My daughter is getting married on the 18th of this month. Amid the flurry of activity surrounding the wedding, I’ve been thinking about what pearl of wisdom to pass onto her. Wedding plans tend to override the more weighty issue of what makes a good marriage; how does a couple actually stay married? This question brought to mind an evening I spent with my husband a few years ago.
We had tickets to a U of M hockey game. We arrived early to enjoy dinner before the game at one of the local bars near the stadium. My husband had the quirky idea that we play-act meeting each other for the first time. And since the atmosphere of the bar was filled with the vibrant energy of college kids, it put me in the mood.
As we bellied up to the bar, my husband immediately went into character; introducing himself, asking my name. (weird to say my maiden name!) I was astounded by his complete transformation, during the hour at the bar, he never broke character. He asked about my family, where I grew up, what brought me to Minneapolis. He then asked why after going to art school, had I become a writer. He found it all fascinating. He asked questions about my writing, what was I currently working on and what led me to write on that particular subject. I was entranced. He was charming and attentive, he never took his eyes off of me. I felt devoured. I wanted to shout, “Who are you and what have you done with my husband?”
This experience taught me something. Over the years we had become comfortable with each other – which is good in a familial manner, but comfort can easily lead to laziness. Marriage takes effort. A night out where you each offer your undivided attention goes a long way.This is the pearl.