(This column has adult content and may not be suitable for anyone who doesn't believe in the holy state of matrimony.)
Harry and I are celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary on Sunday.
Forty years of wedded bliss!
You know, we use that phrase a lot. But what does "wedded bliss" really mean?
Wedded means "married." Bliss means "great joy or happiness." Put together, it should mean being married has brought great joy to the happy couple.
I was lying in bed the other night thinking about how long 40 years is. That's 14,600 days.
I began to do the numbers.
I have probably done at least 12,480 loads of laundry. Which means, I've folded 12,480 loads of laundry. (That's a lot of wrist and arm action so I am flabbergasted that I have these huge turkey wattles for upper arms that flap in the wind every time I move!)
I figured I must have cooked around 12,000 suppers. (There are 365 days a year so I deducted 65 a year from that because we do eat out at least once a week, sometimes twice. I'm married. Not stupid.) ((OK. Some of you might think that's an oxymoron.))
I've packed about 10,400 lunches. I read once that if you put in little surprises in your husband's lunch box occasionally, it helps keep the love light shining. So, every once in a while I try to do that, especially for his birthdays and our anniversaries.
Just last week he came home and thanked me for his lunch box surprise.
"Really?" I said. "I didn't put any surprises in it."
"Oh good. For a minute there I thought maybe you were purposely trying to kill me with the moldy yogurt," he said. (In my defense, I didn't know it was moldy. After all I just bought it and it was not past its expiration date. But if we didn't enjoy wedded bliss, see how this could have been misconstrued?)
What is the definition of marriage? Well, according to one site on the Internet, it depends if you're male or female.
Females think "Marriage is the opportunity for two souls to be legally bound together so that they can share their innermost thoughts and feelings while creating the most perfect life together."
Males take on marriage? "Wow, a chick to take care of me like my mother used to - but with the added bonus of sex!"
Men are so delusional.
Take Harry. It was the first day of work after the honeymoon. I was very eager to begin our real life and promised to get up every morning and make him breakfast, just like his mother did. I proudly placed his plate of eggs and bacon in front of him. As he began to eat, this husband-newbie made his first fatal marital mistake.
"You broke the eggs and the bacon is too crisp."
"Really? Well guess what? From now on, make them yourself," replied the newest member of the feminist movement of 1971.
He started eating cold cereal for breakfast the day after.
I began to notice how his mother really did cater to his father.
So my newly-married mantra became, "I'm not your mother!"
I will say this about Harry ... he became a quick learner on how to achieve "wedded bliss."
Here's some observations of Wedded Bliss from some well-known people.
Ogden Nash ..."To keep your marriage brimming, With love in the wedding cup, Whenever you're wrong, admit it; Whenever you're right, shut up."
Henny Youngman ... "The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret." He also said, "Some people ask the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays."
Lyndon B. Johnson ..."I have learned that only two things are necessary to keep one's wife happy. First, let her think she's having her own way. And second, let her have it."
Minnie Pearl ..."Getting married is a lot like getting into a tub of hot water. After you get used to it, it ain't so hot."
Zsa Zsa Gabor ..."A man is incomplete until he is married. After that, he is finished."
Barbra Streisand ..."Why does a woman work ten years to change a man's habits and then complain that he's not the man she married?"
Benjamin Franklin ..."Keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half-shut afterward."
James Holt McGavran ..."There's a way of transferring funds that is even faster than electronic banking. It's called marriage."
And from my favorite columnist, the late great Erma Bombeck, "Marriage has no guarantees. If that's what you're looking for, go live with a car battery."
There are indeed, no guarantees for Wedded Bliss. And I really don't have a magic formula for a long-lasting marriage because if no two people are alike, then no two-marriages are alike. We all do the best we can.
When we went to bed last night, we snuggled up together. I sighed in complete contentment. This, I thought, is Wedded Bliss. He nuzzled my neck. I whispered, "I love you." He whispered back, "I love you, too."
14,600 nights together and still counting.