I’ve seen your names in the paper.
I’ve seen your lovely faces smiling at us from the Lifestyles Page of the Clarksdale Press Register and the Society sections of other newspapers.
And I guess there is really nothing I can say to stop you, if your heart and mind are already made up about this marriage thing.
Now, I’m not one of those who complains about being married. On the contrary, saying “I do” is one the best things I ever did. As a matter of fact, Sara and I will celebrate 32 years of marriage this month. I’m proud to say I have learned a few things about marriage over the past three decades.
When I announced I was getting married, I got a lot of advice. So this is aimed at all those June lovebirds who are bound and determined to tie their lives together forever.
Marriage veterans might just like it, too.
To the ladies
The wedding day is by far the biggest single-day event in a woman’s life.
From day one, young girls hear stories of the handsome prince and his princess overcoming some great obstacle and living happily ever.
Most of you grow up believing wholeheartedly in that story.
But I think our society puts too much emphasis on getting to the altar and fails to talk about what happens once you get out the door of the church.
Girls, he may be shaved, scrubbed and sweetly scented on your big day, but men don’t naturally stay that way.
Like those wedding flowers you paid big bucks for, I’ll give your new hubby a week or two at the most.
We walk around in a T-shirt, belch and scratch where it itches without one bit of shame because – well, it feels good.
There is no doubt in my mind it was a man who dreamed up the motto, “If it feels good, do it!”
Fill up our tummy, prop us up on the couch in the air conditioning, put the remote in our hand and we’re happy in the truest sense of the word.
Pander to those “feel good” moments in life and we’re putty in your hands, girls.
But let me warn you, the problems come when you try to move us from “feel good” to “do good” mode.
You’ll soon find out what I’m talking about.
Doing good isn’t easy and I don’t know a man on this earth who doesn’t like it easy.
Real men don’t like physical exertion. Why do you think fishing, deer hunting and golf are so popular?
To the guys
Your life, as you know it, is over.
Your money, your property and more importantly all of your time must now be shared with a superior human being.
Learn to like it if you want to survive.
Yes, you are physically bigger and probably make more money, but if you want to be happy you are going to have to learn the art of compromise.
They say politics is the art of compromise. Guys, marriage is politics at its most refined level.
Let me assure you there will be a new form of government set up at your new house. All you can do is pray there is never a coup.
The hardest part of your new role will be explaining things to your new bride.
When they ask where you’re going, they are really asking why. When they ask who you’re with, they really want to know why. When they want to know when you’re coming back, they really want to know why.
If you aren’t willing to tell your new wife you love her more than any other woman on the face of this earth, every day for the rest of eternity, DON’T GET MARRIED!
Guys, remember that happily-ever-after story?
Well, I’m here to tell you, women live for romance. If you can’t give it to her, she’ll look for it somewhere else.
I’m probably not the first to try and give you lovebirds some marriage advice. I’m also sure I won’t be the last.
But try to file away as much of it as you can – you’re going to need it if you’re going to live forever with someone of the opposite sex.
And if you don’t hear anything else, remember this: What works in someone else’s marriage won’t necessarily work in yours.
You two are about to be bound together legally, physically and spiritually. The path you take together is what makes marriage work.
I’ve learned to like that prince/princess story.
You see, it’s overcoming the dragons of this world together that makes living happily ever after so much fun.
Floyd Ingram is the Editor of your Clarksdale Press Register and has been happily married since June 18, 1988. His wife Sara can be found faithfully at his side at most civic functions in this community.