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Musings on my marriage September 23, 2007

Posted by Administrator in Family, Personal.
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. . .he wondered if this was simply how marriage was supposed to be, calm and respectful. But no. No. There had to be a melody line that grabbed you, not just harmony and chorus.

– Character Larry Starcek musing on his marriage in Scott Turow’s Reversible Errors

Turow is one of my favorite authors, and as far as I am concerned is the master of telling stories about the law. Part of his mastery stems from the fact that he personalizes his characters so well, and they all have feet of clay, just like the rest of us.

Some themes repeat themselves in the work: the crippled loved one (Reversible Errors and Personal Injuries (Arthur’s schizophrenic sister Susan in RE, Robbie Feaver’s ALS-stricken wife in PI); the tough, grimly realistic cop (Larry in RE, Lip in Presumed Innocent); and most notably, the marriages damned by infidelity, disinterest or hidden secrets, such as Talmadge and Muriel’s marriage in RE, Rusty and his wife in Presumed Innocent, Sandy and Clara Stern [as well as their neighbors and brother] in The Burden of Proof, as well as Robbie Feaver in Personal Injuries.

The quote above gives a typical illustration of how Turow depicts marriage in his novels; the spouses are rarely in love (he is still one of my favorite authors in spite of, rather than because of, this). If they are, such as the Sterns or the Feavers, something fundamental has crippled the marriage; in Feaver’s case, his wife’s terminal illness; in Stern’s case, Clara’s suicide brought about from the shame emanating from her lone infidelity. Turow consistently paints marriage in very bleak terms. And sorry to say, I get the impression that many marriages in America are along the unhappy -or worse, just tolerable- lines.

But they’re not all that way. Mine certainly isn’t.

Turow and others keep suggesting that the patina of love in a marriage dies away early on. That has not been the case with Nina and I.

We both work at our local Catholic high school. I am there all day, she comes in during the afternoons. She arrived as I was monitoring lunch (which I can do from a table in the cafeteria). To this day, she still whips MY head around, as well as some of the younger males in the room.

Granted, being on the downside of 40, she cannot present that sort of “fresh” beauty that is often exhibited by the girls 25 years her junior she teaches, but she looks very good. Better than any other woman within 15-20 years of her age. And if you factor in the reality that she has had seven children, you would say she is impossibly beautiful.

“Hot” is the current adolescent label. That’s Nina.

And where does she sit? Right across from me. And what do we do, in that cafeteria loaded with adolescence?

We flirt with each other. Look, tease, pass innuendo. What fun it all is. And is it helpful for the marriage? You bet.

I tell you this; none of Turow’s characters are sufficiently enamored with their respective spouses that they flirt in a public diner. Anytime Turow’s characters flirt, you may be sure that they are either in some ways being unfaithful, or they are unattached and “on the prowl.”

We’re married, and we flirt. And I tell you this; there is no one else on this earth I would sooner flirt with; not even any of those fresh-faced high school girls. They won’t look near as good as Nina 20 years down the road, and none of them have her heart and brain.

Besides, she’s my best friend, on top of it all.

 

Ooo. you make me live
whatever this world can give to me
It’s you, you’re all I see
Ooo, you make me live now honey
Ooo, you make me live
You’re the best friend
that I ever had
I’ve been with you such a long time
You’re my sunshine
And I want you to know
That my feelings are true
I really love you
You’re my best friend

-Queen

Right now, my wife is off in Connecticut, tending to her ridiculous mother (that may or may not be the subject of another post. The woman has pissed me off more than anyone else has in probably 10 years or more. Just being a self absorbed idiot, and if she does not make it right, my intention is to confront her and deliberately humiliate her. She’s worn out her welcome, and that’s all for now on that) and our three oldest kids at the wedding of Nina’s niece, followed by a short sojourn in NYC to see the sites. I am missing Nina terribly, can’t sleep at night, bored silly during the day.

I need my wife back. My lover. My partner. My best friend. I can’t see how marriages collapse. Yes, we have had to work to get here, but haven’t you ever worked in some task, and despite the sweat and the aches and the time involved, you found yourself enjoying the work, particularly if you’re working WITH someone?

That’s marriage, a genuine labor of love.

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Comments»

1. Bride .net » Blog Archive » Stamp Marriage with an Expiration Date? - September 25, 2007

[…] here is a picture of what a committed, enduring marriage should be like. In “Musings on my Marriage,” someone who’s been happily married for over seven years (gasp!) talks about his […]

2. eugene doyle - October 3, 2007

I am glad that your marriage is in good health, but I am confused. Take one moment to think about a typical Christian and her “answered prayers.” For example, there is a Christian housewife in Pasadena who firmly believes that God answered her prayer this morning to remove the mustard stain from her favorite blouse. She prayed to God to help remove the stain, and after she washed it the stain was gone. Praise Jesus!

There are tens of millions of true believers in the United States who know that God is personally helping them each day with their trivial prayers. They believe that they have a personal relationship with God, that God hears their prayers each day, and that God has time to reach down and remove the mustard molecules one by one. They believe it with all of their hearts.

It makes you wonder: If God has the time and the will to answer these trivial prayers, manipulating the mustard molecules in response to a housewife’s prayer, then what the heck is God doing ignoring the billions of people on this planet who are living in stark, abject poverty? It is when you think about this simple question that you realize how imaginary God is and how delusional and completely self-centered Christians can be.

One obvious question that any rational person would ask is this: If an all-powerful god is answering the housewife’s prayer, why does she need to wash the shirt? Why not hang the stained, wrinkled shirt in the closet and pray for God to clean and press it there? An all-powerful God could just as easily remove the stain in the closet as he can in the washing machine.

The second obvious question is this: If God is removing the stain, then why doesn’t our housewife pray for poverty to dissappear too? Why doesn’t she watch tomorrow as the world magically transforms itself into a poverty-free utopia, in the same way that her blouse became mustard-free? Answer: because God is imaginary.

3. demolition65 - October 3, 2007

Obviously, Mr. Doyle’s [i]ad hominem[/i] and rather [i]non sequitur[/i] comment demands attention. However, as I am drowning currently in a sea of psychology tests, he will have to wait his turn before I grade his comment.

But the grade is coming, never fear.

4. demolition65 - October 3, 2007

OK, let’s see here:
“Take one moment to think about a typical Christian and her “answered prayers.” For example, there is a Christian housewife in Pasadena who firmly believes that God answered her prayer this morning to remove the mustard stain from her favorite blouse. She prayed to God to help remove the stain, and after she washed it the stain was gone. Praise Jesus!”

Why should I take one moment to consider this woman, as I have said nothing -ANYWHERE- about God answering prayers.

OK, now set that aside.

The woman is misguided. God removed the stain to the extent that He blessed the woman with hands and the goods to remove stains. Out it came. The woman deserves most of the credit, if not all.

“There are tens of millions of true believers in the United States who know that God is personally helping them each day with their trivial prayers. They believe that they have a personal relationship with God, that God hears their prayers each day, and that God has time to reach down and remove the mustard molecules one by one. They believe it with all of their hearts.”

Good for them. That does not make them correct. Nor does it disprove God’s existence that they may be misguided.

“It makes you wonder: If God has the time and the will to answer these trivial prayers, manipulating the mustard molecules in response to a housewife’s prayer, then what the heck is God doing ignoring the billions of people on this planet who are living in stark, abject poverty?”

no, it makes YOU wonder, Mr. Doyle. Now, setting THAT aside:

There are two answers that come to mind: Perhaps the billions of people in his example have not ASKED. Second, who said that God is ignoring them? Just because they do not get what they want does not mean that they have no hope of a personal relationship with Him.

“One obvious question that any rational person would ask is this: If an all-powerful god is answering the housewife’s prayer, why does she need to wash the shirt? Why not hang the stained, wrinkled shirt in the closet and pray for God to clean and press it there? An all-powerful God could just as easily remove the stain in the closet as he can in the washing machine.”

this got answered above. God answered the prayer to the extent that He gave the woman the means to remove the stain. The reality of God is better exemplified by the following story:

“A woman prays daily to win the Lotto. Despite storming heaven with multiple prayers daily, she never wins the Lotto.

Finally, after a full year, she petulantly demands of God why He has not granted her prayer.

A voice then thunders down from heaven: ‘Woman, try BUYING A TICKET for starters, then I might be able to help.”

Mr. Doyle’s efforts at building a means of refuting the existence of God due to the immaturity of some of His followers says more about Mr. Doyle’s own level of maturity than it does the existence of God.

So, Mr. Doyle’s final grade: D. The english is fine, the argument quite worthless.


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