More than 60 years.
That’s how long Fort Collins residents Laurelle and Drusilla Ness have been married.
The couple talked and reminisced at the Winslow Independent Living Center on Saturday night as CSU Greeks sponsored a Valentine’s Day dance for senior citizens.
Drusilla has simple relationship advice for college students today: Stick it out.
“Couples today give up too quick,” Drusilla said. “Figure out how you can work together. Young people today don’t marry for love, they just marry for sex.”
The Fort Collins residents originally from Brookings, S.D., married in September 1946, living 30 miles apart from each other until they met at a fateful play that would change their lives forever.
Laurelle was supposed to be flirting with Drusilla as part of the play. But the playful flirtation was more than just an act. They started their courtship by going to movies and roller-skating parties.
About two years later they married.
On Saturday night, they sat together with amused expressions on their faces, watching the senior citizens of Winslow Independent Living Center and the CSU Greek volunteers who sponsored the event dance to “Pretty Woman” and other tunes from the ’50s and ’60s.
They didn’t dance – he has an artificial hip and she has a heart condition. But that didn’t matter. They’ve been through much more. Five American wars. Tough economic times. Medical problems. But through it all, for more than 60 years, they’ve had each other.
“We are lucky to still be here together,” Laurelle said.
Nikka Cameron, a sophomore graphic design major, may one day find long-lasting love, but it hasn’t happened yet.
“I had a boyfriend in high school and we dated on and off for about two years, but never longer than two months at a time,” she said. “The guy cheated on me so it didn’t work out.”
Cameron currently doesn’t have a boyfriend and said she enjoys her independence. She’ll probably spend Valentine’s Day with other single friends.
“I am extremely picky about the guys I date and I haven’t found someone who fits my criteria yet,” she said. “I think being in a relationship is good for certain people, but I don’t think I’m necessarily one of them.”
Meanwhile, Laurelle, like his wife, shared advice at the senior center for young couples today.
“The grass is always greener on the other side,” he said. “You need to overlook the shortcomings and accept each other as you are. Everyone is different.”
And even for Cameron, the idea of a relationship in the future hasn’t been ruled out.
“I do have a little crush developing. I know him through some mutual friends,” she said “I don’t know him well enough to say whether or not he is boyfriend material yet.”
Staff writer Nikki Cristello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.