tipping the scale of marriage

My parents made friends with a couple who got married right around the same time they did and had their first child also pretty much right around the time I was born, which was in close order.  And even though they both moved around quite a bit after the first couple of years in the same town, they stayed in touch.  In the old days, that was usually with anniversary cards and the occasional letter, with the even more infrequent phone call.

One year, actually what was coming up on their mutual 40th anniversary, my mother sent them a card and added a message, “Can you believe we made it to 40?”

They received a reply:

“We didn’t.”

My mother then picked up the phone to speak to her, damn the cost.  “What happened?”

“I thought about whether I would want to be buried next to the SOB and I decided “No, I don’t.”   So I divorced the guy.”

So….it turns out that the guy was a real philanderer for much of the marriage, and she had put up with him up to that point.

I don’t know what happened with Tipper and Al.  I don’t really want to know.  But with all that’s going on with Israel and the Louisiana oil mess and the rest of the crazy world, people are fixated on the break-up of the Gore marriage.  Now I never thought much of Al Gore; I did vote for him reluctantly and I am not unhappy that he lost by those hanging chads, since I never trusted him.  His leaden demeanor never led to trust, although I distrust charisma even more.  But I do know that every marriage is vulnerable and needs to be protected and strengthened.  And that’s from the outside and also from the inside.

Marriage is hard work and it is pretty easy to let things slide so that it doesn’t seem to matter any more.  People don’t like having to work at things; they like things to be simple and straight-forward, just happy and relaxed.  But sorry, being a grown-up means always having to readjust reality to the next stage and always asking more of yourself.

So the world seems to be willing to give them a break; I wish they would be so generous with Israel.  This is also a case of being grown-ups in the world and expecting the rest of the world to act the same.  Can we start asking the Muslim world to do so?


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