Hi, Jerry here (That's Mister Passionate Perseverance to you), writing on the occasion of my 25th Wedding Anniversary to my smoochie pie lamby-kins. She wanted me to share my thoughts on being married for 25 years and all of the wonderful things I have learned about life, love and women to share with everyone...and as soon as she stops snickering, I will begin...
So here are ten of the most important things I have learned about marriage and relationships.
1) PUT THE TOILET SEAT DOWN...yes, that may seem like a strange lead off item, but 25 years into our marriage it still seems to be an issue. I, of course, respond with "you're a big girl, put it down yourself" Strangely, this does not seem to be the right answer.
2) WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH SHOES? Seriously, if we are married for 50 years, I will never understand this. I own one pair of Black, one pair of Brown, one pair of Cordovan (yes, I know what that is, who am I married to?), one pair of pair of sneakers, one pair of hush puppies, one pair of boat shoes, one pair of nice casual date shoes, One pair of sandals and one pair flip flops. There... Nine pairs of shoes. THAT'S IT...and that's a lot for a guy. How many different kinds of strappy shoes can one possible wear? OK, OK, sorry I asked.
3) YES, BUGS BUNNY, ROAD RUNNER, AND ACME EXPLOSIONS ARE STILL FUNNY...don't ask me to explain, it's just a constant in the universe.
4) DON'T MESS WITH SOMEONE'S BOOKS. OK, this is a really geeky one...but wowza, don't try to organize or move someone's books...that's a capital offense.
5) ALWAYS HAVE DATE NIGHT. Even when the evening starts with "I don't know, what do you want to do?" OR my other favorite "Oh, whatever movie you pick is fine." Which means explosions and automatic weapons for me. When I let her pick, she has a bad habit, even after 25 years, of picking sappy, romantic movies in which the hero freakin' DIES...seriously..."Message in a Bottle"..."The Notebook"..."Sommersby"...there is nothing good at all about falling in love and dying..seriously, its like posthumous medals..they don't do you any good. But spending quality time together is important....especially with kids, jobs, activities,and responsibilities. And yes, sometimes I DO like romantic comedies..at least as much as she likes John Wayne movies....:)
6) ALWAYS BE WILLING TO SAY YOU'RE SORRY. This applies even if you don't have a clue what you're apologizing about...this is especially true for guys. No, we have not mastered our Jedi Mind powers to figure out what we did wrong..so we just need to be ready to apologize and HOPEFULLY we will find out what we just apologized for later. Again, this is a constant in the universe, so just accept it.
7) FIGHT NAKED. OK, this is kinda silly, but the point to be made is...don't let a fight ruin your relationship...HINT...all couples fight and argue...after 25 years of marriage, we have taken this to a fine art. But we have also made an art form of making up. This is very important. Any couples who say "oh we never fight" are LYING...or they are so emotionally repressed that they will explode and become homicidal. This is especially true when your wife reaches that certain age where her internal temperature climbs to Human Torch levels, in which case you back away slowly and don't make any sudden moves...keeping lots of chocolate on hand is also recommended.
8) YOUR SPOUSE ALWAYS HAS YOUR BACK. This is one of the things I particularly love about my Mary..she has always been totally supportive of me in my career, when I have been down in the doldrums, or even when I needed a swift KITA, she has always been there for me. AND, most importantly, she has been ready to rescue me from awkward party moments at someone's house when I give her the "SAVE ME FROM THIS PERSON" look. This is a fine art that does take 25 years to master and is as close to a Vulcan mind-meld as humans can get.
9) MEN ARE VERY SIMPLE CREATURES, WHILE WOMEN ARE COMPLICATED. For example, when your wife says "everything is fine", then something is wrong. This is one of those situations like "do these jeans make my butt look big?" that you need to attend to right away....I never hesitate for one second to assure her of the perfect proportions of her bum. You hesitate, they eat you alive. I call it the Koybiashi Maru Scenario. Snap decisions are required. I, of course, use my sage wisdom and tend to stare intently and lovingly at her until it drives her crazy and she tells me what is wrong and Then, I have learned after 25 years, I SHOULD NOT try to fix it...just listen while she figures it out herself. Learn this lesson, young men, and remember it well...women like to have someone to LISTEN to them...men don't really care, as long as we get sex and food. Yes, we are that simple and obvious..here's my relationship advice "SHOW UP NAKED, BRING BACON"...yup, that's what 25 years of marriage has taught me.
10) HAVING SOMEONE TO SHARE YOUR LIFE WITH IS AWESOME. This may seem obvious, but it really isn't. One of the few things I can say has turned out more awesome than I thought is being married to my snookums. She has been my best friend, most excellent date, confidant, sounding board, and overall most important person in my life (besides God). I love her more than bacon....more than coffee...shoot even more than bacon-wrapped shrimp. She has somehow put up with me for 25 years and still loves me, no small achievement as it has been rumored that I can be a tad bit grouchy and curmudgeonly AT TIMES. But she always makes me smile.
I am so happy I made it through that hot, humid August day 25 years ago. I can't imagine my life without my sweetheart and snuggle buddy.
Happy Anniversary My Love....what?...yes, I will turn the air conditioning down five or six degrees.