ON MY MIND: Blah, blah, love
Driving with my husband the other day, I realized there are two kinds of people — those who look up phone numbers and those who guesstimate and keep punching numbers in until they get lucky or give up. This made me think of how important it is to look for what is really important when you choose a mate.
Recently we have been to several weddings. They were all lovely but one thing I noticed. All the pastors talked about the same thing — blah, blah, blah, blah, love. My husband and I discussed this and agreed that the blah, blah, love wasn’t really what was going to make your marriage last. We can give seasoned advice now because in August we will celebrate 45 years of perfecto marital bliss, or at least we are still married, depends on your point of view.
It is important to figure out what is really important when two people spend the rest of their long, long lives together. Here are some things we think are vital, yet never ever, not even once, mentioned at the blah, blah, love ceremonies.
There are the bed makers and the not bed makers. Personally, I think the one who cares if the bed is made should always be the one who gets to make it. That just makes good sense. Don’t you agree? Luckily my husband does too, so he makes the bed.
Everyone knows how people squeeze the toothpaste is another essential ingredient to wedded bliss. It seems there is a universal law. No married couple ever does it the same way. This can lead to unbelievable irritation. The wisest people end up buying two tubes and going on with other important things in life. The rest just seethe for years.
And, don’t forget the toilet paper. When you decide to get hitched, it will be very important to know if your future partner rolls it over the top or if they roll it out the bottom. And then there are the low-lifes that never bother to put the paper on the roller. Do I dare admit that I am that kind of person? Will you think less of me? I like to give my mate the joy of doing it. It means a lot to him.
These things may seem mundane, silly even, but they can make or break a marriage. Trust me.
My husband suggested I should mention the dishes. Oh, sure. Let me state that when he proposed, he never once even hinted that the dishes were important to the deal. It was years before this surfaced as being, oh so important to him. Everyone has their personal cycles. My personal rhythm is I like to do the dishes in the morning. That worked for me until my mate retired. Then he had to get all into my business. Now he does a lot of the dishes stuff and I am loving him even more for it. He has become my hero, so to speak.
The only thing I hate is that he tries to wash the dish while I am still eating off of it.
Oh, one more thing is going to church on time. My mate thinks it is good to go early and meditate prayerfully. I think there is a lot I could get done in those few minutes.
Marriage is not for the faint of heart. It is full of challenges, irritations, compromises — and, did I say, irritations? Oh, I did. Sometimes you just gotta say to yourself, “Houston, we’ve got a problem!” Other times you just have to bend … and I don’t mean over!
As I said, we have only been married 45 years, but we are beginning to see promise and have hope. We are inspired by that Laverne and Shirley TV song, “We’re gonna make it after all!”
We have learned. We have grown. We have bent. At times I have told him to get bent. And he has said, ‘Right back at ya!” It is clear now, at last, that he prefers the dishes done and the bed made and we get along just fine. Each of us has our chores and roles and quirks, lotsa quirks.
If we are lucky, things balance out in life. Each person brings qualities to the marriage that the other may lack, need or want. They become the yin to each other’s yang.
Last week we saw a friend who is getting married soon. He said he was beginning to think it may be the worst financial move of his life. He said his bride-to-be left his house the other day carrying a bunch of his clothes. When he asked her where she was taking them, she replied, “Garage sale.” He asked, “Will I see money from that?” She replied, “Probably not.” Yep, he’s in the beginning stages, all right. Blah, blah, love.
I look back at our 45 years. He never jumped on a yellow sofa and told a national audience how much he loved me. He didn’t take me to the Eiffel Tower to propose. We didn’t get hitched in an Irish castle. He hasn’t given me lovely gifts every day like Tom Cruise gave Katie. Tom would say, “This is for my lovely wife.” Yeah, Don never did that, but I wrote Tom’s quote on a piece of paper. I put it in the medicine cabinet. I figure if I ever swallow poison, I can read it quickly and throw up.
Don’s done great in other ways. He’s a wonderful partner in every way and so reliable. I can always count on him to tell me how to drive. I can count on him to tell me I made too much food when we entertain. I can count on him to say no when I ask him to play games, except one, that is.
Yes, after all these years, we have learned how to manage the stuff that drives you crazy. We kinda sum it up with “whatever”.
Maureen Burns, a Greenville resident, is a professional speaker and author. Her e-mail address is email@example.com.