When I’m 64, 74, 84, etc.

Mrs. Happy and I just finished watching The Notebook on DVD.
Part of the movie features an elderly couple that made my wife cry, because
she thinks we’ll be that much in love when we’re in our 80s and 90s. I hope
she doesn’t
get Alzheimer’s like the lady in the movie, but it’s going to be so fun being
old
with
her.

I don’t normally appreciate Adam Sandler’s humor, but I love this song he
sang in The Wedding Singer:

I wanna make you smile whenever you’re sad
Carry you around when your arthritis is bad
All I wanna do is grow old with you

I’ll get your medicine when your tummy aches
Build you a fire if the furnace breaks
Oh it could be so nice, growing old with you

I’ll miss you
Kiss you
Give you my coat when you are cold
Need you
Feed you
Even let ya hold the remote control

So let me do the dishes in our kitchen
sink
Put you to bed if you’ve had too much to drink
I could be the man who grows old with you
I wanna grow old with you

 

Marriage links for the week

BJ Hewitt talks about how
he loves his wife
.

M.B. McClendon shares 25
reasons she loves her husband
, then discusses how
to choose
to see the good
in an imperfect
husband. She also links to Christie
G.’s list
.

Jennifer at A Lady In Training also writes about loving
her husband through his faults
.

I never fail to be impressed by the insight Irene shows in
her singleness
.
She seems to understand so much that I didn’t get until after I was married.
I just wish her commenters would give her a break sometimes.

Last week I linked to posts by Kev and Rubi Bayer
tackling the question "Why get married?" They were responding to the question
posed at Witt
and Wisdom
. This week Kev linked to a post from Between
Two Worlds
that
deals with a related question: "How
does marriage glorify God?
"

His and Hers: Questions for God

His and Hers is a weekly discussion of a question or topic relating
to marriage. On Friday, my wife and I each write our thoughts on the week’s
topic. I invite others to do the same with their spouses as an exercise in
celebrating marriage. This week’s question is:

If you could ask one question of God and be assured
of a simple, straightforward answer, what would you ask?

Mrs. Happy’s response

How can one God be both Father and Son, and why did the Son have to die?

Curt’s response

Why did you create man the way you did?

NOTE: We are both well aware that there are theological and philosophical
answers to both these questions, but these answers come from men’s deductions
from a human perspective. There is nothing in the Bible that says God
created man this way because

or
God is both Father and Son in this way…. Ours are questions whose answers we would
like to hear answered directly from God.

Reasons I love my wife, 51–60

  • She says the funniest, most random things when she’s falling asleep.
  • She has a child’s love of playing.
  • She’s eminently cuddle-able.
  • She can sing We Are The World in the styles of all 35 singers.
  • She doesn’t point out shapes in clouds, but she does get excited when she
    sees a car that has a face (headlights form the eyes, bumpers form the
    mouth, etc.).
  • She didn’t care for Broadway musicals before we met, but now she shares
    my passion for the theater.
  • She lets me warm my cold feet on her legs.
  • She lets me warm my cold hands on her back.
  • She’s an amazing friend, to me and to everyone.
  • She’s kind to children and small animals.

Where are you from?

I wrote last week about how much I enjoy hearing people’s love
stories
.
Another thing I enjoy is Where I’m From poetry that people send me.
I discovered the Where I’m From project shortly after I began blogging
back in
2003.
At the site Fragments From Floyd,
Fred First wrote a post singing the praises of Appalachian poet George Ella
Lyons and her poem Where
I’m From
.
The poem is a beautiful reflection
on the experiences and memories that shape us all. Fred borrowed an idea from
somewhere and offered
up a template
to help poets and non-poets alike create
similar poems specific to their own lives. Though I’m not a poet by any means,
the project
appealed
to
me enough to write my own poem. Ever since then, several readers have sent
me their
own
Where I’m From poems, and every one is a masterpiece in its own right.
I have posted them all under the where
we’re from
link in the right-hand sidebar.

I recently received another poem, and I felt it was the perfect opportunity
to draw attention to this project. I also think this is a great tool to stimulate
conversation between spouses. If you write a poem about where you’re from,
send it to me and I will include it in the collection. For now, read about
Where Sarah’s From, check out the other
poems
, and see just how fun and cool
this can be.


Where Sarah’s From

I am from shag carpet, from My Little Ponies, Dr. Who and a scratched window
seat.

I am from the brown house by the river, far from the road.

I am from the old
birch trees, the daffodils, and kaleidoscopic pansies.

I am from anxiety and
needless fear.

I am from Christmas Eve tree-trimming parties and defensive stubbornness,
from David and Ruth-called-Kim.

I’m from "You’re a California Girl and
don’t you forget it" and "Life
isn’t working the way the instruction manual said it would."

I am from
conversion from atheism to Catholicism, via my parents.

I’m from San Rafael
and Northwestern European cross-breeding, from pasta with pesto and Black Magic
Cake and using the good silver every day.

From home-schooling and home-cooking, and weeding the garden with the sun hot
on my back.

I am from "Sam the Gazebo" and other stories my mother
invented and told to me.

I am from overcast skies, drizzle, and soul-chilling
dampness.  I’m from
heating the house with a woodstove.

I am from my mother’s playfulness and my
father’s determination.
I am from flowering in college; I am from two and a half years in Alaska
encompassing great beauty and great pain.

I am from the spreading peace and
joy of my marriage to my husband.

Marriage villains at the blog party

I have three friends that I affectionately refer to as "my geek friends."
When I call them that, I can feel like I have friends who are geeks, but that
doesn’t necessarily make me a geek. Of course, in our group of four each of
us refers to the other three as "my geek friends," so they may all be thinking
the same way. In all honesty, though, I’m the least geeky of the four. I don’t
say that to brag—it’s just a fact.
They all three have vast stores of knowledge about obscure topics
that I’ve never heard of. I know a little about comic books, fantasy, and sci-fi,
so sometimes I can converse with them intelligently, but I’m pretty much a
geek by default. As a teenager, I looked like a geek (small, bespectacled,
with little
fashion sense and lots of books) so my peers treated me with a sort of indifference
that effectively became a mild
form
of
ostracism.
The only social group that welcomed me
was the D&D-playing, Star Wars-quoting,
advanced physics-studying, Hitchhiker’s Guide-carrying, spazzy-down-to-the-bone
geeks. So I became a geek by default.

All three geek friends are bloggers now. They are Rey (The
Bible Archive
),
MCF (MCF’s Nexus of
Improbability
), and Jerry (TheWriteJerry).
Their geek credentials are impeccable. As if to prove the point, MCF decided
to host a party…in cyberspace…for bloggers. The point of the party is to describe
"Your Top Five Villains of All Time, from Comics to Cartoons to Television
to Film." Even though I’m a geek only by default, I’m still a geek and I must
respond. In keeping with the focus of this blog, however, I’ve figured out
what may be the five worst villains in the world of matrimony.

  1. California Assemblyman James A. Hayes
    Until 1970, only one U.S. state (Oklahoma) had a law allowing no-fault divorce.
    In all other states, any person who wanted a divorce had to go to court and
    provide a good reason for dissolving the marriage contract. The legislature
    defined "good reason," and judges decided whether a divorce should be granted.
    Divorce did exist prior to 1970, but it was relatively uncommon. In 1969,
    California State
    Senator Donald Grunsky and Assemblyman James A. Hayes introduced a bill to
    allow couples to divorce for any or no reason. The bill was signed into law
    by Governor Ronald Reagan. Subsequently, a national group of lawyers calling
    themselves the Uniform Law Commission composed the Uniform
    Marriage
    and Divorce
    Act—a model no-fault law based on California’s bill. By 1985, every state
    in the union instituted no-fault divorce.

    Hayes was certainly not the only one involved in passing the no-fault law.
    Grunsky sponsored the bill in the state senate, though his stated intent
    was to eliminate the "spectacle of private detectives sneaking around
    gathering salacious evidence against one of the spouses for presentation
    in
    a courtroom expose." Reagan signed the bill into law, but he later regretted
    it as one of the worst mistakes he made while in office. In his book Twice Adopted,
    Michael Reagan says, "Notice that Dad signed the no-fault divorce law some twenty
    years
    after going through his own divorce. His wife, Jane Wyman, had divorced him on
    grounds of ‘mental cruelty.’
    Even though listing grounds for divorce was largely a formality, those words
    were probably a bitter pill for him to swallow. He wanted to do something to
    make the divorce process less acrimonious, less contentious, and less expensive."

    Hayes, on the other hand, was going through an acrimonious divorce at the time
    and didn’t like the rules in place. I
    choose him as
    the
    no-fault villain because his motives in drafting the bill in the first place
    were utterly
    selfish,
    and
    the
    effect
    of
    his actions
    has
    been
    ruinous to the institution of marriage in modern America.

    (References: No-Fault Divorce Faulty Indeed, California
    Divorce
    Reform After 25 Years
    , Twice
    Adopted
    excerpt.)

  2. John F. Kennedy and William Jefferson Clinton
    There’s a story—I don’t know how true it is—about JFK, one of the United
    States’ most beloved presidents ever. The story says that before Kennedy’s
    election in 1960, American men wore hats everywhere they went. The president
    did not like wearing a hat, and when the country saw him on TV eschewing
    headgear, men just stopped buying general-use hats because women everywhere
    wanted him and men everywhere wanted to be him. His life of sexual promiscuity
    and extramarital affairs is well-known though little reported. He seemed
    to have little respect for his wife or his marriage, treating both as
    a social and political expediency. A lot of men have followed his lead.

    Clinton’s damage to marriage was similar, but his influence was more among
    teens than adults. He told a group of high-school students what type of
    underwear he wore, he allegedly harassed several women sexually, and he
    self-admittedly received oral sex from an intern while at his desk in the
    Oval Office. His initial public dismissal of his actions as harmless told
    an entire generation of youth that oral sex isn’t sex. His actions demonstrated
    a lack of respect for the public that elected him and for the women who
    worked for him. Kennedy at least has a legacy of keeping the country safe
    from foreign nuclear threats. Clinton’s legacy is one of scandal, lack
    of self-restraint, and making it nearly impossible for Generation Y to
    have a healthy attitude about sex and marriage.

  3. Elizabeth Taylor and Larry King
    Americans do not always emulate their political leaders, but they have always
    imitated their favorite stars of the big and small screen. Elizabeth Taylor-Rosemond-Hilton-Wilding-Todd-Fisher-Burton-Burton-Warner-Fortensky
    has been married eight times to seven different men, was rumored to have
    had many more love
    affairs, and once said, "What do you expect me to do? Sleep alone?" Whether
    she influenced or merely personified a cultural indifference for the sanctity
    of wedding vows, I count her as a marriage villain. Ditto for Larry King,
    who said of his seven
    marriages
    , "I just like diversity. The girl I
    liked at 20 was not the girl I liked at 30. And in the culture I grew up
    in, if
    you fell in love, you got married. I fell in
    love when I was 20 and 30, and I got married. It didn’t work out, and I paid
    what I had to pay."
  4. Reality Television
    Has there ever been a more insidious erosion of realistic and healthy attitudes
    toward relationships and marriage? Some of the worst, just off the top of
    my head, are: Temptation
    Island
    , Blind Date, Shipmates, The Bachelor, The
    Bachelorette
    , Who Wants
    to Marry a Millionaire?
    , and Joe Millionaire.
  5. Pornography
    Pornography has destroyed more lives and marriages than anyone will ever
    know.

So those are my top five marriage villains. Check out my geek
friends’ responses on their own blogs:

MCF
Rey
Jerry

Marriage links for the week

Robert of Dead Man Blogging offers some highlights of
the 11-sermon series offered by Douglass
Wilson
on marriage.

A writer in the Washington Post describes the intensive
premarital counseling
she went through. This article is a love story,
proposal story, and celebration of marriage all in one. If you’re asked for
un/pw, try almeda/garjohhut. (Thanks to Miss
O’Hara
for the link.)

The National Review has an interview
with Dr. Neil Clark Warren
, founder of
eHarmony. (Thanks again to Miss
O’Hara
.)

Chris Clicka of Ladies
Against Feminism
discusses how husbands should love
their wives unconditionally
. (ht: Kristen of Walking
Circumspectly
, who adds some thoughts of her own.)

The Bayer Family (both Kev and Rubi)
tackle the question, "Why
get married?"

Apparently, singles who are once-divorced have more stock in the dating market
than those who have never been married. Social scientists speculate that a
prior marriage demonstrates a willingness and capability to commit. I don’t
follow that logic, but World and
USA Today both report on it.

Monday was Valentine’s Day, and the blogosphere went all out celebrating marriage
and romance:

Marn talks about the importance
of marital duties
and about her 210th
wedding anniversary
. Key quote: "I came this close to beginning the 31st
year of my marriage by fighting with my spousal unit because he gave me a gift
I had wanted for months."

The McKennas, Katy and Doug,
both offer their thoughts on "Love never fails" from I Cor. 13. (Thanks
to Irene for the link.)

Clarence of Can You Hear
Me Now?
tells the story behind his plain
gold wedding band
.

There are a lot more links out there this week, but this is overwhelming enough
as it is. If you know of something important I’ve left out, please leave it
in the comments.

His and Hers: Idol ambitions

His and Hers is a weekly discussion of a question or topic relating
to marriage. On Friday, my wife and I each write our thoughts on the week’s
topic. I invite others to do the same with their spouses as an exercise in
celebrating marriage. This week’s question is:

1) If you were to audition for American
Idol, what
song would you sing?
2)
How would the judges react?

Mrs. Happy’s response

  1. Mariah Carey’s Vision of Love
  2. Simon: "That was atrocious. Mariah
    Carey you are not."
    Paula: "You don’t really have the range for this song. It wasn’t terrible, but
    I don’t think you’re cut out for this."
    Randy: "Yeah. Don’t quit your day job."

Curt’s response

  1. George Michael’s Faith
  2. Randy: "Uh, what do you think, Paula?"
    Paula: "Curt, I think maybe you need to focus your efforts on other things."
    Simon: (through barely stifled laughter) "If awfulness and lack of talent
    could create good feelings, I would be experiencing my own personal Nirvana
    right
    now.
    Since
    they don’t,
    however,
    please just go away."

 

Love stories

Most of the time on this blog, I write about me, my marriage, and marriage
in general. Sometimes I turn writing duties over to a guest, and sometimes
I publish an e-mail I’ve received. Some of my favorite communications with
readers has been the love stories they’ve shared. I haven’t received any love
stories in quite a while, so today I just want to call attention to them. Here
are a few:

Bill, aka Theognome (who recently
resumed blogging after an extended hiatus), shared his love story in the comment
section of a post. I’m reprinting it here
so that it’s all in one place and not broken up over 12 separate comments,
and to maybe inspire others to write down their love story and send it in.
I love stories like this.


As much as I’d enjoy making the kind of comparison that you have, It would
be quite far from the truth. Here’s how I came to know the Lord:

I was taught
from
my youth that Christians were stupid, hypocritical, gullible and ignorant.
When I was living in Tucson (a few years before I met Toni) I finally
got tired of these idiotic Christians all trying to ‘witness’ to
me. None of them said the same things about God, and it seemed to me that the
whole lot of them were just lemmings. So, I decided I’d beat them at their
own game. I’d steal me a Bible (I sure wouldn’t pay good money
for one), read it, and then when they came at me with their nonsense babble
I could
slaughter them with the very the book they claimed to believe but probably
never read.

I went to a local hotel first and grabbed a Gideon bible, but the fool thing
was written in the king’s English, and I didn’t want to muddle through
all of the Elizabethan garble. So, I went to a bookstore and found a translation
that was in modern English called a NIV. I wrote a check for it on a bank account
that didn’t exist and then took it home and read it, every word, cover
to cover, twice.

After that, I had to wonder. What I had been told about God and what was in
this book here didn’t agree. Just what were all of these churches out there
doing? Didn’t they use the thing? So, I went on a mission. I decided
to see if there were any churches in my city that actually taught the stuff
that
was in there.

Mind you, I read the Bible as if it were any other book- that what it contained
was exactly what it meant to portray, nothing more or less. At this point,
I was not a believer. Worse, I was a heathen that knew what was in the Bible.
I
was the worst nightmare to the Churches of Tucson, AZ.

And it showed. When I went into a goofy church, I would tell them just how
goofy they were according to this here Bible that they, as Christian idiots,
were supposed
to follow. And I would tell them these things very loudly right in the middle
of their services. I was forcibly ejected from five churches for such outbursts,
and barred from even entering two of them that I had not gone to before. I
guess that the word had gotten around.

Finally, I went to a big Southern Baptist church, and which, unknown to me,
was in theological flux i.e. going reformed. I sat down in the front row one
Sunday
(I always went to the front) and, Bible in hand, waited for the fool preacher
to say something stupid. He didn’t. Through the entire service, I couldn’t
find one thing said that was not in agreement to the Bible. So, after the service,
I went up to the preacher and said, “Listen a**hole, I couldn’t find
anything you said that wasn’t in here (holding up my stolen Bible), but
I’m after you now. I’m gonna be here every Sunday until you screw
up, and then I’ll know that your version of Christianity is just as lame
as everyone else’s.” He replied, “Well, we have a Bible study
on Wednesdays, why don’t you come to those, too?”

So I did. For two months, I never missed a service or a study. I argued, cursed,
accused… oh, I was hell on Scripture. I just knew that there was no way
a church could actually be faithful to the Bible. After all, no one else was,
they were all just a bunch of idiots. Finally, one of the pastors (there were
two) gave a sermon concerning Paul on the road to Damascus. It hit me like
a ton of bricks. That was I—full of the knowledge of the Lord, and yet fighting
tooth and nail against Him. I was undone that day… and made anew.

So, that’s how I came to know the Lord. How I came to know the Purdiest is
a whole different tale…

Like most salesmen, I went through my Amway stage. I was living in Tucson,
AZ in March of ’98 and was told by my upline that I needed to attend
a seminar in Irvine, CA. I had a few folks in my group, and so I and my friend
T.J. drove
the nine or so hours from Tucson to Irvine to attend. I had broken up with
a girlfriend a few months prior, and had decided that I was destined to be
a single
guy whether I liked or not.

We arrived at the Irvine Marriot Hotel Friday morning, and began to attend
the festivities. The meetings lasted all weekend. On Saturday, during lunch
break,
I saw that they had forgotten to lock their piano in the lobby. Now I am quite
addicted to pianos, so I sat down and began to play Beethoven’s Moonlight
Sonata. I played the first movement, which most folks are familiar with, and
then played the second movement.

Now the third movement was beyond my skill, and it still is. So I looked about
before I began to play something else, and I saw this knockout gorgeous woman
standing behind me, listening to me play. So I said, “Hi there.” We
chatted about music for a bit, and she played some Chopin for me, and I then
did likewise. We exchanged voice mail phone numbers, and parted ways, me for
Tucson, and her for Pittsburgh, CA.

I called her voice mail the following Tuesday, and gave her my home phone.
She had a bible study on Wednesday, so we spoke on the phone Thursday. We did
this
daily for another month, for hours at a time. Finally, in April, I flew up
to Pittsburgh CA (it’s in the Bay area near Oakland) for a long weekend.
After three days, I knew for a fact that I could not go on without this woman,
and
so as we were on the way to the airport to put me back on the plane home, I
asked her to marry me. She said yes, and we were married in her church six
months later.

Sorry for the length of the response, but these two subjects, the Lord and
my wife, are my absolute favorite.