Following Tuesday’s presidential debate, CNN’s Dana Bash delivered a priceless assessment: “A shit show.” The culprit’s name ironically rhymes with rump. Now, covid-positive. So how about something more uplifting?

Four weeks ago, Carolyn and I marked our 51st anniversary. Our celebration was a bit curtailed by the pandemic and covid tests. Not our happiness.

Last year, we enjoyed two 50th-anniversary celebrations. Carolyn again went to Burning Man after which we met in Las Vegas. I booked a suite at Bellagio overlooking the fountain. We enjoyed our anniversary dinner at Picasso, a stunning restaurant featuring originals by the master. And terrific food.

For our second celebration, we hosted our kids at the Calistoga Spa, where we used to go as a family. We enjoyed pool time and wonderful dinners, the best at Solbar, the restaurant at Solage resort outside town. Carolyn and I go there regularly. Since we bought 12 room-nights, staying at Calistoga Spa saved a ton.

A key aside: The entire fire-stricken Napa/Sonoma area is in our thoughts.

Dinner this year? Some San Francisco restaurants offered outside seating, but we weren’t about to sit among people who may be too close and have their masks off. Being in your seventies does make you a bit wary. Also, while our neighborhood’s air quality is better than in most of the Bay Area, it was, as today, unhealthy. Fortunately, we didn’t have to pass on a great dinner.

After flowers arrived from The Delicate Daisy, we ordered from Heritage on Clement Street at Eighth Avenue. A few years back, it replaced Clement Street Bar & Grill, a staple for decades.

Our menu, delivered after online Kabbalat Shabbat Zoom services held by Congregation Sherith Israel: Two different salads to share, salmon for each and chocolate-chip cookies for dessert. Two orders. We also had our challah delivered by Challah Fresh and a superb chardonnay. While we’d intended to be in Vegas again, we were appreciative of all we had.

As to the covid tests, the prior Monday, Carolyn became terribly ill. I was fine. We scheduled tests with Carbon Health on Market Street (the Castro) for Wednesday. Easy in, easy out. On Friday, our results came back: negative. Were the tests accurate? Seems so. On our anniversary, Carolyn’s symptoms had pretty much faded. I never developed any. Soon after, she was 100 percent.

In a world in which so many people have suffered, and continue to do so, from the virus and its economic aftermath, we’d have been satisfied with a couple of cans of tuna. After 51 years, you learn what’s really important about a marriage—being together.

Look, I’m not going to tell you that every one of the nearly 19,000 days we’ve spent as husband and wife has been free of misunderstandings, hurt feelings, words that might have been chosen more carefully. Speaking for myself, I’m only human and thus fallible.

But in an era when so many people fear commitment and shun marriage, maybe Carolyn and I might serve as an example that if two people share a grounded sense of values and work at it, life together can be rewarding—to them and, frankly, to society.

So we toasted, “Next year in Las Vegas!” Hopefully, with a White House makeover that shows America at its best.

To respond, click on “comments” to the right just below the title of this post. Then go to the response space at the bottom of the post.


  1. Susan E Shapiro on October 2, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    What a lovely tribute. Mazel Tov to you both.


    • David on October 2, 2020 at 6:19 pm

      Thank you, Susan. We keep working at it.

  2. Tracy Boxer Zill on October 2, 2020 at 6:35 pm

    Mazel Tov to you and Carolyn!

    • David on October 2, 2020 at 7:30 pm

      Thanks, Tracy. We’ve been so fortunate.

  3. Jerry Hurwitz on October 2, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    Congratulations to you and Carolyn.

    • David on October 2, 2020 at 7:30 pm

      Thanks, Jerry. Funny how every year, you’re married a year longer.

  4. Ellen Newman on October 2, 2020 at 7:27 pm

    Mazel tov to you and Carolyn. We look forward to celebrating any possible occasion with you both … birthdays, anniversaries, vaccines and a White House makeover … as soon as possible. Hugs to you both!

    • David on October 2, 2020 at 7:30 pm

      Thanks, Ellen. From your lips . . .

  5. David Newman on October 2, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    Mazel tov! There is something about being committed to the idea of commitment that carries a relationship past the inevitable bumps in the road.

    Re Trump and Covid-19: I spoke to my dad (96 years old) this afternoon and asked for his view of schadenfreude — taking pleasure in the misfortune of others. His response was “Why not enjoy it?” There is a tale told in my family that dates back to the 1950s. When the arch-segregationist Sen. Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi was diagnosed with cancer, my grandmother reportedly said, “Nothing trivial, I hope.” Grandma was a real lady and a Jewish community leader, but she could have a edge.

    Out of curiosity, what is the Jewish view of schadenfreude? Is it lashon hara, in which case I may need to start keeping a list for next Yom Kippur? Or is it simply one of life’s small pleasures?

    • David on October 2, 2020 at 8:06 pm

      Re the Jewish view, it probably falls to lashon hara (evil speech or gossip). But then, the Jewish view is that we’re only human. Being so, I’ll go with Grandma.

  6. Zoe Harris on October 3, 2020 at 5:09 am

    Wow! 51 years -terrific. Love to both of you, Zoe

    • David on October 3, 2020 at 3:07 pm

      Thanks, Zoe. They say it’s a starter marriage until 52.

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