Thursday, June 2, 2011

Celebrating 20 Years of Irreconcilable Differences Part 1

Since I haven't posted for 7 months, this is going to be a series of posts. Not that I haven't had PLENTY to post about, but that thing called WORK kept getting in the way.

While visiting Deep Creek Lake, MD last weekend, I went to a church service in a movie theater. (That really should be its own post.) I don't remember exactly what the sermon was about, but one thing that the pastor said really stayed with me. "My wife and I just celebrated 20 years of irreconcilable differences."

My husband and I just had our twenty-year anniversary. Those of you who know us, know that we are polar opposites. On good days, I think our differences COMPLIMENT each other. (I can't bring myself to say "complete each other" without gagging) On the rest of the 364 days a year, I can count the number of things we like to do on 1/2 of a hand, minus the thumb--we both like to eat and drink (although he is a beer drinking carnivore and I'm more of a wine drinking herbivore)

When people ask me what my secret is to a long lasting marriage, I tell them the truth--LOW EXPECTATIONS. If you have low expectations, you won't be disappointed when your 20th anniversary is not celebrated on a beach in Maui, but in a motel room in Plano, Texas after a frustrating day of househunting. (I liked the uber-cool contemporary artist home surrounded by woods and a creek. He liked the clear-cut, cookie-cutter stepford-wife development with NO TREES). BTW Hawaii was supposed to be my 10th anniversary present and I'm still waiting. However I'm waiting with LOW expectations.

I was recently in the doctor's office filling out 500 pages of medical forms in preparation for my 5 minute office visit. One of the questions asked me how I manage my pain. I wrote "I drink wine." What do you do when the pain becomes unbearable? "I drink A LOT of wine." Now I figured the doctor was way too busy to actually READ my medical history, but I figured one of the nurses would get a chuckle. To my surprise, the doctor came in laughing and told me that I sounded like his wife. Not sure this was a compliment.

In addition to LOW EXPECTATIONS, my other marriage secret is wine. Most doctors would agree that it might not be the healthiest pain management technique, but it does the trick 99% of the time.

In thinking about the pastor's comment, maybe as a culture we view marriage from the wrong perspective. Instead of trying to reconcile our differences, or divorcing over our irreconcilable differences, why don't we CELEBRATE them?

The next few posts will share some of the ways, we have been celebrating....

photo by my former student, now professional photographer Joe Molieri


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