I saw my first robin of Spring yesterday... two guys held up a Seven-Eleven. (Rim shot.)
But, yes, it is Spring and that means bright sunshine, colorful flowers and a young man's fancy turns to... baseball. Just kidding. I mean, love. And what follows love, but engagements. And what follows engagements, but marriage. And what follows marriage, but fighting over control of the TV remote.
This year there will be more June brides than June bugs. Women are lucky in that they usually have a prenuptial discussion with their mothers about what to expect out of marriage. Men have a prenuptial discussion about what to expect out of a marriage, too. It's called the bachelor party.
That's why I would like to use this column to advise the young men, about to make that important step, of the pitfalls and trip wires to avoid.
First of all, there are two very important magic words you must learn before we continue. Those words are, "I'm sorry." Learn them. Practice them in front of a mirror. Saying these two words, convincingly, can mean the difference between being served your favorite dinner and a bowl of Kibbles 'N Bits.
At work, you may be the one who makes all the important decisions, but once you pass through the portals of your domicile, your decisions don't mean squat. To avoid confrontations and a series of squabbles that will only end in you having to say the two "magic" words anyway, leave the decisions to her. She will appreciate you for having enough confidence in her decision making and you won't have to worry about where she hid your underwear. (Besides, you'll get used to sleeping in a fuchsia bedroom with periwinkle slipcovers and a hot pink canopy.)
Just like you, wives go through different changes in moods. However, even if you lived together for forty years before getting married, you will never see all the moods that they go through. Taking an educated guess, I would have to safely say that there are only about sixteen minutes a month that your wife won't want to take a power tool to one of your limbs.
Another thing to keep in mind is... you're wrong. Accept that fact. You are never right. If the sky is blue, you're wrong. If tomorrow is Friday, you're wrong. There's another phrase you may want to start practicing. "You're right, dear." In fact, if you combine the two phrases that you have been taught, ("I'm sorry. You're right, dear.") effectively, many a night on the sofa with a spring jabbing you in the back can be avoided.
Be prepared to be made to look like an incompetent fool at any time. If you leave the bath mat on the floor after taking a shower, you will be notified. If you leave the bath mat on the floor a second time, she will personally come down to your place of work, with bath mat in hand, point to it, and in her most condescending voice say, "Did we forget something today?"
There is a way of not doing housework, but it takes practice and being able to look foolish with a sincere expression on your face. Let's say you've been assigned to do the laundry. Wait for her to catch you loading the washer with whites and a stack of blue socks and ask her if you should use hot water. She will immediately push you to the side and tell you, "You don't know what you're doing." In which case, your response will be what? Correct. "I'm sorry. You're right, dear." This will be an excellent opportunity for you to grab the sports section of the newspaper and head to the "library." (Just remember, the lid must be down when you finish. Better known as the Eleventh Commandment.)
Well, got to go. My wife just walked by and gave me THAT look. It can only mean one thing. After making my sandwich for lunch today, I must have left my knife on the counter instead of washing, drying and putting it away.
So, keep in mind these simple rules and you, too, will have a marriage made in Heaven. "What's that? The knife goes in the silverware drawer and not on the counter? I'm sorry. You're right, dear."