Saturday, April 03, 2004

Marriage links for the week  

Read Ryan's take on the importance of not keeping score in a relationship.

Before I got married, I had never worn a ring for any longer than a couple of minutes. It took me a few months after my wedding to get used to wearing the wedding band. Doug at CoffeeSwirls has been married a little longer than I have, and he claims that he wore his wedding band constantly until a medical emergency forced its removal.

Speaking of Doug, he also shares a story about his mother-in-law telling him that she thanked God for him. My in-laws have only recently begun to like me, so I won't be pushing them for similar treatment any time soon.

The Spring edition of Christianity Today's sex Q&A is online and sort of informative.

American soldiers overseas can take a class in dating and marrying intelligently.

A 105-year-old lady is an inspiration to everyone who knows her due to her devotion to God and family.

Friday, April 02, 2004

His and Hers V  

His and Hers is a question or discussion topic relating to marriage that I post every Tuesday or Wednesday (though I forgot to do that this week). On Friday, my wife and I each write our thoughts on the topic. I invite other bloggers to do the same with their spouses as an exercise in celebrating marriage. This week's question is:

What is one thing that surprised you about being married?

Curt's response

When I got married, I thought it was probably the most stunning and significant event the world had ever seen. I had spent a few years thinking that I would never find a woman willing to marry me, and for some reason I thought that everyone else in the world—even people who had never met me—agreed with that conclusion. So when I found a woman who actually wanted to build a life with me, I felt the foundation of the earth rock. For several months before my wedding and several months after, I would tell people of my engagement/marriage and expect them to react with uncontainable joy and amazement, and it always surprised me when they took the news in stride. All statements of congratulations were offered with little more than a period and a handshake rather than the exclamation point and celebratory dance I anticipated. It's been almost six years since then, and I've come to accept such nonchalance in others. But my mind and spirit still do a praise-God-for-His-blessings dance every time I think about the wonderful woman He put in my life.

Mrs. Happy's response

By the time Curt and I got married, his parents and sister already knew me and had grown to love me. After we got married, I started meeting his extended family. What surprised me was how they all reacted to me. Upon meeting me, every single aunt, uncle, and cousin invariably embraced me as if in an outpouring of love that had been building up their entire lives. They immediately accepted me as family and treated me with affection before I had ever done anything to warrant that. It made me uncomfortable to be on the receiving end of what I considered an unjustified love. I thought they should at least get to know me before thinking that I'm such a wonderful person. Over the years, I have grown to understand and appreciate it more, but it really surprised me at first.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

A new insight  

During my daily devotional yesterday, I came across Luke 14:26: "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." At first, this made no sense to me. Doesn't God call us to love one another? Why, then, would Jesus tell us to hate our own families? But after a while I understood. Jesus told us to "love your neighbor as yourself." Paul also wrote that husbands should "love their wives as they love their own flesh." It's perfectly consistent with scripture to hate your wife as long as you hate your own life as well, which is something Jesus commanded us to do. This is revolutionizing my attitude toward marriage. Thus far in my marriage I've been taking an attitude of love toward my wife, when an attitude of hate is required. So when I came home from work today, I barked my order for supper instead of kissing her and telling her I love her as I've been doing for the past five years. She made me my supper and only cried a little bit, so the hate seems to be working.

All of this is, of course, complete nonsense that I wouldn't write on any day of the year except April Fool's Day.

From the Luke 14:26 entry of The Expositor's Bible Commentary:

Hate is not an absolute but a relative term. To neglect social customs pertaining to family loyalties would probably have been interpreted as hate. Jesus is not contravening the commandment to honor one's father and mother. Moreover, he says a disciple should hate even his own life, whereas he speaks elsewhere of loving ourselves (Matt. 22:39; Mark 12:31). It is important to understand the Near Eastern expression without blunting its force.

From the April Fool entry of Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable:

Called in France un poisson d'Avril, and in Scotland a gowk. In Hindustan similar tricks are played at the Huli Festival, so that it cannot refer to the uncertainty of the weather, nor yet to a mockery of the trial of our Redeemer, the two most popular explanations. A better solution is this: As March 25th used to be New Year's Day, April 1st was its octave, when its festivities culminated and ended.

I've never been very good with April Fool's jokes. One time I went into a cafe and saw a man I didn't know sitting alone at a table, so I sat down across from him and said, "You know, a few of us have been watching you for a while and we're a little concerned. We've been talking about it, and we think you're beginning to exhibit the classic signs of paranoia."

I didn't really do that either, of course. It makes sort of a funny story, though.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

More laughter  

This is an actual conversation that made me laugh pretty hard:

Mrs. Happy (singing)
I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

Me (thinking)
Wow. I knew that someone took that clever spoonerism originally coined by Dorothy Parker and used it as the basis for a country and western song, but I've never actually heard the song. I've sometimes wondered whether the rest of the lyrics would match the wit in Parker's statement, but I've never been in a position—while I'm wondering, that is—to look up the words or ask someone who knows them. And here I find that my wife knows them, except that she's stopped singing.

Me (speaking)
Do you really know that song?

Mrs. Happy
Kind of. That's really the only line I know.

Me
Oh.

Mrs. Happy
And I don't know the tune at all.

Me
::hysterical laughter::

Monday, March 29, 2004

Reminiscence No. 3  

Most blogs cover timely topics and, as such, their content has a fairly short shelf life. I try to make my posts more timeless since I want to be celebrating marriage for a long time to come. The number of visitors to this site has increased every month since I've started, though, which means that new visitors miss out on past posts that are as relevant today as they were four months ago, and as I hope they will be years from now. So every six weeks or so I indulge in a particular brand of egocentrism and highlight some of my favorite past articles, a practice based on the assumption that new readers are really missing out on good stuff if they don't browse the archives (and I'm not big-headed enough to think that anyone but maltagirl has ever actually done that). I've done this twice, calling attention to particular posts from the first twelve weeks of my blogging career. Here are some of the bright spots of weeks 13–18:

If you like those, check out Reminiscences No. 1 and No. 2. (Dec. 19 and Feb. 6)