Portraits Of Boston: 'He Always Knew I Would Be His Wife'

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“We’re from Russia, and we’ve been married 63 years. I’m three days younger than her. Our parents lived in the same building, we went to the same kindergarten, and we were always friends.”

“We got married when we were 24; now we’re 87. He says that in his mind he always knew that I would be his wife, from the time we were children.”

“Did you say you were three days younger or three days older than her?”
“Three days younger.”

“No, no, listen to me. He’s a little forgetful. He’s actually seven months younger than me. I was born in April, and he was born in November.”

“For me, it’s three days.”

“How did you become a couple?”

“We were close until high school, then he went to war, and when he came back we went to different universities. But after we graduated, it was clear to everyone that we were a couple.”

“So, you were already dating in college, but only made it publicly known later?”

“Oh, no! Back then there was no boyfriend and girlfriend stuff like there is today. We were just friends. And I never made my feelings known. I was modest. He didn’t show his affection, either. He was humble. He had no reason to be humble because he was a very nice man, very intelligent and so on. A lot of women liked him, and a lot of women wanted him to be their boyfriend. And you know, after the war there were a lot more women than men because a lot of the men didn’t come back. So, after I finished university we were a couple.”

“But what do you mean by that? How did you become a couple?”

“OK, he proposed. In my last year in university, another man showed his affection for me, and he became mad, and that sped up the proposal.”

“So, a little competition was a good thing. Why didn’t you propose sooner?”

“Because I knew she was mine!”

“My mother wasn’t very happy with the whole situation—him taking so long. But after we got married she loved him. He was a great son-in-law. I guess every age has its rules, so I don’t judge, but I think back then it was nicer than it is now. But of course we were also younger! He was a little more joyful then than he is now, and I liked that. Now we’re just happy because we’re still alive.”

Portraits of Boston is a project of independent photographer Ivan Velinov. He is regularly sharing some of his favorite portraits with WBUR. Visit his website to see the hundreds of portraits he has taken on the streets of Boston.

This program aired on October 5, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.



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