This week, John and I are celebrating our 26th anniversary. Seriously! He has put up with hearing my stories repeated, time after time, and still has not run screaming from the house. Well, actually he has, but he comes back, so I don’t worry when I see him heading out the door.
Twenty-six years. Not bad, huh? It started with the Ode to Joy, which was played at our wedding.
Sadly, no Muppets came. Or maybe it would have ended badly had any Muppets shown up. We’ll never know.
The anniversary has gotten me thinking. What makes it work? Why is my marriage
so perfect pretty damn good? Once I answered myself, I decided to post my good marriage tips for anyone thinking of getting married or trying to figure out if they, too, did it right.
- Do not marry an asshole. You should not just love the person. You must like the person, too. Yup it’s true. It’s the first, the most basic, most fundamental criteria. Assholes make poor husbands/wives.
- Never argue. John and I never argue. That’s because I let John make all the major decisions that impact our lives. I agree with him. On those times I disagree, well, then I do what I want to anyway. He rarely notices because I haven’t argued about it. Trust me, this technique is worth its weight in gold. Or jewelery. Or whatever it is you want that your husband thinks is stupid.
- Admit your faults. I am a kleptomaniac, and always have been. I steal blankets. Every night of my life I have taken them from whomever is fortunate/unfortunate enough to be sleeping with me. Friends, lovers, children, husband, dogs, repairmen. You name it. If it is cold, I am toasty. If it is hot, the blankets are on the floor on my side of the bed. Otherwise, I am damn near perfect.
- Make the bed with separate sheets and blankets for each side. It looks like hell, but it is the single factor that has kept my husband in that bed. Well, maybe not the only factor.
- Use Gax-X. I’m not saying who.
- Pretend to like baseball. Seriously, it’s not that hard. I mean, they only play 7 days a week for more than half the year. Unless the team is really good and then they play longer. An occasional “what a hit” is the wifely version of “no, it doesn’t make you look fat.” All bets are off, however, when he discovers a second team that he also needs to follow.
- Have more than one TV in the house. See previous tip and accept your limits.
- Appreciate his gifts. They are from his heart. I am particularly lucky in this regard. John generally gives me either books or jewelry. In 26 years, he has given me approximately 300 books. He’s given me only 2 duds. Not bad, huh? He chooses books that he doesn’t secretly want to read – just ones that he thinks I will like. And he’s right nearly always.
John’s taste in jewelry has also been fabulous. He gives me simple, tasteful pieces. Yes I am lucky. No gaudy jewelry for me! Except that once.
- Never tell him that that 10th Anniversary Ring He Gave You Was the Ugliest Thing You’d Ever Seen. When someone gives me a gift, I think of the love and effort it took to go out, choose and purchase that gift. Whether I like it or not, well, that’s secondary. So I lie. I tell them I love it. Every time. It’s usually not too difficult.
Our finances improved significantly just around the time of our 10th anniversary. John was able to buy me an expensive piece of jewelry. Now I’m not an expensive jewelry kind of girl. (If I am ever had to sell my jewelry to live I would last approximately 3.5 days.)
But that year, well, John went all out. He bought me a HUGE ring. It was a 400 carat emerald ring with baguette diamonds swirling around and around and around the center emerald. Lots and lots of baguettes. Yes, it was a grandma ring. Picture a large emerald losing a fight with a diamond paisley. When I told John that it was beautiful, well, I should have gotten an Oscar (it would have been my 3rd!). Sadly, the ring was too big and I had to take it to the jewelry store to have it sized. That day I cashed in a whole bunch of my lucky stars.
- Never admit that when the jeweler shattered the center stone of that horrid ring, that tears streamed down your face because you were desperately trying not to laugh — happy in the knowledge that you would never have to wear that horrible thing. And that you didn’t have to hurt his feelings by telling him it was ugly and you hated it. Shhhhh. Don’t tell.
- Never, ever, ever, call him “Baby.”
- And never, ever, ever let him read your blog.