The debut of the Internet, Bill Clinton’s presidency, Jurassic Park, and cutting off my mullet were four of the big news stories in 1993. Let’s face it, however, my mullet was the real story.
Although in hindsight, the Internet turned out to be kind of big deal as well. In June of that year, much to the delight of my parents, I graduated from college.
After waiting a week or so by the mailbox, assuming unsolicited job offers from Fortune 500 companies would simply start rolling in, my father made three suggestions: get a haircut, get the want ads, and get out of their basement. Oh yeah, I also got married.
Wednesday of this week marks my 20th wedding anniversary.
Some people probably wouldn’t have bet a gallon’s worth of gas in 1993 ($1.10/gal) that we would last 20 days, never mind 20 years.
I knew in my heart of hearts though that we were a sure bet, that just like floppy disks and VCR tapes, we’d last forever. World leaders, borders, technology, and fashion have all changed dramatically over the last 20 years. Yet, a few things remain the same. I’m still married, and I’m still wrong.
As a 20-year marriage survivor, I feel it incumbent upon myself to pass along a little marriage knowledge that I’ve picked up along the way. Gentlemen, there’s no need to thank me. Just pay it forward when it’s your time.
There’s an oft cited maxim that goes, “If a tree falls in the forest with no woman to hear it, is the man still wrong?” Well, yes. Yes, he is. See, its Bill’s first law of marriage physics. Isaac Newton tells us that a body in motion tends to stay in motion. Bill’s first law of marriage physics tells us a husband starts out wrong, and tends to stay wrong.
Bill’s second law of physics states that the woman should always get the last word in any argument.
Any word the man utters after that is the beginning of the next argument. Hold these two marriage physics laws as inviolate and you stand a chance of making it to 20 years.
According to modern interpretation, one is to give gifts of either china or platinum on this occasion.
Gentlemen, please understand that this is a test, nothing short of a trap. Have your spouse open up a lovely gravy boat or serving tray on her 20th anniversary, and watch her eyes light up with delight at the prospect of sleeping alone in the big comfortable bed while you sleep downstairs on the couch.
Provide her with a platinum anything and be prepared to answer a series of difficult questions regarding the withholding of pertinent financial information and undeclared cash holdings. The CIA could learn a thing or two about interrogation techniques from a wife on the trail of hidden money.
“What to do then?” you ask.
Gentlemen, take it from me, a 20-year marriage survivor, and do what I do. Wake up on the morning of your anniversary, earnestly look your spouse in the eyes and tell her, “I love you and I’m wrong.
Now please get ready at your leisure and drive to the nearest retail establishment of your choice. Take the day. Always know that whatever you purchase will be from the bottom of my heart. Did I mention that I’m wrong?”
Marriage physics and retail therapy are two tools that can help you navigate through any treacherous anniversary conditions.
Then again, I used to have a mullet. My judgment should probably be called into question.