By COLLEEN LEDDY
When I read about couples celebrating 50 or 60 or even 75 years of marriage, I sometimes wonder how the heck two people could last that long together. Clearly, neither of the partners in those couples is married to a man like mine.
I must say that the past 25 years of my marriage to David Green have simply flown by and there have been scores more ups than downs. I couldn’t imagine another man I’d want to share life with. His sense of humor cleaves to mine and he is always so quick with a quip.
Last night, I asked him yet again if I should go ahead and make the reservation for a short ski trip up north. This excursion would be the big Christmas present for the kids, taking the place of entering the shopping frenzy and buying Stuff. Stuff that I think they might want, but they probably won’t or Stuff I don’t want them to want. I want to give the gift of time together, but it conflicts with getting out the paper Christmas week.
“So, should I book that reservation or what are we going to do instead for Christmas?” I asked.
“Let’s head south,” he said.
“What? What the heck for? Where?”
“Lima,” he responded.
“Why? What would we do there?”
If that didn’t make you laugh you probably wouldn’t enjoy being married to David on a full-time basis. But that is the kind of exchange that makes life a delight for me. The following examples, however, are what make me wonder if we’ll make it to 26 years.
I heard a noise at the basement door late last Sunday night after David had gone to bed. The noise sounded suspiciously like a bat. I had already finished the laundry so I just ran straight to bed without investigating. But this week I made David go to the basement before me and stay down there until I got the wash in the machine.
As I added clothes to the washer, I was on high alert. David rooted around looking for his winter boots. Suddenly, something whooshed past the left side of my body and I yelped—until I realized my buzzard of a husband had thrown a rag at the wall to simulate a bat.
“Don’t do that!” I yelled.
He laughed and resumed his search—until another rag came flying.
A few weeks ago I complained to him.
“My feet are so rough.”
“What are you going to do about it?” he asked.
“I already did something. I put cream on them and put socks on.”
“It’s gonna take more than cream,” he said. “You’re gonna have to use lard.”
On the Observer website, David mentioned that he was writing a story about CFL light bulbs. He’d read that men tend to like them more than women and then went on to say the following.
“That’s true at my house. I think they’re fine; my wife doesn’t like the color of the light, the slight delay in lighting up, the intensity of the light, the hum that some bulbs give off, the mere suggestion of using one, etc.”
So, I sound like an uncompromising close-minded nincompoop, but at least he got the message: the bulbs don’t provide adequate light.
But, you know, he is ever-so-good-natured and he’s usually willing to go along with my ideas.
I told him about an article I read, “Our Best Holiday Ever,” in the December issue of Family Fun magazine. I thought we could do a take-off on “The Great Regifting” idea.
“We could just wrap up stuff we already have and give it to each other,” I told David.
He immediately and agreeably nodded in the direction of his laptop and said, “Wrap that up for me.”
The couple who submitted “The Great Re-gifting” idea searched around the house on Christmas Eve for things that were particularly precious to the other, then wrapped and set them under the tree. On Christmas morning after opening their re-gifts, they talked about the good things they already possessed.
I was thinking less schmaltzy thoughts. Rather than shop this year, I just want to wrap up stuff I’ve given the kids over the years. Stuff they never wanted, but that I thought looked fun. Stuff like Rozee’s The Art of Belly Dancing kit that includes finger cymbals, a jeweled sticker and a little book on how to belly dance.
I could give them the stuff they didn’t want before and see if they want it now. Or I could switch it up and give stuff I gave Ben to Rozee and stuff for Maddie to Ben.
Or, I could give David the belly dancing kit.
Maybe that’s how those couples stay together so long.