Friday, February 11, 2011

Marriage Myths

…marriage myths

If the original Tales of the Grimms Brothers had been left intact by sanitizing editors, the youth of the world would have a far truer vision of the fairy-tale fable called marriage.

Our tale opens with a young, love-struck couple on the cusp of a delightful happy-ever-after tale. The couple is bedecked like royalty at a castle-like reception hall trussed up in finery, with frippery and flowers. A fawning public brings expensive gifts and gathers to admire them and coo. The couple shares bites of a magical cake after which a fabulous coach transports them on a magical journey to a mythical place in a far distant land. After two weeks of sustained delusion, our two young lovers return and flip the page to the second chapter of connubial… reality.

On the very next page of this book, the dark side of the tale emerges and the innocent couple plunge into the deep, dark mysterious myth of matrimony. Don't get me wrong, I'd not have it any other way (This is not just vendetta speaking), but the bottom line is that after such a delusional set-up, Reality Bites!

There are those of us—the fairy god-aunties--who attempt to mitigate the page-turning of this slasher-thriller with hints and clues made in the guise of well-meant encouragement. Our preparation begins under the pretense of advice at the bridal shower. Advisors flit about dispensing counsel like clouds of fluffy meringue. “Whoever exits the bed last makes it!” and “If one cooks, the other cleans the kitchen!”

Most of our time is spent sugarcoating the grit of the bitter chocolate offered by the sardonic thrice-divorced auntie-fairy who sits slouched on the far settee. We tactfully try to stay well within the boundaries set by the queen mother who wants to avoid startling this pony mid-stride.

We watch the couple as they flit and flutter around in this dream world, hopeful and deluded. We wish their story could somehow end far more fairy-like than our own. All the while, knowing the magic mirror would be more realistic if the Cinderella life it revealed, could have stayed stuck in nasty-godmother, toilet-cleaning, pre-prom disclosure.

Reality Bite: Our sole purpose is to keep the stunned couple from skipping ahead in the tale and preempting the disastrous conclusion.

…and tales

To the Fairy Bride:

Honey, I want to give you what every young innocent couple hopes for—the secret to marital tranquility, all the magic ingredients, stashed in a special bag to be mixed and combined to invent the potion that resolves all issues.

It doesn’t exist. Get over it. Love me, T.

Fairy god-aunties are well-meaning marriage wizards who dispense the best advice to be had, and while not conventional connubial practitioners, (marriage therapists) most long-married couples have earned their credentials by being married at least ten years (four years training, two years mastering and then four more spent doctoring up a relationship). These are the real experts, the secret holders of blissful longevity. Somehow I managed to qualify, so here are my top three hints: [1]

4. Admit when you’re wrong. Take the blame and apologize. (“I’m sorry you feel that way,” doesn’t count.)

3. Put the other person first, particularly when shots are being fired.

2. Greet each other at the end of a long day with a kiss, in lieu of the opposite.

1. Never go to sleep in the middle of a fight. If you do, you risk forgetting the whole thing, (particularly his part in it) by morning!

To T:

The battle just gets raging and I glance over and find that I am looking at the outside of his eyelids while he looks at the insides. Me

Reality Bite: Heaven forbid this should all blow over!


[1]My prince insisted there were four.





excerpt from Reality Book 2, Arms and Legs In and Have a Nice Ride

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