I consider myself a relatively intelligent man, not to be confused with a smart one. There is a difference. To me intelligence is something you gain through education and life experiences. Being smart is something you gain by being married. Yup, today I would have to say I am smarter then I was when I got married because I listened, and observed. Mostly listened:)
We argued a lot when we were younger. Actually, it would be more accurate to say ‘we had words’ although I didn’t get to use many of mine. I really think God made man before he made a woman to give him some time to think of an answer to her first question. This was what I call the breaking in period. Two strong personalities, both struggling for recognition (spelled dominance), sorting out the details and assigning tasks. Remember when there were guy jobs and girl jobs? Everything was gender driven. In high school, I could not take Home Economics, however, somehow I did manage to slip into a typing class. I guess typing was considered business related.
So, we started establishing guidelines. There were the jobs that automatically were mine being the guy, and there were those that were assigned to me, her being the wife. Anything that did not fall into one of those categories were hers. Like keeping the books.
While we were dating, she was living at home in Massachusetts and I was living in a one room apartment in Maine. I was waiting for her to graduate from high school before marrying her. I didn’t have a checking account, so each payday I would cash my check and dump it into a cigar box. As a bill came due (at that point, they were all local) I would take money out of the box and pay them. I also had a small savings account at the bank. When we married, it wasn’t too long before my wife presented me with a signature card from the bank which would add her name to the savings account. Within a couple of more days, she brought me a different signature card. It seems she had closed the savings account, opened a checking account, and until we both signed this card, she was the only one that could use it. That should have told me something about how things were going to roll, but I was never what you could call a quick study. Anyway, I never argued with her over money because I didn’t have any. What’s the old saying about ‘I started with nothing and I still have most of it’? That was me.
So it was that we fell into our respective roles. I was the provider and she was the administrator. It was about that time that I realized that I was not very smart in this marriage thing, and that it would be in my best interest to do something about it. That is when I proceeded to compile my log entitled “How To Avoid Physical Dismemberment During Marriage” where I would post lessons learned, a sampling of which I have posted here.
Lesson 16 You always have two choices, and they are both wrong.
Lesson 42 You are welcome to voice an opinion, as long as it is hers.
Lesson 63 You do not have to make reservations to go on a guilt trip.
Lesson 86 Talk is not cheap. Saying the wrong thing can get expensive
Lesson 97 “Really? It seems like just yesterday” is not a viable excuse for forgetting your anniversary
Lesson 112 Sex and jokes are alike. Neither is any good it you don’t get it.
Lesson 137 Do not try to read her mind. You don’t like shoes, or shopping, and you already know you are annoying.
Lesson 153 If your wife gains a little weight, she will still live longer then you will if you mention it.
And here, I think, is the most important, if not most improbable one.
Lesson 186 If your wife were ever to say “Honey, if I were to arrange a threesome for your birthday, which of my friends should I ask, Never, Never, Ever, give her two names. Just sayin.