My best friend will be married this Saturday to her perfect man. They found each other at last, and I am so happy for them. My father is happy for them too and considered sending a sympathy card. Barb (wife) would not permit it.
Here is a sampling of his most uttered marriage jokes.
- “I’ll never get married again because I never make the same mistake twice.”
- On the eve of an anniversary (married 40 years) he will say, “We’ve been married for 15 wonderful years.”
- Or if someone tells him that they have been married for X number of years he says, “I’m sorry?” They repeat themselves and then he says, “Oh, I heard you, I’m just sorry.”
When considering sharing thoughts on marriage, Earl comes to mind because he has influenced my outlook. Joking aside, there is truth in his words: it may only add up to “joy” for a combined total of 15 years, one really shouldn’t do it twice, and the journey can be full of regret. But the undercurrent beneath the jokes is what moved him through the last 40 years with Barb.
That undercurrent, which in good times I call contentment and in bad times I call “a commitment to the commitment,” moves life forward with a unified purpose whether you are lovers or hiking companions or business partners in any given day or year. It is that vision of togetherness now and later that I find so essentially comforting. It shores up despair during each disagreement. It moves forward each compromise. It lifts spirits in every celebration.
I recommend marriage like I recommend having children. It can be great if you have thought it through. Like all experiences it gives highs and lows, but ultimately, it’s an experience worth living. For me, and I hope for Holly and Alex, it brings great peace.