“You Can’t be Pissed at the Same Time”

Sitting on the beach listening to the waves crash in beautiful Tamarindo, Costa Rica I couldn’t help but notice a lovely older couple sitting beside my boyfriend and I. This was our first trip away together and we were getting used to being with each other  24/7… Naturally, there were some conflicts. The older couple were sipping their Imperials, as happy as can be. They were joking and playing cards together. I turned to my boyfriend, who was on his phone at this point, and told him I was going to strike up a conversation with the couple beside us. He shrugged, probably not thinking I would actually do it, and went back to his phone. 

I smiled, turned around and simply asked them if they were married. Vic, the husband, laughed and said “Oh, of course.” Curiously, I asked what they would say is the one thing that has made their marriage last so long. To this, Cathy, his wife, said “You can’t be pissed at the same time.” We all started laughing and my boyfriend and I gave each other an understanding nod

This was one of my most treasured conversations of the trip. . Vic was a developer and mayor in a small town in Colorado, while Cathy rather hated politics wanting nothing to do with them. Cathy joked about her hippie days as a young teenager, while the ambitious Vic started his business right out of college. 

Maybe opposites do attract? I wondered to myself. Whichever way, Cathy and Vic are not all that similar.  They do, however, have one thing in common–respect for the other’s emotions. One of them has to stay level-headed while the other is pissed off.. They emphasized how nothing gets done in a screaming match.

Six weeks into their Costa Rican vacation, they were heading home shortly to their two grandchildren in Arizona. All I could think about was how I had scratched only the surface of their love story.  A hippie, fun-loving Cathy, and a serious political official, Vic. An unlikely but perfectly intricate pair creating new memories together on a beach in Costa Rica. 

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