Love Lessons: Tony & Benita Romeo
SO, WHAT’S MARRIAGE REALLY LIKE?
As told to Angie Fenton | Photos By Tony Bennett
Tony & Benita Romeo
Married for 52 years
We met on a blind date and married three months later. I was 15; Tony was 18. I came from a broken home and just feel like God placed him there for me at that time. Grant you, I’m sure he and I have thought about walking out the door once a week, but it was just a thought. Plus, (she laughs) he’s a pretty good guy.
Tony is an old soul. He’s always been there for everybody. He’s someone you can really trust. He’s been my rock. We’ve struggled some through the years. If there was a need, he could not lay down and go to sleep at night. He’s been there for the good times and the bad times, and (she laughs) he used to have hair!
It seems impossible that we’ve been married for 52 years. There are so many outside influences. What comes next? I hope we’re blessed with a few more years. –Benita Romeo
We went out on a date and she gave me an apple to eat (he laughs). We were just attracted to each other. We come from a different generation. People today, the times we live in are difficult. When we got married, there weren’t personal computers, there weren’t cell phones, there were only three TV stations. In our generation, when we grew up, if our razors got dull, you just replaced the razor blade. Now you throw away the whole razor. The grass is alway greener on the other side of the fence. People judge by the looks and how shiny it is instead of what’s on the inside.
We’ve stayed married so long because we have two TVs (they both laugh). As you get older, you get more used to your partner. We’re not perfect. Yet, anymore everyone’s trying to be. We want our teeth so white they blind you. You’re going to get your fat sucked out. You’re trying to be Barbie and Ken. We don’t accept people for who they are. The happiest people? Things don’t matter to them.
After 52 years, we’re closer to the end than we are the beginning. So, you try to make your last years enjoyable and provide for your kids and your grandkids and try to leave some type of legacy. We lost 35 friends and family in a five-year period. We’ve dealt with that, but that helps you appreciate life. Treasure the time that you have and each day. It’s the simple things in life: the sunshine, the trees and the birds. We all have an expiration date. Like they say, “There’s no luggage rack on a hearse.” –Tony Romeo