comments about girls along the lines of “Wouldn’t you like to do this or that to her?” When you see your sisters with guys, your reaction is that SOB better treat her right.

So I think Jean’s advice to girls would be try to find a guy with older sisters. He’ll tend to be more respectful of women and to treat you well.

As for my many years as a magazine editor, I found it’s best to treat writers with the same respect that I show Jean. That includes figuring out how to patiently and quietly avoid trouble and to get what you think is best for all concerned, especially the magazine’s readers.

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