Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

January 22, 2013

The institution of marriage

By Dick Platt
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — If one accepts the age-old premises “love is blind” and “marriage is an institution,” it is logical to define marriage as an institution for the blind. My long-standing marriage is a classic example of what the Air Force used to call “exigencies of the service.”

I am a Connecticut Yankee who went all the way to Germany to marry a damned Texan. I must say that, when I got married, I disappointed a lot of women — now I only disappoint one woman. Actually, my wife is a forgiving woman — many years ago, she forgave me for not being Paul Newman.

Over lo, these many years, I have learned that marriage teaches you loyalty, forbearance, self-restraint, meekness, and a great many other things you wouldn’t need if you stayed single. I recently bought a book entitled, “How To Be the Boss In Your Own Home,” but my wife hasn’t let me read it yet.

It is an unfortunate fact that the institution of marriage is in trouble today. Many marriages don’t even last as long as the warranties on the gifts. Do you know that, in California, it’s legal to sign your marriage license in pencil? Sad to say, marriage is the number one cause of divorce these days. Statistically, 100 percent of all divorces started with marriage.

People should realize that marriage is like a violin — long after the beautiful music is over, there are still strings attached. My secret to our long marriage is alcohol, cooking, “yes-maam,” and yard work. These days, very few things upset my wife (I didn’t call her The Little Woman back then) and it makes me proud to be one of them. We get along like a dentist and a manicurist — we fight tooth and nail.

I honestly try to take her everywhere but she keeps finding her way back. Last week, out on Highway 287, a Deputy Sheriff pulled me over and told me my wife fell out of the car back at Mildred School. I said, “Oh, thank God! I thought I was going deaf!”

Like a lot of couples who have been through the highs and lows of a long relationship, my wife and I tend to say mean things to each other. She says I make the same noises as our coffee maker. She once told me that if I wanted breakfast in bed, I should sleep in the kitchen. Sometimes I go for days on end without speaking to her — I’m not mad, I just don’t want to interrupt her.

I’m sure she would be more willing to compromise if she weren’t always right. Personally, I try to forget my mistakes because there’s really no sense in both of us remembering the same things. She has a mood ring which I really hate. When she’s in a good mood, it turns green. When she’s in a foul mood, it leaves red welts on my head. One time I asked her to just do something nice to make me think of her, so she shaved her legs with my razor.

We will have been married 43 years in August and I asked her where she wanted to go for our anniversary. She said, “How about somewhere I haven’t been to in a long time?” So, I suggested the kitchen and, boy, was that the wrong answer. That damned mood ring got me again!

Lately, we are trying to provide more companionship to each other. Twice a week, we go to town for a good meal and fellowship — she goes on Mondays and Wednesdays and I go on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Actually, when she wants to, my wife can be really sweet. For example, our answering machine goes like this: “Hi, this is Gayla. To find out what’s for dinner, press one. To apologize for something you said, press two. To say ‘I love you,’ press three.”

Well, I never miss a chance to “press three” and say I love you to my best friend, my soul mate, and my one true sweetheart. Honey, you’re the greatest!

I’ll close this rant with a couple more of my favorite punographies:

Velcro — what a rip off!

All the toilets in Corsicana’s police station have been stolen — the police have nothing yet to go on.

What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.

See ya...

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Dick Platt is a Daily Sun columnist. His column appears on Tuesdays. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com