Sunday, June 3, 2007

I Take This Man

I went to two weddings yesterday, each very different from the other. The first wedding consisted of two long time divorcees who have struggled for years with the dating scene and never thought they'd find love again. Their ceremony was simple and moving. They wrote their own vows and incorporated the bride's teenaged daughters. I don't usually cry at weddings, but this one was a tear jerker. As I watched I thought this was two people who already know how tough marriage is and are approaching it with the honesty and dedication it deserves. The second wedding was a young couple fresh out of college and head over heels in love. As I watched their wedding I thought, boy, they don't have a clue what they're in for. All of the premarital counseling in the world just can't prepare you for the reality of marriage and the grit it takes to make it work year after year. As I listened to their traditional vows, I thought to myself, who wrote this stuff? Yeah, all that "in sickness and in health"and "for richer for poorer" stuff is important, but it doesn't really include everything does it? I think we should add a few things. Keep it a little more real so there are fewer surprises later.

How about promising to take your spouse even if he leaves his wet towels in the bathroom, hogs the tv remote or passes gas with the force of a category three tornado? Or accepting that he will sometimes pick a crappy birthday gift, maybe never send roses or leave used dental floss on the bathroom counter. Perhaps the men should promise to accept hormonally driven mood swings, changes in temperment that can't be explained and a compulsion to hoard shoes. And maybe they should agree to accept an occasional phoned in meal, leg hair left in the shower and the insistance that he learn to read the female mind. Aren't these the kinds of things that prompt most arguments? Loving someone is easy. Loving them when they leave toenail clippings on the living room floor year after year is a lot tougher.

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