“I could search the whole world / Until my life is over / But I know I’ll never find another you.” – as performed by The Seekers.
Five years ago, on my 25th wedding anniversary, I was halfway done writing a 40,000-word book on hard-earned marriage wisdom.
A few months later, my wife Melissa reread the completed manuscript but reserved the right – when time permitted – to read it cover to cover, removing any passages she deemed too embarrassing to read. her – and by implication, using glitter to highlight my own flaws. (“Forget ‘The DaVinci Code’. Uncover the sinister secrets of how snoring and blanket-grabbing was removed from the Seven Deadly Sins list!”)
Well, a combination of hardships of work, motherhood, feminine homework, and health issues (sorry, our family doesn’t just have health “problems”; we have a bookshelf of bound volumes) stuck these good intentions. And I’ve followed my own author’s advice enough not to harass her, so we’re celebrating our 30th anniversary here without a book approved for publication!
And I’m not complaining. I have food, clothes, and a shoulder to lean on. I know Melissa would take a bullet for me. Sure, she would give the shooter a notarized document stating, “Yes, I will jump in front of the slug, but only if I can finish this Candy Crush game first.”, But she would take a bullet.
Seriously, this unintentional delay has given me another five years to appreciate this amazing woman and reconfigure the advice I want to share with the world, in a tougher “Top 100 Tips” chapter book.
I realize that I had a head start in achieving a successful marriage. I married my best friend and the smartest person I know. But maybe this ‘best friend / smartest person’ model isn’t for everyone. I mean, I don’t want to give blanket approval to the “Marry Your Grandpa” trending movement. (“I identify as someone who likes to show off my piercings at the Matlock convention.”)
Besides the stereotypical differences between men and women, we have had to deal with our own individual whims. After three decades, I still have to shake my head at Melissa’s definition of “a couple”.
Whether it is a few chores or a few favors, it invariably develops into what most reasonable people would call “a few” or “many” or “a load.” Her definition of “a couple” is looser than the elastic of my favorite briefs. Fortunately, we don’t socialize much, because if she ever said to me, “I’ve invited another couple over for dinner,” I would immediately start thinking about how to find a parking space for the entire Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
There is a special corner of hell reserved for people who refuse to take their spouse’s concerns into account. And I’m sure Melissa would say to these people, “Are you sure you’re hot enough? You look like you’re on the verge of frostbite. Maybe you should take an extra sweater just in case.
I promise to keep you posted on the status of my new book. Hope this amplifies the theme that “Love Conquers All”.
In the meantime, I think I hear Melissa calling, “Well, if love triumphs over everything, there should be a victory parade!” Let’s go buy some shoes!
* Sigh * Yes, Light of my life.
Danny Tyree accepts email responses to [email protected] and visits to his Tyree’s Tyrades Facebook fan page.