05 April 2009

Miscellany of Guidance and Reflection

I RECENTLY had the pleasure to spend some hours in quiet reverie with my long-time writing partner, Mr. Gilbert Blythe.* On this particular occasion [though you should note that my qualification ("particular") should not suggest that my previous encounters with Mr. Blythe did not, often, devolve in a similar fashion (if not towards the self-same topic)] -- Mr. Blythe and I spoke quite kindly about his pending wedding anniversary. I was surprised to discover that Mr. Blythe had been many years happily affianced to his amour, Anne**, thirteen in number! -- and that his affection had not waned in all those many years following that fast and passionate betrothal. Indeed, Mr. Blythe admitted to me that less than six weeks of courtship preceded his (inevitable) proposal -- and their subsequent -- and immediate! --courthouse nuptials.

I mention my discussion with Mr. Blythe in our public forum, not as -- as some might suggest-- a betrayal of private or sacred confidence, but instead as proof of my sincerest appreciation for those mortals among us who, despite all life's temptations and challenges, manage to successfully endure beyond the first seven or so years of natural marital harmony. I myself have never maintained any relationship [save the random friendship and a few complex familial ties] for such a significant length.

As you may recall, it is in complicated times, such as these, that I turn again to my friend, and confidant, Diana, for her wisdom and insights. Having been married, divorced, lesbian, straight, childless, and child-ful, Diana -- though oft more vitriolic than in which I can find comfort! -- manages, with regularity, to strike some exposed human nerve in her acquaintances. I have yet to find any individual [of even passable intelligence] who is able to find fault in her immutable logos.

So, to that end, I offer, for your review dear P.R., the following miscellany of "guidance and reflection" on wedding anniversaries (behaviors one might be best to avoid -- and other suggestions that, mayhap, will add to the celebratory atmosphere of these significant, personal moments of marital bliss) from my dearest, and most loyal real-life friend, Diana:

On Wedded Bliss & Celebratory Moments in Time:

1. If you planned your honeymoon around "March Madness," future anniversaries WILL require similar consideration.

2. If you ever find yourself at Taco Bell*** (TM) on your wedding anniversary, rest assured that it is all downhill from there -- regardless of the compelling reasons involving this "one time" dining choice.

3. A spouse who "forgets" his or her wedding anniversary has likely forgotten other crucial aspects of the relationship (eg: that he/she is married, etc. )

4. Ostentatious displays of anniversary-related affection (ie: gifts, preferably those wrapped inside small, light blue boxes) will not dispel existing marital discord or regrets, but they can make enduring it much more pleasant.

5. Any one who finds herself/himself married, for more than seven consecutive years, has been miserable at a (flexible) ratio of 1 to 3.****

6. If you find your spouse's family's actions or habits reprehensible, then you will likely find your spouse to be similarly obnoxious in the years that follow. Double that, if he/she considers "dinner with the parents" an acceptable celebration. Indeed, anniversaries will not lessen this feeling, but, rather, these events often exaggerate the related daily realities of married life.

7. If your spouse's idea of "fun" is a six pack, a bag of Doritos (TM), and football, then he or she is unlikely to plan (or enjoy) more cerebral outings. Despite your dreams to the contrary, this will never change. Your ability to endure such atrocities is, in general, directly related to #5.

8. If you wake up on your anniversary only to discover that you'd prefer to spend the day having a colonoscopy (rather than your spouse), I recommend that you return, immediately, to bed. This day has already hit its orgasmic high.

9. If you, or your spouse, must seek the guidance of a lawyer (for any reason) on your actual anniversary [and is unaware of the significance or irony of this rhetorical choice] might I suggest that you move on -- calmly. That relationship is over.

10. If your spouse ever described Sarah Palin as "do-able" -- run. If she/he made such an observation on your actual anniversary, please see #9.


As you can clearly see, dear P.R., Diana is a bitter, bitter woman, but one who, it must be explained, speaks from a place of disparate and first-hand experience. Nevertheless, if upon reading her list, you find yourself equal parts chagrined, depressed, or wary in the ways of love and love lost, know that I, too, remain confident and hopeful that these selected anniversary "gaffs" are certainly not representative of the whole of human experience, and that alternative solutions are solidly possible.

In the Cause,

Dr. T. Shandy

*Any similarities you find, to the original Mr. Gilbert Blythe (of Green Gables fame), is purely coincidental and should not prejudice your opinion of the manliness of my writing partner, Mr. Blythe.

**Anne, though regretfully named, bears no resemblance to her "green" literary sister.

*** Taco Bell (TM) is used, herein, as anecdotal evidence only; any number of other dining choices are equally disturbing on one's anniversary (eg: Golden Corral, Burger King, Village Inn, IHOP, 7-11 -- to name just a few)

****Though the marriage must, necessarily, be "consecutive," I feel compelled to explain that Diane is very clear that "misery" is rarely consecutive and is often punctuated by random and inexplicable bursts of bliss. Misery is, according to Diana's rules, always cumulative.

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