In our twenties, we had a pretty interesting circle of friends. We were all married, 20-something, and with plenty of disposable income for countless dinner dates, movies, trips, etc. I'm sad to report that 100% of those friends are divorced, save my wife and I. We've actually moved on to other circles, where we are happy to report marriages are much more stable.
So, many times, during those divorces, we were asked, "How do you and your wife do it? What is the secret to remain together for so long (nearly 17 years now)?"
The fact of the matter is, it's not that complicated. Marriage is not 50/50, at least not any given moment. If you think it is -- or worse -- if you force it to be, you will head down the road of separation pretty quick. Maybe, at the end of a day, span of time, or an entire lifetime, it is a "collective 50/50," but at any given moment, one spouse is doing way more than the other.
Don't believe me? Keep tract of yours, if you are married.
In our case, we keep things real and we set parameters that work pretty well.
Where is this going?!
Well, that pristine formula might have come to a crushing end at about 7 p.m., April 27, 2009, in our formal living room, right in front of the piano. One of our most prized possessions -- especially for my wife -- rests on a side table. It's a custom lamp, which incorporates two Home Interiors porcelain figures, a custom made base and a hand-painted shade. I have since learned they -- the procelains -- are Home Interiors #1440 and #1441.
The porcelain is not Lladro, and won't pull thousands of dollars on the market, at least I don't think it will. What that lamp did have is a lot of thoughtfulness from my wife, a brilliant interior designer. Those two figurines were a memory of our wedding until the male, the elusive #144o, fell to it's destruction at the tap of my size 11.5 running shoes. Everyone (who has been to our humble abode) knows our house has not a stitch of carpet. It's all cermaic tile, wood floors and a few rugs. So, when the #1440 landed head first on the ceramic tile floor, it had no shot in hell of survival.
Yes, the event had it all: tears, head resting on her palms, defeat, and lots of silence. Even the girls and my dog, who witnessed the event, hugged me knowing my life as I knew it was over.
See, we have an understanding. There are items so precious to her, I stay a regulated 10-20 feet away. Such is the case for some of my most prized possessions. NO ONE sits on my Notre Dame chair; she can wash my baseball and football jerseys, but they DO NOT go in the dryer; I buy a new Cowboys cap to begin a season, which nobody washes, wears, touches; and my mini College World Series bats cannot be used to air drum. You get the picture.
Protection of our prized personal property is akin to protection given the Shroud of Turin.
I know. What does it matter? We have the economic crisis and a killer virus.
Well, it does.
The #1440 Home Interiors figurine has survived 7 apartments moves, 3 house moves (twice across the state of Texas), and multiple children's' parties, where kids have run dangerously close to the famed lamp.
This fine day, as we were headed out to buy landscaping flowers, I bumped it ever so precisely. Such a minuscule moment in time. Such a lasting effect.
Since then, I've found #1440 on the Net. Ebay, of course. I lost the first auction. I'm on the prowl for another.
Good attorney soon? Probably not. But, I'm into her for many, many favors to make up for the loss.
Pray to the gods of accidents for me.
**Since I wrote this, I have been able to glue most of #1440, except for a big missing piece on the top of his head. I'm not sure that'll fly.