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As good as it gets

Published:Sunday | November 8, 2015 | 12:00 AMGordon Robinson, Contributor

The secret to a happy marriage is for both parties to understand, accept, and commit to the philosophy, 'This is as good as it gets.'

Everybody accepts nobody (else) is perfect. We all know we're perfect, but, otherwise, perfection is impossible. So, we appreciate, at least intellectually, that although we may be enamoured, smitten AND besotted with proposed spouse on the Big Day, we'll soon discover (horror of horrors) he or she's seriously flawed.

I've no wish to hurry you, luv, but have you seen the time?

It's quarter to 10 and we're supposed to be there at nine.

I don't think the registrar will be very pleased.

When we show up an hour late like two frozen peas.

It usually takes the male half of marriage about six months to commence the unapologetic passage of wind in air-conditioned bedrooms. If challenged, he'll deny liability (denial being males' most honed expertise) and, if pressed, blame the dog wifey mentioned yesterday she wanted to buy.

Both now facing for the first time (presently and past)

something that begins with 'M' and ends in 'alas'.

More than not complete disaster even from the start

What could it be ... ?

It's matrimony.


most practised talent

He WILL be pressed because it takes her about a week to drop all pretence of being a 'submissive wife' (except Sunday mornings) and to unleash upon her mate women's greatest, most practised talent, namely, nagging. Married men wanting to avoid being nagged have two options: 1. suicide (better be quick and efficient, otherwise you WILL be accused of maliciously depleting family resources on medical expenses); 2. obey the prime minister's instruction - "Shut your mouth." Instead, count your blessings.

I'm truly grateful for the little things in life

that have made me so glad.

Every other hour that I spend with you

is not in the least bit sad.

Quite the opposite, in fact,

and, if you don't believe me,

here's the proof.

Ask me if I and I'll say, 'Aye! I do.'

One last thing (said Lieutenant Colombo). Truth is no defence to nagging's dreaded subset, accusations of infidelity. By the time her mole at your workplace has informed on you that you weren't working late, it's pointless confessing you were playing cards with the boys. You won't be believed and, in any event, preferring the boys' company to hers (that's how she'll see it) is also a marital crime as dire as infidelity. Again, the only appropriate response is SHUT UP and hope that like bad curried goat, this, too, will pass. It shouldn't take longer than five decades.

Don't even think about seeking 'raise', having suffered undeserved 'praise'. Why? Because, my friend, as imperfect as she's proven to be, this is as good as it gets.

Never forget life's philosophical certainty: Nothing is as it appears. So, grass appearing greener tends to be more arid than the orange stuff in your backyard. 'Raise' comes with excess baggage, including new, unknown neuroses; harassment/stalking; expense; and the excruciating stress of having to navigate tangled webs.


pre-wedding illusions

Husbands drop courting niceties like opening doors for their partner within a week of marriage. Ladies, don't succumb to the temptation to unleash the Nag Within or to scout around for better. Hubbies who continue pre-wedding illusions only Superman can maintain expose their regular practice on many concubines with whom they must feign being single.

Ladies, that fat, frustrating, foolish freak who just belched unpleasantly in your face is a faithful, loving husband. He's as good as it gets. Guys, that nagging, face cream-smothered bag of negativity lying beside you with back turned and barbed wire around her vitals is yours alone. She's as good as it gets.

Her foibles are all explained by her fervent desire that you live forever. Her replacement, or supplement, doesn't even see you, but fixes her eyes firmly on your wallet. Little does she know, it's as empty as her head.

One of pop's most gifted singer/songwriters is Irish hermit Raymond (a.k.a. 'Gilbert') O'Sullivan. He combined intellectually brilliant lyrics, complicated meter and catchy melody with dry Irish wit. His top-flight entertainment manager, Gordon Mills, whose stable included Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck, had serious problems making Gilbert publicly palatable because he actively detested fame.

His seminal work, Alone Again Naturally (1974), is widely believed to have been autobiographical but was, in actuality, the product of observation, not personal experience. Matrimony, from his sophomore album, Back to Front, a spoof featuring young, fiscally challenged soulmates, remains my favourite on the subject.

Peace and love.

- Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.