January 27, 2010 by David Gillaspie
A good marriage isn’t an accident. It’s not a crash where both cars look better after meeting in an intersection.
Instead, it’s a blend of hot and cold, sweet and sour; not a Ford and a Toyota.
Even a shotgun wedding makes a good blend. If a girl’s father has to stir it with the barrel of a twelve gauge, it’ll blend. They’ll keep stirring in the new additions.
The key element to marriage is environment. Too much change in temperature and humidity warps and cracks a relationship the same as it does wood. If things are too hot, either cool down or bring the temperature up for everyone.
Do the same for the chill; no one wants to shiver alone.
Part of the marriage environment is hygiene. This isn’t your college roommate and you’re not living in a dorm. You are a couple living together, a barometer other couples judge themselves by, so keep it clean.
Do you change your bed according to smell? Do you wait until you notice something wrong with your pillowcase when you put your face on it? If it smells like a chicken coup, it’s not from chickens, it’s you. When that happens don’t change just the pillowcase, change the sheets.
If you’ve wondered why there are so many sets of white sheets, relax. They are color coded. Anything less than white means change the sheets. Colored, or patterned, flannel is for people who will eventually sew their sheets up into clothing.
How many times have you seen celebrities walk the red carpet in something that looks like a sheet?
Any action a married person takes elicits a response from their spouse. The response falls somewhere between “Thank you” and “what do you think you’re doing?”
Since hardly anyone wants directions for every second of the day, a married person might do something on their own for the other person.
For instance, a husband may weed his wife’s favorite flower bed in anticipation of planting new flowers.
He sees an old hose lying half buried under the dirt and yanks it out. Since it won’t fit into the garbage in a coil, he cuts it into lengths and feeds it in. After he’s done he waits for his wife’s approval, but she’s not home.
She drives up and gets out to open the lid of the garbage can to toss an empty Starbucks cup. She notices the soaker hose she wove through the flower bed all chopped up.
She doesn’t say thank you.
Later, home alone, the wife cleans out the refrigerator. She finds the covered tray that’s been missing for weeks sitting on the back of a wire shelf. She takes it out to find what looks like wet cardboard soaked in fermented syrup. She drains off the liquid and wraps the cardboard in plastic and throws it on top of the chopped garden soaker.
The husband arrives and announces he’ll cook dinner. He fires up their grill. He assembles the long handled scrapers and forks and spatulas he’ll need, then looks inside the refrigerator for the covered tray. A clear glass dish of jello sits in its place instead.
Where is the elk meat he’s been marinating the past week? Where is the elk filet his brother gave him from the beast he brought down with a bow and arrow?
Honey, where’s the elk?
Will she tell him she didn’t know the soaked cardboard she pitched was elk? Or will she say, “I don’t know, but there’s some hamburger in the drawer. Doesn’t a hamburger sound so delicious?”
The husband breaks out the hamburger and shoves the bloody packaging into a plastic bag. Before he starts cooking, he takes the trash out. He notices another small bag of garbage nested into the chopped soaker hose and throws his trash on top.
The married couple enjoys their barbequed burgers and each others company. Would the elk have been better? They won’t know. You can’t buy elk at Safeway.
Will the wife get a new soaker hose for her birthday? If she does, it’ll be the last one.
After dinner they make hot butterscotch sundaes together and watch the orange and white, the hot and cold, glide together in the sort of blend it takes to make a marriage work.
The trash man comes on Thursday and everyone starts over.