AS GOOD AS IT GETS

The secret to happy marriage is both parties must understand; accept; commit to the philosophy “this is as good as it gets.”

Everybody accepts nobody (else) is perfect. We all know WE are perfect but, otherwise, perfection is impossible. So, we appreciate, at least intellectually, that, although we may be enamoured, smitten AND besotted with proposed spouse on the Big Day, we’ll soon discover (horror of horrors) he/she’s seriously flawed.

I’ve no wish to hurry you, luv, but have you seen the time.
It’s quarter to ten and we’re supposed to be there at nine.
I don’t think the Registrar will be very pleased
when we show up an hour late like two frozen peas.          

It usually takes the male half of a marriage about six months to discharge his first unapologetic fart (in an air-conditioned bedroom, naturally). If challenged, he’ll deny liability (denial being males’ most honed expertise) and, if pressed, blame the dog wifey thought about buying yesterday.

Both now facing for the first time (presently and past)
something that begins with ‘M’ and ends in ‘alas’.
More than not complete disaster even from the start
What could it be…?
It’s Matrimony

He WILL be pressed because it takes her about a week to drop all pretence of being “submissive wife” (except Sunday mornings) and to unleash upon her mate women’s greatest and most practiced talent namely nagging. Married men wishing to avoid nagging have only two options. One: suicide (better be quick and efficient otherwise you WILL be accused of maliciously depleting family resources on medical expenses). Two: Obey Jamaica’s leading lady’s instruction; “Shut your mouth”. Instead, count your blessings.

I’m truly grateful for the little things in life
that have made me so glad.
Every other hour that I spend with you
is not in the least bit sad.
Quite the opposite in fact
and, if you don’t believe me,
here’s the proof.
Ask me if I and I’ll say ‘Aye! I do’

One last thing (said Lieutenant Colombo) truth is no defence to nagging’s dreaded sub-category, accusations of infidelity. By the time her mole at your workplace has informed on you that you weren’t at work late, it’s pointless confessing you were playing cards with the boys. Not only won’t you be believed, THAT’s a marital crime as dire as infidelity anyway. Again, the only appropriate response is SHUT UP and hope that, like a bad curry goat, this too will pass. It should only take about five decades.

The worst strategy is to contemplate seeking “raise” since you’ve suffered “praise”. Why? Because, my friend, as imperfect as she’s proven to be, this is as good as it gets. Never forget life’s philosophical certainty: Nothing is as it appears. So, grass appearing greener tends to be more arid that the orange stuff in your backyard. “Raise” comes with excess baggage including new and unknown neuroses; harassment/stalking; expense; and the unbearable stress of having to recall and support lies.

Male spouses drop courting niceties like opening doors for partner within a week of marriage. Ladies, don’t succumb to the temptation to unleash the Nag Within or to scout around for better. Married men who continue the pre-wedding illusions only Superman can maintain are men with many concubines. What you’re experiencing can only come from constant practice because, otherwise, men’s muscle memory succumbs to inherent lack of attention span and discipline.

So, ladies, that fat, frustrating freak who just belched unpleasantly in your face is a faithful, loving husband. He’s as good as it gets. Guys, that nagging, face-cream smothered, bag of negative vibes lying beside you with back firmly turned and barbed wire around the vital parts is yours alone. She’s as good as it gets. Her foibles are all explained by her fervent desire that you live forever. Her replacement, or supplement, doesn’t even see you. Her eyes are firmly fixed on your wallet. Little does she know, it’s as empty as her head.

One of pop’s most gifted singer/songwriters is an Irish hermit named Raymond O’Sullivan (a.k.a “Gilbert”). He combined intellectually brilliant lyrics and catchy melody with dry Itish wit. His top-flight entertainment manager, Gordon Mills, whose stable included Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck, had serious problems making Ray publicly palatable because he actively detested fame. His seminal work, Alone Again Naturally (1974) became my personal theme song and Matrimony (from his sophomore album, Back To Front), a spoof featuring two young, struggling soul mates, remains my favourite on the subject.

Peace and Love

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