Intimate Strangers


Playing music on Manjack Cay.


When a small group of traveling women gathered the other day to make yogurt, we wound up talking about passion, marriage, our crazy womens’  bodies, and sex.

It was a really fun, amazingly intimate and empowering exchange. We shared all kinds of useful tips, fears, and secrets and will hopefully never see each other again ( haha).

After that amazing gathering, I asked Albert what they were asking me: what is the secret to a happy marriage? And he said “taking the long view.” Today I asked him to elaborate and he said, “I’ve always thought that people who were married a long time seemed like they were happy, and I knew I wanted that.”


His remarks reminded me of a newspaper clipping I keep in my inspiration file, of a couple who had been married 71 years (they were in their late 90s). The interviewer asked the man for his thoughts and he spoke about how grateful he was now, how proud, happy, and truly joyful he felt every time his wife walked into the room.

Then the interviewer asked the wife for her thoughts. She thought for a moment  and said, “The first 20 years were hell!”

Well, duh!

Early in marriage, childhood and/or previous relationship issues, parenting issues, career and life frustrations are usually still unresolved. And hormones are not always entirely helpful when you’re young!

For some couples the first 20 years of marriage also involve military service. Young love takes place in situations that have more than enough stress and responsibilities for everyone. And on top of that, marketers encourage us to compare our own imperfect lives with impossible made-for-movies ideals.

There is a boat near us now named “Poly N Easy,” and so of course everyone assumes it is a poly-amorous group. They keep to themselves mostly but otherwise seem like any typical group of friends and family. For some reason we’ve been asked by several people if they are poly or not! (Do we seem like experts? No idea!)  But whatever realities and fantasies about alternative lifestyles,  it seems that no approach to life is any less encumbered than the rest.

Many years ago, when I was 18 years old, I was in an idealistic yet exhausting “open marriage.”  I can remember waiting for my so-called husband  to get out of the shower with my so-called best friend. Not only did I want to use the bathroom (alone!) but our hotwater bill was insane! At some point, in very open-minded fashion I decided I wanted a simpler life.

Almost a decade later, I fell in love with Albert, who only took showers with me! Having been there and done all that, the golden years for me is not having to go through all that confusion again!

Today we went for a hike, swim, amazing snorkel (going again momentarily) , we cooked a nice lunch, then writing/reading. I helped some new friends train their goats.  They gave us a delectable quart of goats milk.

Thirty one years into our adventure together, cultivating our love is still a new, exciting and mysterious adventure, almost more so now than on our first date! And now, we can talk all night without worrying about an alarm clock going off in the morning. I don’t know how many of these “golden years” we will get, but so far, we are really enjoying this one. Thank you Albert!


About Jenny Ruth Yasi

author, sailor, animal trainer,rally, agility and freestyle competitor, owner/proprietor Whole Dog Camp, now located in Freeport, Maine. For 31 years we lived on Peaks Island Maine. Now we are sailing with our 2 dogs in the Bahamas, and will return to Maine in 2017
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