“Marriage is a partnership as much as anything. Kids come and go, and you get busy but then when they are gone, you still have to be with someone you want to hang out with,” said Phyllis Ravensberg.
That’s sage advice from someone who married her high school sweetheart.
“I was the cheerleader, and he was a football player,” mused Phyllis. “You can’t make this stuff up.”
Phyllis oversaw the Backwards Dance her sophomore year.
“Of course, I had to go to the dance, but I didn’t want to go by myself. Our best friends were dating, so I asked Bill if he’d go with me.”
Phyllis promised to take Bill out to eat at Jacks or Better (raise your hand if you’ve ever thrown peanut shells on the floor at that restaurant) after the dance as long as they stayed long enough for her to pay the band. “And he had to drive,” added Phyllis. “Because I was only 15.”
Phyllis and Bill dated all through high school. “I lived on a street in Webster Groves that dead-ended practically right in his front yard,” recalled Phyllis. “When he wasn’t home at night, his mom and dad could look out their bedroom window to see if his car was in my driveway.” And, of course, their parents knew each other because everyone in Webster knows everyone.
The Ravensbergs briefly dated other people in college because they attended different universities. “But we dated each other whenever we came home.” After college, they both moved back home and resumed dating. “We got married when I was 24 and I had my first child at 25,” said Phyllis. The couple will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary in May.
“The key to a successful marriage is to marry your best friend,” Phyllis stated.
“As a side note,” Phyllis added, “My oldest son married his high school sweetheart. They both went to Kirkwood High School, and now they have four kids and live in Kirkwood.”
Queue the Hallmark movie script.