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Monday, November 16, 2009
A Lesson on Marriage...
Once, we went to an anniversary party for some close friends of ours. They had been married for 30 years. I found this fascinating, coming from the family I came from. I asked the wife, "What is the secret of being together so long, how did you do it?"
I was still young and enough unscathed to expect a romantic answer.
What she said has occurred to me over the years many times. I've told my best girlfriends this story, to help or to hurt, I'm not sure.
But she said, "Keep your mouth shut."
On my good days I have interpreted this to mean, "Pick your battles." On my bad days, it means, "what you say won't matter anyway."
I would love to ask her about this more. It's been almost ten years since this party. But she is dying now, slowly, of some sort of lung disease she got because her husband kept chickens. When it started, they were told to get rid of all of these birds, because she would get sicker with them there. Last I knew he kept the chickens anyway. She was always the do-er in that relationship. He was, and is, the starter-wisher. Maybe she should have gone out and wrung those chicken's necks.
"Marriage is the triumph of hope over experience." Samual Johnson