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That Brand of Wedded Brouhaha

Once upon a time
(six winters ago)
on a Thursday night
as bright as this
a girl and a boy sat
soberly still on
a seat of gold grinning
for no better reason
than finding life had
taken a turn toward
that God of knots
they call bliss.

Tonight they sit
closer still in a room
filled with signs
of that life built
together
for better, worse
and forevers.

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10 Lessons from 15 Years of Love

Jacqueline Roque by Pablo PicassoLast month, we turned 15. “We” meaning the husband & I before we were the husband and I, including the time we didn’t feel very “we” if you ask me. We’ve known each other too long you’d think, for there to be any surprises. But surprise each other we do, every now and then, with the serenades, the same yet different notes in each other we’ve come to recognise and love and with how colossal fights can be (the frequency is 1 almost-tear-us-apart sort every 5 years).

Like all things in life should do, we’ve accumulated lessons (which I dole out to love newbies every other day) and which hopefully he and I will remember each day, particularly when the next big war is due.

1. You’re a team

As easy as it sounds, this one gets lost in the melewe of the daily grind, resembling You vs Me most often. Life (spent together) will take enough rough shots at us, and our ability to fight them will always be determined by whether we add each other to the enemy line or stand beside each other (with the gloves on) and take ’em down.

2. Simplify Simplify Simplify

For the sake of arguing, there’s a whole lot to pick up on. But very little of that is truly important. So before you start building ammunition to take each other down, stop and think if it’s really that important. Because some arguments are important and deserve to be shared. Do them justice by leaving out the riff raff.

3. When it comes to each other’s families, play a good guide

You know your respective families the best. So guide each other on some basics on what might be within respectful behaviour lines. Each family is different (don’t have the which is better argument EVER) so just follow each other’s lead and you’ll be fine, as long as you respect the guidance and follow through. (Corollary to #3: Never begin a sentence with “Your mother…”)

4. Go for Core Competencies

It’s amazing how we’re so happy to delegate responsibility in accordance with core competencies at work but in personal relationships we’re often hoarders, refusing to budge from ‘our terrain’. The home world is a happier place if you share work. And avoid a postmortem analysis!

5. Don’t Sleep on an Argument

Unlike other problems that seem to improve when you revisit them the next day, it actually helps to sleep on a clean slate when it comes to things bothering you about your relationship. If your concern passes the test in #2 then it’s better to say it now rather than later. Collecting only results in avalanches much later and are certainly more damaging.

6. The Little Things are the Big things

Vacation romances and weekly/fortnightly dates are important, but the morning hug, the random email during the day (because it feels more like a letter than an SMS), the smile at dinner are markers of the “we” you chose to become. It’s the reason you wanted to wake up to and with this person every day of your life.

7. Don’t let the humour die

Jean Luc Goddard said a couple that doesn’t enjoy the same films will eventually divorce. I like to believe a couple that doesn’t laugh at atleast some of the same things will grow apart. A common language of humour is the pillar that holds it all together. Because if you can’t let out guffaws with each other, life will resemble a silent motion picture that isn’t even cool.

8. Introspect

To become better versions of the “we”, you need to make time to look within the “you”. We’re always so busy telling the world what is wrong with it that we hardly have time to know ourselves. Don’t lose out on a wonderful opportunity to understand what you’re all about. Then every relationship will not be reactive, but rather a conscious, living action of who and what you want to be.

9. Don’t Compare

We all know that couple who always posts happy pictures from countless holidays or their always – perfect home. Sometimes we play that couple too. But it helps to remember that everyone is fighting some or the other battle, even if they’re doing a wonderful job cloaking it. Holidays are for leaving the phone behind, life is for the relentless pursuit of your version of happiness. Do it your way, carry along the people that truly matter and focus your energy on the living, not necessarily the way – it – looks – on – Instagram variety.

10. Give Thanks

How often have you said thank you to your partner? Yes there are things you think is their duty but it certainly doesn’t hurt to show love and gratitude, especially when our daily lives resemble a chihuahua on a sugar high & roller skates going downhill. Stop, take notice and let them (your partner, not the imaginary chihuahua) know why they’re extra special & why you feel butterflies-in-your-stomach excited when you spot them in the crowd.

Have any lessons from your (im)perfect love and life to share? I’m all ears!

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Newsflash: Witty repartee is the new Butter Chicken

reparteeA new revelation casts serious doubt on all previously held theories of male psychology. Recent conversations with members of the male species have brought up startling ideas, the central one being that sarcasm is the way to a man’s heart.

Until now it was a truth universally acknowledged that if you can please a bloke’s palate, everything else would fall into place. Mothers have tried to, sometimes even struggled to, pass on kitchen knowledge to their precocious daughters. But now if food has fallen from grace in the minds of men, kitchen knives might need to be replaced by sharp wit.

However, these revelations are based on certain assumptions that must be examined before we proceed any further. It has been empirically proven that to understand and appreciate sarcasm one must possess a nimble mind. But saying that all members of the male species are intelligent would amount to making a sweeping generalization. Therefore women must approach this subject with caution.

There are certain steps experts recommend to get the best results. First, women must ensure, after thorough examination, that the male-subject is more than a half-wit. Having satisfied themselves with that result, they must proceed to master the art of raillery. It would stand women in good stead to get in touch with their satiric side. A positive step in this direction would be to make contact with Mr. Wodehouse or Mr. Wilde. For a female perspective on the subject, Miss Austen would be a great help.

While borrowed wit can hardly be appreciated, originality will only come to the fore after diligent practice. It is advisable to continue the endeavors if the response is as desired. And if wit were reciprocated, be aware that you have greatness in your midst.

Practitioners of the art, both male and female, continue to vouch for its success. There have not been any reports of the mechanism failing at any stage. So perhaps it is time to reject old notions of seduction via Butter Chicken, and instead embrace the fine art of serving up delectable wit.