Column: Discretion is the better part of marriage
Okay all you June brides and grooms, you’ve had some time now to experience the reality of living with someone who you just couldn’t live without. At this point your opinion of married life probably falls into one of these three categories.
1. This is great, I wish I had done it sooner.
2. I can deal with this four, maybe five days a week.
3. Shoot me now!
Well, here are a few notes that may help you marriage rookies.
Remember just a few short weeks ago when you were the sole proprietor of the TV remote? You just channeled up or down at your discretion. Not now. I suggest you have a summit and work out some kind of joint custody of the remote. Otherwise you may have to sell the television to raise funds for the divorce.
Grooms, you’re probably getting a pretty good idea as to when to speak and when not to. Do you recall that time just after the honeymoon when you told your wife her biscuits were brittle and tasted like potting soil compared to your momma’s? You soon realized that would’ve been the perfect time to have remained silent.
Here’s a story that may or may not be true concerning brides and biscuits. A few days after their nuptials, my Grandma Chandler made biscuits for breakfast. My grandpa tasted one and critiqued them by musing, “A dog wouldn’t eat these biscuits.” This hurt my grandma’s feelings something awful and she got so upset she threw the whole batch out into the yard where Sally, the old man’s coon dog, was lurking about.
A little later, Mamaw looked out the window to see that Sally had eaten every last one of her biscuits and was reclining in the yard licking her backside as dogs are given to do.
“I thought you said a dog wouldn’t eat my biscuits,” my grandma said, “Ol’ Sally ate every one of them”
“Yeah,” says the old man, “but look what she’s doing to get the taste out of her mouth.”
Remember when your wife asked you if she looked fat in her wedding pictures?
“Fat? No way, honey, just a little pudgy,” as you know now was not the correct response. You see, with marriage each day is a learning experience. That day you learned how easy it is to keep your big mouth closed when your nose is bleeding.
Brides, you aren’t immune to speaking out of turn either. Maybe your daddy can fix a flat tire or change oil in the pickup faster and better than your new husband. So what? This doesn’t give you the right to say really cruel things to him such as, “My daddy has fixed a hundred flat tires and not once did he ever get a lug nut stuck up his nose like you,” or, “Only a dipstick loses a dipstick while doing something as simple as changing the oil.”
Marriage is by no means the proper venue for working at your one-upmanship either. For instance, Mr. Groom, when your wife makes fun of you and hurls insults your way because you happen to be totally inept when it comes to car maintenance, you must resist coming back with, “ I know your daddy is better at this than me but you have to consider that I was never held in a maximum-security facility where they offered a five- to seven-year course in auto mechanics.”
Groucho Marx may have been right when he said, “Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?”