Saturday, April 19, 2008

How Do I Explain Mrs. Cottage?

I've been married for almost two decades. I don't know anything about my wife.

I imagine I know her better than anyone else at this point. Maybe her parents knew the little girl they raised better than I, but she is gone into a person now.

My wife is quiet and mysterious. I talk all the time and am mysterious. It's not a bad combination. We have made children together, and raised them a little. Everything good about them reminds me of her. There's more good than bad.

Marriage is a decision. It used to be a profound decision, and so most people took it seriously. It's more or less morphed into a cultural ornament, one considered a little threadbare by the hipsters. My fellow countrymen mostly bounce like a tennis ball between marrying every person they meet, serially, or ignoring the whole ritual and coupling without any title.

If you decide to marry, really decide, it helps you to stay that way. Because if it's no big deal, you feel no compunction to gauge your behavior for the long haul. You're figuring you can act like a jerk to a series of people.

If I was cruel to my wife, I would have to look at her for the rest of my life in regret. I am far from perfect and so I do have my regrets. My wife is one of those people who will be buried someday and no one will remember a single bad thing about her. You will not be able to find any sane person to make an unkind remark about her. You'll be able to form a Roman Legion of my detractors.

So, as I said, I do have my regrets. But I have never once regretted asking my wife to marry me. And I certainly don't regret that she is too inscrutable for me to figure out if she's regretted marrying me for every waking moment of half her life.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I think I join you in (potentially) being the voluble half of whatever marriage may or may not be in my future.

Not that I think it's bad to have a characteristic similar to one of yours. I just think that there's something perhaps a little more inscrutable about the quiet half, and there's something to be said for that (haha, see what I did there?). I hope that, like you, I retain some of the mystery despite the talk.

Hmm. It can't be your anniversary again already. Mrs. Cottage's birthday?

vanderleun said...

You're lucky to have her.

And she's lucky in the same way.

Wrentham Antiques said...

My guess, gerard, is that there may be just a bit more than luck involved, as we all may have read?

P_J said...

One could write a million words about one's wife and never get to the heart of it. How does one describe such a mysterious and wonderful being? "Better half" only scratches the surface, yet it's absolutely true.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Please explain the photo. That's not a Sippican-borrowed-from-a-historical-society photo is it??

SippicanCottage said...

Hi Ruth Anne-
I'm at a loss to explain the photo, but it is Mrs. Cottage and I, I assure you.

Donald Sensing said...

More than 28 years for the missus and me. There is no part of my life that would be even slightly improved without her.

The really good thing about marriage is that when you and your spouse fall out of love, being married keeps you together long enough to fall in love again.

SippicanCottage said...

Nicely said, Donald.