I just met a girl named Maria. If by “just met” you mean in 1979.

My cousin Maria got engaged last weekend. And you know I knew? I knew the way you know about a good melon. (At least I am referencing When Harry Met Sally again and not Gone with the Wind).

They made her poor now-fiance get on the phone with me at Thanksgiving, when everyone was passing the phone around, and I got a sense. I am totally John Edward or Sylvia Browne or whomever about wedding proposals and pregnancies. (I always know the sex of someone's baby, which really isn't such a clever trick now that everyone goes and finds out anyway.)

So, this poor kid had to go to my family's Thanksgiving, and I want you to imagine a house with 25 people in it who are all exactly like me. Every single person there thinks they have the funniest line in the room, so they are telling it loudly, even though every single person there is ALREADY telling a funny story. This is what this guy walked into. Then they thrust the phone at him and made him talk to some old lady he never heard of in North Carolina.

Anyway, as soon as I talked to him, I knew, and now he is almost related to me, and I feel very sorry for him.

Maria tells me she likes those mermaid-style wedding dresses, and I told her that sounds nice but won't it start to smell after awhile, and once again who thinks she has the funniest line in the room? We had better snag this guy quickly before he changes his mind.

Here they are:


I do not know what kind of class they are attending where they are learning about wine prices.

What I need to discuss with you all is not the beauty of marriage or the importance of lifetime commitment or the hard work that goes into spending your life with someone. No. What I need to discuss with you is how can someone who shares my gene pool HAVE HAIR THIS GOOD? How did SHE get THIS HAIR and I got THIS HAIR:


Am I being punished for something I did in a former life? Was I Hitler? Also, nice sleeve. Was I rolling one tiny cigarette?

But this is not a post about me. It is about pretty things. And steak and eggs. Or Kaets & Sgge.

What deep thing do you think I am contemplating? It's almost like I'm starring in a Lifetime Television for Women movie, isn't it? June was torn. Should it be pork chops for $4 or steak and eggs for $5? Either way, her hair was Her Stepson, Her Lover. Co-starring Meredith Baxter Bernie. (I know that made no sense, but that's my favorite Lifetime movie title and I just wanted to work it in.)

Okay, again. Not about me. So, let's all congratulate my cousin Maria and her fiance Ryan, and if you are married (or even if you're not), please give them the best marriage advice you have. None of that phony stuff like treasure every day, because please. Some days you want to drive a screwdriver through the other person's head. Or maybe that's just me. Maybe that's what I'm thinking in the photo above.

One time I asked someone who had been happily married well over 50 years, what's your secret? And he said, "Why start again with someone else?" And I loved that. It sounded kind of cynical, but it's really very deep.

I mean, no matter where you go, there you are. If you meet someone new, YOU are still you in the new relationship, so whatever problems you brought to the old relationship are still going to happen with the new person. So you are probably going to (a) pick the same kind of person and (b) probably have the same kind of relationship. So why not work out whatever you've got going on with whomever you're with, provided they're not a monster?

And heck, maybe you should treasure every day. Maybe if I treasured every day I would pick up fewer screwdrivers. So if that's your advice, have at it. I will print out all your advices (do you like that word?) and make Maria a little book or something.

69 thoughts on “I just met a girl named Maria. If by “just met” you mean in 1979.

  1. Someone told me once that a good relationship is made up of two people who both think they got the better part of the bargain. I don’t know if this is really advice but it’s kind of the theme of my marriage and it works for us.


  2. Those screwdrivers you want to jam into his ear when he’s acting like an ass? Those come in handy when you need him to fix something.
    Just give it a day or two and then you’ll be thinking he’s the greatest thing ever.
    If you pick a decent guy to begin with there’s not much you can’t overcome. And you can’t really train them, you can only train yourself to put up with their annoying b.s.


  3. At my bridal shower, all the ladies wrote their advice in this nice journal-like book for me. On one page it said “never go to bed angry” with a big long explanation of how this saved her marriage, and on the facing page it said, “sleep on an argument” with a big long explanation about how it’s better to approach things with a clear head in the morning.
    I think the most important thing is to marry someone who is as committed as you are to making it work, for life. As long as you both care, you can work it out.
    (and it works better for us to sleep on an argument).


  4. i want to add one thing and ask two questions:
    one thing that has really made a difference for me is this (i tpretty much applies to all facets of life, not just marriage): never try to make an important decision when you are
    ?1- June- what is the cool website w/pictures of 1930s house interiors?
    ?2- Jan- what in tarnation is a snack-a-bite?


  5. Wow, we definitely don’t pray together. Or at all. And some of these comments are CREEPY! My advice is pretty simple:
    Go buy the soundtrack to Avenue Q and listen to “The More You Ruv Someone.”
    The more you love someone, the more he makes you crazy
    The more you love someone, the more you’re wishing him dead
    Sometimes you look at him and only see fat and lazy
    And wanting baseball bat for hitting him on his head!
    Got me through some hard times. 🙂


  6. Last time I traveled overseas I sat next to a man and his wife that had been married for 55 years. They were taking their first ever plane trip. We got talking and I asked him what his words of wisdom were for such a long marriage. He said simply – You get out what you put in.


  7. Love, intimacy, sex and romance are the basic things necessary for healthy couple’s relationships. These four things come in to existence in any married and unmarried couples life when they are knowledgeable about how to communicate, how to deepen friendship and how to gain trust. If you are capable to communicate healthy to maintain friendship and trust then love, intimacy, romance and sex consequently come in to your relationship. Those whose love or marriage relationship relationship are in trouble or not be able to communicate any more can take the help of marriage counselors. Christian marriage counselors give couples an unbiased counseling with proper relationship building tips to enhance relationship.


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