Columns

2008.03.19 We made it through 7 years+

on . Posted in By The Way

By DAVID GREEN

It feel very fortunate to be very busy this week. It sent me to the archives to dig up an old By The Way in hopes of getting to the printer on time today.

Why do I feel so lucky? I ran across this column from 20 years ago that reminded me of something: the wedding anniversary.

This column was written in anticipation of our seventh year of marriage. Twenty years later, we’re still in wedded bliss. And fortunately, I’ll remember that Thursday.

With great trepidation, Colleen and I entered into our seventh year of marriage Sunday.

It shouldn’t be any different than the first six, but we’ve heard the warning about the seventh year. It’s that dreaded year number seven when friendship crashes on the rocks.

I wasn’t going to fall for any magic number theory, but Colleen pointed out Couple X, now divorced, who broke apart in the seventh year. And then there was Couple Y, now in their seventh year, who are no longer living together. And after a tumultuous year number seven, Couple Z is just staying together until the kids grow up.

A recent dinner guest suggested that we plan ahead for this year. Concentrate now on the potential problem areas, know them well in advance. I suppose what she meant was to start preparing for litigation. Get firmly in mind what you’re going to tell the judge—clothes lying on the floor, carrot peelings on the wall, occasional snoring, etc.

On the other hand, maybe she was proposing that we think about things, talk about them, prevent problems from arising.

My biggest problem is related to hours of operation. I like to get up moderately early and go to bed before what I consider to be late. On the other side of the coin, Colleen would do well working as a night watchman. Consequently, I don’t get as much sleep as I’d like.

I asked her tonight what her major complaint is and she said, “Piles.”

What? You’d divorce a man for piles?

Before anyone goes running to the drug store to save a marriage, let me explain. She’s talking about piles of books, magazines, clippings, letters, photographs and more.

I have a controlled pile on the kitchen table plus two other former kitchen table piles which have been transferred to another location. There are two piles next to the dining room table. There are several historical piles which are now in paper bags in the basement.

The greatest tragedy in our household is when pile collapse occurs. Those glossy magazine covers are usually the culprit. A book placed under a pile of magazines generally results in an avalanche.

But look, if that’s the greatest tragedy in our marriage I think we’re going to sail through year seven just fine. I’ll continue to look sleepy, my piles will get a little worse, but overall it’s going to be just as much fun as the last six—I mean the first six.

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