When my husband and I were engaged people gave me a lot of advice.
In 1999, three days before my wedding, a friend helpfully warned me about the pitfalls of marriage in a hushed tone. We were sitting at table tucked in a dark corner at the Half Penny Pub in Bay Shore.
"You know those things about him you absolutely love, those little 'quirks?' After you're married you will hate those things," she whispered.
"What are you going to do with that?" I asked garden-gloved hands on hips. I was laughing because his saw was so small. He was laughing too and cursing me out simultaneously.
"You can't cut a big branch with that little razor blade. You need a chain saw, Dr. Christie." (It's so enjoyable to use his title while mocking him.)
That set him off on a mission. He climbed the tree and started whittling away at the branches.
From the window I couldn’t help but watch him cutting and I actually started to feel bad about teasing him when I noticed that he was beginning to sweat. My loving spouse had a look of focused determination on his face as if he were playing tennis, or imagining the branch was my neck. After much effort the wood cracked and fell to the ground.
I nearly jumped out of my skin when I heard him shout, “HA!”
In a flash he was standing at the window, face pressed up to the glass, grinning at me and holding up that little saw. True, I made him Jack Nicholson mad, but at least he trimmed the trees. So I actually won this battle, but he thinks he did. It turns out my friend was wrong back then. This is marital bliss.
"A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you
control it." -- John Steinbeck
This post was reprinted as a point of view in the 10-20-11 issue of Islip Bulletin and the My Turn column in theNovember 10th issue of Long Island Advance.