Thanks to some unexpected down time (see previous posts… love ya, US Air!) I recently enjoyed an extended chance to explore the many ways of amusing myself during a (sorry!) terminal wait at an airport. Hubs and I did the usual. Oh, we can bury our faces in our phones with the best of ’em, but we seem to have a slightly shorter tolerance for this activity than your typical teen. We read the local paper, the national paper, walked the corridor, ate some very questionable sandwiches, had a cocktail, people watched, made up stories about the people we watched, played peanut M&M table hockey, you know, the usual stuff.
Soon it was time to revisit the newsstand to buy another gossipy mind candy mag (those Krazy Kardashians!) and peruse the bookshelf. Lucky me, I discovered a whole section of self help books. I instantaneously gravitated towards the “fix your marriage” books, because, well, Hubs could use some pointers. (I, of course, am perfect!) I opened to a random page and found myself at the end of a chapter. There was a brief list of no no’s that I assume summarized that particular section. I started reading some of these pertinent gems aloud to Hubs:
Don’t tell your spouse he or she needs to lose weight.
Don’t chastise your spouse in public. (So it’s okay in private?)
Don’t say things along the line of “Bill’s wife is so hot!”
Don’t call each other derogatory names.
I looked up to see Hubs’ response. He simply said “Come along, Fatty, it’s time to go!”
I have some problems with this book. The main issue is that anyone who would do any of the above listed things is not the type of person who would pick up a book to try and improve their own marriage. They probably don’t read much, and if they did, would be much more likely to pick up a book like “How To Pick Up Hot Chicks” or “Cheat and Don’t Get Caught.” They probably think that their marriage is fine, or it is all their spouse’s fault.
Actually, now I am thinking “How To Pick Up Hot Chicks” is a great title for my first book, but I digress…
Hubs and I were once on a plane headed to a beautiful, tropical location. One honeymoon couple floated towards their seats, holding hands, making googly eyes and generally exuding fresh love, rainbows and unicorns. The next couple harumpping down the aisle was in the 60’s, spitting “You Shut UP!” “No, YOU shut up!” as they banged their luggage down the rows and heads of fellow passengers. We wondered what circumstances would take couple A and turn them into couple B.
Here are my simplistic yet true keys to a happy marriage.
First, pick the right person. If you are constantly arguing and breaking up, fueled by real or manufactured drama, obsessed with wedding day details over marriage, don’t wed! If you do not want to spend all of your time with this person, if they bore you or you feel slight relief when they are not around, don’t wed. If you think more about their shortcomings than their virtues, don’t wed. If this person is not THE coolest person in your universe, don’t wed. Your spouse will be on your plate breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks all day, every day, for the rest of your life.
Remember this person is your best friend, and the person that loves you most in the world. Treat accordingly. Praise, encourage, support and love.
Have sex… a lot. It seals the deal, and reaffirms your closeness as a couple.
Life is hard. You will experience heartbreak, set-backs, health crises and difficult problems. Face everything life throws at you together, and combat with shared humor and love.
One other piece of advice I snatched from a five year old walking down halls of a Disney Hotel. She looked up at her parents and said “I think we should just hold hands all the time.” Me, too.