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54 and Counting

I never liked celebrating my birthdays.

The birthday doesn't tell anything about your accomplishments,

it only reveals that you have survived another year.

Wedding Anniversaries are different. If two persons are together for any number of years, that is an achievement.

54 years ago today, my wife Revathy and I entered into our wedlock.

In India, there are two types of marriages: "arranged" marriage and "love" marriage.

I quip that ours was an arranged marriage- but arranged by me.

Surely, after 54 years of enduring marriage, I should have some words of wisdom!

The disc jockey of my niece's wedding banquet asked me same question last year,

when we were the longest marrying couple left on the dance floor.

"She is always right", I instinctively blurted out without thinking too much.

Actually, that is my Rule Number 1 for successful marriage.

At least, admit she is right. Things will get better after that.

In a long married life, you will go through many domestic battles- big and small.

The temptation is to try to win every one of them.

Believe me, it is not worth trying to be the winner every time.

My Rule Number 2 is," Be Willing to Lose All the little Battles. and focus on the Big Wars".

If you are buying a car, let her choose the color, you concentrate on the make and model of the car. When buying a house, let her take care of all the colors, fittings and furnishings.

You concentrate on choosing the price range, realtor and mortgage company.

Put another way, let your spouse make all the minor decisions and you make the major ones.

(Except, in the last 54 years of our married life, there was hardly any major decision!

How did that happen?)

You can impress your wife by the sheer number of minor decisions she is able to make.

Rule Number 3: "Learn to Read Between the Lines"

This happens a lot.

You ask your wife "What is problem?".

If her answer is a pithy "Nothing", admit your mistake immediately,

even if you haven't done anything wrong.

Another phrase you should learn to decode: "Do whatever you want".

Find out exactly what she wants you to do, and do it.

Rule Number 4: "Take the Fifth when asked a no win question"

If your wife asks, "How do I Look ?",

you may answer at your own peril.

One hint. "Okay" and "Fine" are wrong answers. (I have tried and got penalized for it)

If you say, "You look great", her answer would be "You are just saying that".

You can pretend that you didn't hear the question.

It is not possible to do this trick all the time.

This can only be done when you are watching football in your TV,

and your team is on the one yard line ready to score.

Rule Number 5: "Perfection Never Pays"

In doing the household chores, never do a perfect job.

This doesn't leave any room for the wife to criticize.

There is nothing a wife hates more than a husband who is always perfect.

Rule Number 6: "Follow the Non-aligned Policy"

If you have children, never, never, take their side of an argument against your wife.

Observe the policy of nonalignment.

If the children plead for your help, be diplomatic and say,

"You have to settle with your mother before coming to me".

Rule Number 7: "Get Used to a New Time Concept"

When your wife says, she will be ready in "10" minutes, what makes you think it is "600" seconds? Similarly, "won't be long" merely suggests that you have to wait longer than you are prepared for.

Rule Number 8: "Shopping is a Lifestyle"

Husbands mistakenly think that shopping is a chore.

For the wives, shopping is a lifestyle.

For them, shopping is the time to explore the market, price trends, latest vogues, and sales lady's personal life.

For many women, main purpose of shopping is not buying a product they like,

but it is collecting evidence for not buying the other things they don't like.

Rule Number 9: "Never forget the Axiom:

Knowing your spouse's faults is intelligence.

Not mentioning them is wisdom".

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