A look into marital realityWith it being that time of year, I think it’s important to point out to those young people
By: Kevin Holten, The Dickinson Press
With it being that time of year, I think it’s important to point out to those young people who are about to slide into martial bliss that it can be the launching pad for a major collision with a lot of unseen debris.
You see if we, as a nation, can spend millions on sophisticated telescopes and still only scan a fraction of space, then married people cannot be expected to anticipate every piece of martial manure that will inevitably hit their fan.
Now I prefer a fairy tale scenario where everything in marriage and life ends happily ever after. But as you, I and every other homosapien wandering the globe eventually finds out, that’s not always reality. Even Sleeping Beauty got larger, less pretty and cranky after a few years, a couple of kids and too many sodas, which is a fact that Hollywood has kept successfully under wraps for decades. I used to see her stroll by the FOX Studios next to my son’s Manhattan Beach baseball field nearly every day in that same, food-stained, pink bathrobe. Oh I’m sorry, that was Calista Flockhart, but you get the point.
And even Prince Charming lost his hair, grew another chin and watched his mid-section extend far beyond his sunken chest as his food intake raced ahead of his exercise level just like that of every other cheerleader and football captain whose golden image has adorned the pages of a high school yearbook.
Having once traveled the marital trail quite unsuccessfully myself, I’d like to offer some simple, inspirational suggestions for those of you who are still in hot pursuit of the marital myth.
First, don’t let loneliness cloud your reasoning; you’re a grownup now and you don’t need a babysitter. Marry a wife not a mommy and a husband not a daddy.
Don’t buy a house, buy a duplex; north side for him and south side for her. Visit only when invited.
Date each other any two nights a week. If there is any post date action, go home before sunrise when the coachmen start to turn back into mice and your face and hair gel have soaked into the pillow.
When you have dinner together it must be by candlelight. And breakfast must always be at a restaurant, on a garden terrace or under any format that requires leaving her food-stained, pink bathrobe and his tattered Denver Broncos jersey with crotchless sweatpants behind.
Don’t toss around credit cards from the top of a deck and buy only what you can pay cash for.
If you’re blessed with children, shift into a whole new, grownup gear and leave your Britney Spears and Kid Rock personas behind. Raising young people requires every bit of maturity, tenderness and patience that you can muster. You should train harder for parenthood than anything that you’ve ever prepared for in your life.
Marry someone who you can trust to give a lot of space to because claustrophobia will douse any flame in milliseconds. And if you can’t find someone you can trust, stay single, date whomever you want and continue to think that you’re Madonna, Pamela Anderson, or Alex Rodriquez, living in a make believe world, assuming that lust is love.
And don’t think that you have the right to complain. You’re not the global president and you don’t have a license to view life in anything other than a positive manner. Remember that real love is more action than emotion, the best thing that’ll ever happen to you and worth every bit of sacrifice in the end.
If this sounds a bit businesslike, it is. You’re forming a two-member corporation and there’ll be a lot more stockholders involved than you think. And good luck, because no matter how much homework you do, it’ll still be a crap shoot that you might win or you might lose. So marry for love because, even if your spouse doesn’t, at least you’re halfway there.
— Holten is the Dickinson State University Foundation communication director.