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An elevator ride that's lasted eight years

November 2008
An elevator ride that's lasted eight years

My wife and I just celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary and let me tell you, I haven't been this happy since my dentist announced his retirement. We made it past seven years! Our marriage didn't fall victim to the dreaded seven-year itch, which has broken up more relationships than Jack Daniel's and Johnnie Walker combined. (Trust me, it's not a good idea to combine them.)

Some of you, I know, have been married for more than 50 years and are obviously unimpressed. If you're a man, you're probably saying to yourself, "Eight years is no big deal. I've been married so long, I've spent a total of eight years just waiting for my wife to get out of the bathroom." If you're a woman, you're probably saying to yourself, "Eight years! That's how long it took my husband to figure out the hooks on my bra."

Well, here's a confession: I'm still trying to figure out a lot of things. For example:

1. When a woman looks at her wardrobe and complains that she has "nothing at all to wear," does she really expect her husband to be concerned about the prospect of her wearing nothing at all?

2. When a woman talks to you during a football game, is it better to just nod your head and pretend you're listening or say something polite such as, "I don't mind if you talk during the game, dear, but please don't expect me to take the cotton balls out of my ears."

3. In which of these situations is it reasonable to say 'no' to a woman?

(a) When she asks you to go to a department store to pick up a feminine hygiene product; (b) when she enters a fitting room in a department store and asks you to hold her handbag; or (c) when she enters a fitting room and asks you to pick up a feminine hygiene product while holding her handbag.

Perhaps the biggest thing I'm trying to figure out is how Malathi and I survived eight years. Marriage isn't easy—at least not for us. Sure, we've had lots of happy moments, but we've also had moments when we wondered if it was better to just divide the children and go our separate ways. And we might have done it too, if one of our three children had agreed to be split in half.

Yes, we've certainly had our ups and downs. Our marriage has been a heart-thumping elevator ride in a skyscraper, with some idiot constantly pushing the button for the basement. I'm pretty sure I know who the idiot is: a British nobleman named Sir Cumstance. Or is it that young lady named Miss Communicate?

A perfect marriage requires perfect partners. I certainly haven't been a perfect husband and I'm sure Malathi would also say, without hesitation, that she hasn't been with the perfect guy.

Well, I'm sure she'd admit to a few mistakes herself. We've both made mistakes and we've both, hopefully, learned from them. I've learned that it's usually a good idea to forgive and forget. Forgiving isn't always easy, but the older you get, the more you can count on forgetting.

I'm so forgetful, I don't even remember why I was upset at Malathi yesterday. I think she complained about my sleeping habits. Or was it my sweeping habits?

Frankly, I don't have time to figure it out. There's a football game coming on and before it starts, I need to rush to the store to buy some feminine hygiene products. And some cotton balls, of course.

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