Just for Fun
Talking couples down the aisle
Lori Borgman | Monday, Feb 08, 2010
The husband and I have been invited to be mentors for newly engaged couples.
This would involve getting together with couples and talking about marriage and communication. We think it would be a fine thing to do because we find that talking about marriage is always so much easier than actually doing marriage.
One of the kids picks up the letter from the kitchen counter and says, "You'd think they'd have a better screening process for this sort of thing."
"For the engaged couples?" I ask.
"No, for the mentors."
Being that the husband and I are both highly skilled communicators, we simply ignore her.
"Whatever you do, don't give them the life is hard speech," she says.
She is referring to our speech about how marriage is not boy meets girl, they ride off into the sunset in an SUV, get the starter mansion with the four-car garage and have 2.5 kids who are always healthy, honor roll students and letter in every sport.
Marriage is really riding off into the sunset in a car that needs new rear brakes, starting out with a small place, making do with furniture that doesn¹t match, and one day having children who will break bones, dismantle your small appliances and drive at least one teacher into early retirement.
"The speech stays," I say. "One of the greatest benefits of marriage is that you don't ride off into the sunset alone; you have someone who has promised to ride with you. You have someone to talk to."
"Someone to lean on," the husband says.
"To complete your thoughts" I say.
"-and sentences," he adds.
"Marriage demands that you think beyond yourself, that you nurture another human being, and take responsibility for them," I say.
"It also demands some verbal skills," the husband says. "These couples should learn how to argue."
The man has had a Dr. Phil moment. How can you navigate conflict if you don't know how to argue?
"We could give them a demonstration," I say. Perhaps I have had an Oprah moment. Coupled with the husband's Dr. Phil moment, all we need now is to get a large, plushy couch or some very tall chairs.
The twenty-something says we are both having insane moments.
"Marriage is the most fundamental social and economic building block to society," the husband asserts. He pauses for affirming applause from the kitchen audience, but nothing.
"Somebody once said, 'A wife is something a girlfriend is not.' You know, the entire world sees you differently when you marry," I muse.
"So does the IRS," the husband interjects. His laugh line elicits one small chuckle. From me.
"But your main point will be that marriage is about love and commitment, right?" the twenty-something asks.
"Ours definitely has been," I say. "That and the fact that no one else could put up with either one of us."
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