The last weekend in March I was at a 25th wedding anniversary. It was for my son Earl and his wife, Kelly.
When your kids’ 25th anniversaries come on the scene, it makes you realize that you yourself are getting somewhat older. But I remember their wedding as yesterday.
I knew I would be asked to say a few words at their wedding, so while in preparation in the triple-S porcelain parlour, wishing to multi-task, I reached for the nearest roll of paper and on it, in part, this is what I wrote:
“Now, I have only been married once, so I don’t have a great deal of experience to draw on, but I’ll pass on to you a few assumptions that I have gathered over the 35 years that I have been married. The first thing you need to do, if you want to make a marriage work, is make sure you got the right woman. This is very important.
“To be sure that you got the right woman, pick one capable of holding a grudge. My wife, the Little Lady, she holds a grudge. I know this because I asked her to marry me 35 years ago and she’s been holding it against me ever since.
“Don’t believe this hogwash about marriages being formed in heaven. That just ain’t true. Marriages are made right here on this earth. And they are made up of love, lots of love, and, too, hard work. Marriages have to be worked at in order to make them work.
“When your mother, the Little Lady, and I got married, we thought we had enough love to last 10 lifetimes. We thought we were so full of love that we would never run out. But the fact is, we ran out of love on our wedding night. Why else would we have started making love if we hadn’t already run out?
“Now, when people get married, there is always this talk about babies. Now, I’ve been married for quite a few years and I still can’t quite figure it all out. Where do babies come from? My mother told me I came out from under a cabbage leaf. At one time when your older sister Linda came along, I suspected she was brought about by pollen blowing in the wind, so I stayed out of corn patches after that.
“When your brother Ross came along, I talked to your Uncle Norm, and he told me it was from bathing in the same bath water. Now, I don’t really doubt his word, for I know that some really good quality time has been spent in the bathtub. When you, Earl, came into the world, your Uncle Lloyd told me he had it all figured out – he told me it was just a matter of equations. He assured me that when you put one and one together, you come up with three. This I might have believed, but I lost faith in his mathematical theory when he himself had to strip naked in order to count to 21.
“When your kid brother Glen came along, I blamed it all on the irresponsible doctors. I’ve seen it happen again, and again, and again – doctors taking advantage of young women, never old women. Every time a young woman goes to the hospital to lose a little weight, these doctors pawn kids off on them. They have those do-it-yourself kits in them there maternity wards, and they stick babies together with Crazy Glue.
“At any rate, your mother, the Little Lady and I want you and Kelly to work at keeping your marriage together as long as we have. And we also intend to stick around to see that you do it. That’s not a request, that’s an order, ‘Captain’.”
The fact is, I still have that roll of toilet paper, and now that I’ve recycled what on it was writ, I’ll recycle the paper next time I ****.
Take care, ’cause we care.