There are few things more monumental in a man’s life than his wedding day. Today is the anniversary of that day for me. On this day, the 8th of July 1988, exactly thirty-three years ago, I got happily married and was looking forward to being happily married for the rest of my life.
Am I happily married? The best yardstick is to use the one Socrates put forward two thousand years ago. He said, “By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you will be happy. If you get a bad one, you will be a philosopher.”
I love philosophy, and I am a great fan of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. But I am surely not sad being married. So, where does that put me?
Honestly, I love being married. I have that one person I know I can turn to when the chips are down. I can always count on her to tell me how I am always wrong about everything and how I keep making the same dumb mistakes, trusting similar dumb people all the time. On the brighter side, she lends me her ears for all my grouses and betrayals. She is my “alerter” with her periodical throwbacks of my blunders, like renewal pop-ups that appear on Google.
I married Mamatha because I believed she would never change from the same simple, naïve, and innocent girl. She married me because she believed she could change the overly aggressive, arrogant, self-loving me. It so turned out that she was right, and I was mistaken.
I learned a lot from my wife during these thirty-three years:
The three most important words for me to practice: “You were right.”
Lesson No 2
I am always wrong about almost everything I do in my life, including this blog.
Lesson no. 3
The time when she is most curious and possessive about me is when I am talking to another woman; she will be all ears and eyes, just as Freud had figured.
Lesson no. 4
When she is frustrated and wants to discuss a problem, she is not looking for a solution. She will know what to do. She merely wants to be heard, not dissected for solutions. She wants her feelings to be understood, not analyzed, patronized, or trivialized.
Lesson no 5
There is no direct answer like “yes” or “no” from wives. If she says: “Do it if it makes you happy,” it means, “don’t you dare.”
If she says, “Are you sure?” When I ask her if we can go out, it means, “of course, you bum.”
Lesson no. 6
There is no need for a husband to remember his failures. There is no use in two people remembering the same thing.
On a serious note, we had our ups and downs, like a roller coaster but the laughs along the way were the most fulfilling.
In these thirty-three years, I learned there is no “I” and “my,” but “us” and “we.” So, when you give to your spouse, it comes from a healthy place inside that says, “What I have belongs to you.” I cannot let any other person get that privilege but my wife, the mother of my kids.
And most of all, I would never have learned to love gardens as much as I do, but for my marital status.
Why do I title my blog “Thirty-three shades of green?” Because only we husbands can understand how we can be miserable and happy at the same time in a marriage. Marriage is a mix of blues and yellows.
Do you know what color you get if you mix yellow and blue? GREEN. Green means, ‘All Good’
The wedding photo where I am touching my wife’s foot beautifully captures the story of my married life;