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  • Kelly Marks

A Town in Sweden

In 1973, four employees at a bank in Stockholm, Sweden, were held hostage for 6 days following a botched robbery. The hostages bonded with their captors and refused to work with police at the end of the siege.


In 1974, newspaper heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army. After 10 weeks of being held prisoner, she helped her captors as they committed crimes in California.


In 1993, I married Paul Marks. You know where this is going. Three very classic cases of Stockholm Syndrome. I put up more of a fight than the other 2 cases. In Sweden, the hostages were held for 6 days; Patty Hearst was fully compliant after around 70 days. I have been captive 10,392 days.


Paul and I have lived together and worked together 24/7 for over 31 years. That’s a lot of togetherness. I feel certain there has not been a single day that one or both of us has not been irritated by something the other has done. There also has not been a single day since I met this man that I have not truly belly-laughed.


In fact, just to keep him on his toes, I always tell him that the day he fails to make me laugh is the day he’s gone. He complains that it’s too much pressure, that no one should have to live under those conditions, but he has never once failed to meet the challenge.


But still, togetherness is togetherness. People are different. They like different things. He likes quiet in the house, and I turn a radio on in every room I go into. I think the sound of the washer and dryer running is soothing, but he closes the door to the laundry room. So when Paul was hired to give a speech in Las Vegas, we were both thrilled - for different reasons.


A few days after the speech was confirmed he asked me if I wanted to go with him. “No. Absolutely not. I mean, thank you for asking, but NO. After covid and quarantine, I need some time alone.”


As I took Paul to the airport on Sunday morning, you would have thought we were going to miss the flight. I was speeding. I wheeled into the curb at Departures, popped the trunk and hopped out to help him. Five days of freedom was on my mind. It might have been on his mind too. He gave me a peck on the lips (with his mask on mind you) and took off for the terminal. I jumped in the car and sped off. And the second I was alone, I missed him. Yep, classic Stockholm Syndrome.




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