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Love and Marriage

[My parents' anniversary is Friday, and in honor of that I asked my youngest sister to write a top ten list about them. This is what she came up with:]

Top Ten Things Mom And Dad Taught Us About Marriage

10. You should never run out of things to say: My parents have been together for 36 years, 3 of which they were dating, and the others they were married. They are each other’s best friends, and they never run out of things to talk about. Many of their conversations seem to be repeated over and over, yet neither seem to notice, so I guess it works.

9. He kills the spiders, she deals with underwear: Many men can do their own laundry; some are even good at it. But let’s face it, no matter how tough you are, it makes a man feel good to kill the creepy crawly things. So ladies, put down the Raid, and grab the fabric softener.

8. Always write it down: Whether it’s a shopping list or an anniversary, write it down. You won’t forget if you just take the time to jot it down. Leaving each other notes seems to be handy little romance trick too.

7. It’s somehow always his fault: It has become a running joke in our family to blame it on dad. No matter what happens, including the times he’s not there, it always comes back to him. Men seem to shoulder a lot of the blame in relationships. Just remember that the sooner someone accepts blame, the sooner the other forgets it.

6. Never undermine the other: As a child it would have been nice if when one parents said no, to go to the other one and get a yes, but my parents thought ahead, GRRR! They always supported each other, to a fault sometimes. If they disagreed, we kids rarely saw it. They always would wait to be alone, so they wouldn’t embarrass each other. A life lesson they taught us early.

5. Say Sorry First: My parents don’t hold grudges. They don’t even fight. They aren’t angels, they have their issues. But they never let more than a couple minutes go by without apologizing and working it out. My Dad always says sorry first. He taught us that a real man owns up to his mistakes. My mom never stays mad. She taught us that a real woman lets him. I’m convinced that this is why our family is so close. We don’t ever forget to forgive, and we always remember to accept it.

4. Clearly Communicate: My parent’s first fight after they were married was over butter. Mom asked Dad to get some butter for a recipe she was making. He went and did just that. Mom grew up with margarine however, and thought that butter meant a big tub, not sticks. While she could have used either, it became a big thing. They learned that marriage was going to be hard, often having the tinniest things upset you, but they laugh about it now.

3. Romance: My parents are still in love. They go away together, even if it’s just for a day. They go to the Movies, or dinner, or just coffee. They try to do this at least once a week. They take trips, and they surprise each other with little “Aunt Trudy” gifts. They put effort into each other, and the result is 33 years and still crazy in love.

2. Laugh: My parents laugh all the time. My dad’s sense of humor was what won him mom. He does little things like putting pillows on his head or napkins on his face at dinner. He isn’t an idiot; he just always wants to make her laugh. He sings to her, and changes the lyrics just for her. They reminisce, and tell stories. They passed on their sense of humor, and if you know Hyperion you might be able to gauge just how important laughing is in this house. Laugh…I guarantee it will add years to your marriage.

1. It’s Possible: The divorce rate is over 60% now, and skeptics surround us. Well my parents taught me that marriage is possible. It is possible to find someone to love, and be happy, and evolve with this person for your whole life. It’s possible to share everything, to not resent the other, or grow apart. It’s possible to be faithful, honest, and really commit. They do it, every day. Their lives haven’t been too shabby either, they got me and my siblings, remember. This last lesson is what keeps me going. Maybe I’ll have my story book beginning after all. Oh and they taught me one last thing, although this may be cheating. Marriage is not an ending, it’s a beginning.