While you’re reading today’s column, my oldest son and his beautiful bride will be saying their wedding vows up in the North Carolina mountains. Now, I know that most of you sleep in each Saturday and won’t read my column until the afternoon, but we’ve got you covered. They’ve planned an afternoon wedding. Although I might be lying just a tad, we’ll pretend they did this so you — my readers — could have a nice, lazy Saturday snooze. In return, I think it’s only proper for me to offer them a gift, and nothing’s better for newlyweds than good advice. Besides, advice is reasonably inexpensive, and I have lots of it to spare. So, I’ll start with a few tidbits here, and that’ll give them something to read on their honeymoon.
Here’s a really good one: Don’t let your marriage suffocate you. Too many newlyweds wrap themselves together in a cocoon and shun many of their former friends and interests. They pour all their attention, excitement and desires into a little cup with only two straws. Don’t do that. Keep your friends close; make them an integral part of your life together. Your relationship will be made better by having a broad range of interests and hobbies, whether you pursue them as a team or alone. Fidelity, respect, and love: these are the hallmarks of marriage. Isolation, stagnation, and paranoia are not.
Here’s another hot one: Don’t assume you know what the other one is thinking. You have to talk, talk, and talk some more in a good marriage. If you don’t talk, you’ll build up mental images that don’t correspond to reality. You’ll assume too much, and you’ll be dead wrong. Talk about money and family. Talk about work and play. Talk about disappointments and successes. Talk about everything, and make sure you listen. Listen, listen, and listen some more. Talk and listen. Listen and talk. Get the picture? You will if you talk and listen.
Finally, here’s the most critical piece of advice I can offer you. Always laugh at yourselves. If you’re like me, you’re going to break antique glassware, get oil all over the carpet, or do something stupid involving the washing machine, pens and expensive new shirts. Don’t expect perfection. If you — as a couple –—can have a giggle or two at yourselves, you’ll be able to overcome anything. Oh, and always laugh at my columns, OK? Blessings on your wedding day, Christopher and Michelle McCoy!
David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers, can be reached at email@example.com.