Thursday, December 27, 2007

Our New Improved Marriage

While seated in our library, yes that library, I often pick up our latest issue of Prevention magazine and read with interest on the various ways they've been able to come up with to improve the mind, body, soul, and relationships.
I'm usually able to resist the temptation to improve myself but one article struck me as something that I could do that wouldn't include....well you know, effort on my part.
It told how with one simple tip I could greatly improve a long term relationship. And then I thought that well, I'm certainly in a long term relationship, and even though I haven't recognized any trouble signs, I'm going to see what I can do to spice things up a bit.
The article said the trick was to start treating your mate like you did when you first met.
My mind went immediately to the days when Marilyn and I first met at what would now be called a community college. She was a Veterinary Technology student from Denver and I was majoring in Agri-Business. The college was about half way between our homes in the small western Nebraska town of Curtis. After we started dating we would usually meet for lunch each day in the school's cafeteria and dreamily look at each other while we ate. I just could not look at that sweet young thing enough so it hit me that I need to start doing that again. I'll start looking at her. That will do the trick.
I finished 'reading' and went into the kitchen for breakfast. Breakfast had already been lovingly prepared for me by my bride and she was setting it on the table. I usually sit facing east and she sits to my left facing south. I saw my chance as she delicately applied a bit of strawberry jam to a piece of wheat toast whilst engrossed in the TV. I began dreamily looking into her eyes. Well actually I dreamily looked at the side of her head as she watched the morning news. She did however immediately notice my increased attentiveness. She turned toward me and looked into my eyes and said...No actually she yelled, " WHAT?" Okay, right here I'm going to interject a word of warning to you men out there. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. This should only be attempted by a well trained professional, which by the way, I apparently am not.
I began to chuckle a bit. That wasn't smart either. She continued, "What's wrong with how I look?" "I haven't had time to do something with my hair you know, I've been fixing your breakfast!" She continued with a raised voice and I was still just smiling at this point. "What do you want?" "Look Buster I didn't get hardly any sleep last night so don't get any ideas, just forget it." About here I was really beginning to think that the author of the article in the magazine was really some kind of genius because our relationship was for sure somehow magically changing right before my eyes.
I knew I needed to take command of the situation and be the calming influence. I've always had a knack for being quick with the right words at the right time. I said "Uh, could you please pass the jelly."
I've decided to not read Prevention Magazine anymore. I'm not sure our marriage can stand much more improvement.


1 plus twins said...

ha ha ha ha i can't stop laughing, my family keeps asking what i am laughing at. ha ha

all i can say is that is true love and a relationship that will last forever!! at least i hope so cuz it sounds like my house!!! ha ha

Cheyenne said...

I stopped reading Prevention Magazine a few years ago. I am assuming it was the right choice.

Peter said...

Hi Cliff, remember Dagwood Bumstead's famous line, "Husbands are a sorry lot" we know why don't we? fancy being suspected of ulterior motives like that.

JunieRose2005 said...


Good try, Cliff!

Happy New Year to you both.


Paul Nichols said...

A good one, Cliff. I have to tell you I've been there, done that--and got the same "improvement."

possum said...

I haven't had time to do much blog visiting lately - (what is it with time and retirement? When did we ever have time to work???) So I am sorry I have missed so much here. Really great blog, great stories, I think you must have a cool brother (I am the namer at our wildlife rehab - same pitiful reason,) and God bless your wife!
Happy 2008!

Anonymous said...

You are a very wise man Cliff and a quick learner also.

Janell said...

This is a CLASSIC!!!
If you do a "top ten" for this year, this has to be included.

Jamie Dawn said...

Gawking at one's wife first thing in the morning can be taken the wrong way if one's spouse has not gazed dreamily into one's wife's eyes for years. Said gawking can be seen as a critical glare instead of a long, loving gaze of affection.
Try asking her to go out to lunch once or twice a week for the next few months, then bestow gifts (tokens of your affection such as flowers & jewels) upon her at each luncheon, THEN try the morning gazing thing, and maybe... JUST MAYBE you'll get a different reaction.
Sounds like Prevention magazine could learn a thing or two from Marilyn & me.

Happy Gazing in the New Year!!
Happy New Year to Cliff and the object of Cliff's affection!!

Rachel said...

Great words of wisdom from Jamie Dawn!! Try her suggestions and then give us that report!!

It's amazing the things you learn while in the "library."

Funny post Cliff! It's a good thing you are a quick thinker!!

Ralph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ralph said...

I have read and even tried some of those "tips". They don't work. With that being said I don't think I have ever read the tip, "I began to chuckle a bit." I'll try it.

Jerry in Texas said...

Good thing there wasn't a skillet sitting on the kitchen table. You might have a knot on your head.

Funny stuff, Cliff!

nora leona said...

I laughed out loud a every word of that story. My chortling caused the cat to flee to the other room.

If by any wild chance I'm ever in a relationship again, I'm sending him to your house for a week of relationship boot camp. Of course that fact that it is a Friday night and I'm sitting on my sofa frightening my cat with my wild laughter might explain a lot about my lack of boyfriend.

Jim said...

I do that with Mrs. Jim in church. It makes her nervous and she nudges me (hard) to stop.
Tell her you just can't help yourself, she is soooo pretty that you can't keep your eyes off of her.
Mrs. Jim still nudges and then shush's too.

Libraries are a good place to save on utility bills. In the summer they AC the place, in the winter they heat. You can enjoy their comforts and turn everything off at your own house.
Oh yes, I wouldn't try it at home. I might lose control of things there!

nora leona said...

I think that you and Jim might have different ideas about where the library is located. I think I’ll skip the tour of the Tekamah library on the Blogstock tour just in case they are talking about the same place.

Anonymous said...

That's such a romantic idea. I"d love it if Gem spontaneously tried that, but he'd probably spontaneously combust from my similar reaction like Marilyn's.

Notice the word "idea." In reality, I would hope that Practrice might Prevent, those automatic responses we women (or men) respond with, esPecially while Preparing food.

I think, no, I'm Positive with a captial "P", that I've wondered if I'm sporting a huge smudge on myf ace, if Gem looks at me that way,esPecailly first thing in the morning! (WE all know I'm not an early morning person.)

When we dance or hear "our song(s), or (ahem...), I've still seen that look in his dreamy eyes. Since it will be our anniversary soon, I'm elated we both are "mushy" still. BTW, I'm impressed you were reading the article. (not that you were "reading", but that you were interested in such an article.) Gem usually only reads those magazines when there's nothing else to read or a photo catches his eyes...


LaDawn said...

A complete and total stranger once stopped my husband and I as we were walking past his house. He was standing on his balcony and he yelled out to my husband saying there are 2 key words to a happy marriage. My husband couldn't help himself and asked what those 2words might be. Yes, Dear, replied the man.

Sound advice!

poopie said...

well she can't say you didn't try! love typical.

Unknown said...

Ha! Sounds like the Minnesota good morning, a la Howard Mohr: You sit around the table waiting for the coffee pot to finish, until one of you says, "What?"

Sandy Hatcher-Wallace said...

I'm glad I stopped over today to read your was VERY FUNNY.
My husband grabs me as I pass by and pulls me down on his lap maybe two or three times a week and that works really well. I get really tickled when he does that though & begin laughing because I'm so big that I'm afraid of squashing him...he's very thin. It keeps the sparks going and I know he still loves me.

I like your humor. It makes me laugh.

Lee said...

A very happy New Year to you and your family, Cliff. I hope all things good happen to you throughout 2008. :)

EV said...

You are nothing short of an excellent writer, Cliff. Your word pictures and sense of humor are a perfect marriage. Thanx for my morning "knee slapper." I wish you and your family a very, very happy and prosperous 2008!

nora leona said...

I'm running with your idea and hosting a NYE party at Chez Pez-
bring cake.

Lucy Stern said...

I've been married for 36 years and I wonder what I would have done with the same circumstances.....Hummm. My husband usually sits at the computer with his bowl of oatmeal, reading the news.

Happy New Year....