just couldn't spare. The insurance coverage I paid extra for covered
accidents, but I didn't think that would be a legitimate claim in the
case of a tantrum. I'd have been better off using a glare, followed
by an eye roll and then a sideways glance.
But I haven't addressed the question I promised to answer in the
beginning, and that was about the secret to marriage. I've heard my
wife's answers on the issue. She and a friend will get into a
discussion about marriage, and she'll offer her insights as if I
weren't in earshot.
Wives apparently assume that, since we seem to hear so little when
they're talking to us, we hear even less when they're talking to
someone else. It's that, or they simply operate around husbands the
same way wealthy families learn to live, forgetting "the help" is
standing right there.
Like virtually every woman I've ever heard talk about marriage,
most of my wife's tips focus on mitigating or learning to live with
her husband's many shortcomings. "Learn to compromise," she says.
"Understand that you can't change him -- well, not as quickly as you
want to, anyway." "Let him think that doing what you want to was
actually his idea," she advises. "And he's never going to find the
right pan in the cupboard without asking for your help, so just get
it out before he starts looking and ends up rearranging the kitchen,"
my wife told a friend.
I've never heard a woman explain that her secret to marital
longevity was "Admitting many of my expectations were unreasonable
and unfair." I doubt any woman has ever confided to a friend, "Things
have been going so much better since I stopped being unpredictably
I wish I could work myself into a lather over the lack of balance,
but I'd be lying if I tried denying that, rather than being players
on the team, husbands are often obstacles that have to be worked
around. I could get huffy about my wife's teasing, if only it weren't
true that I can stare into the refrigerator for five solid minutes
without ever seeing that what I'm looking for is directly in front of