Today is my wedding anniversary. We have been married for a long time. Happily married. We seldom fight. We agree on all the big ticket items: religion, politics, child raising, vacations, etc. I agree with everything, except those things with which I do not agree. She agrees with me...usually.
I remind my wife, frequently, that she is lucky to have me. At the same time, I am happy that she puts up with me. I know that I could not have found a better partner and do not want her to think that she made a mistake in choosing me. She was smart enough to leave her first husband for a better deal.
A long time ago I read that the secret to a successful marriage is to give more than you expect in return. I usually do. For example, for a wedding present, I gave her a trip to Mauritius. She gave me two pairs of socks. Now, that’s a successful marriage…
The following is snippet of conversation with my wife...
Her: "Is your sore throat better?"
Her: "What do you mean?"
A pause. I could not see my expression, but I surely furrowed my brow.
Me: "The opposite of yes."
Anyone hearing this exchange would be excused for not guessing that she is the more-intelligent of the two.
It seems that German waiters and waitresses expect certain behavior from their guests and do not know the children’s rhyme, “Jack Sprat can eat no fat; his wife can eat no lean.”
My wife and I often confuse serving personnel with our orders, because their world is ruled by cliché and habit. The beer that my wife usually orders ends up in front of me, while she is presented with my water. I must usually push the steak to her side, after the plate has been deposited in front of her, and wait for her to push the plate with salad to me. I have spotted a rolled eye or two, when the server notices this game.
And, in this male-dominated society, it really messes up their minds to see my wife grab the check and pay with a smile on her face. It’s tough to be different…especially when bucking eons of male/female restaurant behavior.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.