|Go out of your way to get the best!|
I just read a Facebook post from an old friend of mine about her upcoming 45th wedding anniversary. In the interest of full disclosure, I will mention here that by 'old friend' I mean we dated and she was not one of the legions of women who ever stood me up. What was most notable about the post to me was that many of her friends and acquaintances (who are also friends and acquaintances of mine) mentioned in the comments that they were approaching or had just passed similar milestones. It seems that the people I grew up with have a remarkable capacity for staying married—testament, I believe, to the values and moral sensibilities that are part and parcel of life in small, homogeneous communities.
I myself have only been married for 31 years. The comparative shortfall is due primarily to the fact that it took me a good 15 years longer than the rest of my friends to outgrow the personality defects and social shortcomings that prevented the opposite sex from finding me as fascinating as I thought they should. I'm pretty sure in retrospect that I was an insufferable lout until I learned around age 27 to suppress my ignorance and base inclinations in favor of actually listening to what people had to say.
It's probably a good thing it took me that long to get a clue. In the end I pretty much lucked out in the marriage department—as has been pointed out to me numerous times—and I have my early romantic incompetence to thank for this. In business it's location, location, location, but I think in love it's rather timing, timing, timing . . . and maybe a little hard work.
A friend of mine from my days in public accounting practice used to say, “You marry the person you're dating when you decide it's time to get married.” He was a comedic philosopher, so I don't know if there's any actual merit to his pronouncement. It is probably true for a lot of people.
I'm thinking here of the great mass of unhappy spouses living in misery and regret and not the people I grew up with who seem to be almost universally happy with their choices and their circumstances. It was almost certainly true in my philosopher friend's case. After all he's the one who said it. Shortly after he said it, he got the short end of one of the most acrimonious divorces I've ever witnessed.
|If you insist on delivery, it just|
might blow up in your face.
I shouldn't have been surprised. He also once said, “The worst pizza in the world delivered to your door is better than the best pizza in the world you have to go out for.” Obviously he hated to go out, and he was willing to suffer and to subject his family to some truly appalling pizza not to go out. That's just the kind of attitude, over time, that gets you into divorce court. In the end I think staying married means doing the best you can by the people you love, even if that means you have to go out for pizza when you'd rather sit at home sipping martinis.
It's the little things that add up, eventually, to 45 years of good living. All the best to those who are willing to try. Like Red Green used to say, “We're all in this together. I'm pulling for you.”