December 30, 2014

When I saw the headline "The 10 Best Modern Love Columns Ever"...

... I immediately thought of 2 "Modern Love" columns that have stuck with me and formed a standard part of my thinking about relationships, so I click through and see that those 2 columns are #1 and #2 on the list.

1. “What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage,” by Amy Sutherland, June 25, 2006.

2. “Those Aren’t Fighting Words, Dear,” Laura Munson, July 31, 2009.

I'd already put them in the same #1 and #2 order.

Here's my original June 29, 2006 blog post about the unutterably great "What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage." It took me 4 days to read the column, and I only gave it because of the way it sat at the top of the NYT "most emailed" list. I'd resisted it, based on the title, because "it made me think of a 50s housewife, the kind who would inspire what was once a trite wisecrack: 'She's got him well trained.'" Final paragraph of the old post:
Is it wrong to treat a person as an animal to be trained? Perhaps a better question is whether it is wrong to blunder along doing things that encourage your loved ones in their bad behavior. The image of the "full-blown angst-ridden drama starring the two of us and our poor nervous dog" really struck me. It may take more wit and nerve than you have to turn down that role if you've got a fired-up, scenery-chewing emoter in your house insisting that you co-star.
As for "Those Aren't Fighting Words, Dear," did I even blog it? It's about a woman saying "I don't buy it" when her husband asked for a divorce. She stuck by her position, and a divorce never happened. I always remembered that. What if I'd treated my first marriage that way? But that column came out 3 days before Meade and I staged the smallest wedding in the world on a mountain in Colorado.


Laslo Spatula said...

Love Advice from long ago.
I am Laslo.

YoungHegelian said...

What Shamu taught me about a happy marriage

...Only bite off the fish, not the guy's arm too.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

What Shamu taught me about a happy marriage

It's better to rule in Hell than serve in Heaven?

NotWhoIUsedtoBe said...



Anonymous said...

You can see on her blog she did end up getting divorced.

mikee said...

Were I to blog about happy marriages, I would include two stories.

First, in the early days of my marriage I had an argument with my new wife. I recall, as I was about to say something deeply wounding to her and win the argument, a neon sign in my brain lit up with the words, "SHE ISN'T GOING ANYWHERE AFTER THIS ARGUMENT. SHE LIVES HERE NOW." And I bit my tongue and eventually we made up.

My second story would be about a news article a friend sent me when I was married a few years. It was about a couple married for 70 years. The couple were asked for the reason their marriage lasted so long. The wife replied, "He went deaf 40 years ago. We've been happier in our marriage ever since."

That's all I got.

Steve said...

Here's a test for whether a couple graciously accepts the human foibles exposed by marriage. Can you read the following book and get a good laugh out of its observations? "How to Make Your Man Behave in 21 Days or Less Using the Secrets of Professional Dog Trainers", by
Karen Salmansohn and Alison Seiffer