26 September 2007

Bernard's Simple Advice on Marriage

Bernard is the only guy I know who still buys a No. 2 pencil. He never uses it to write. Instead, he uses it to twirl the bottom half of his bagel. "I don't need the carbs of a whole bagel," he explained one day. "Plus, I never liked the bottom half. I chew on them and I'm afraid I'm gonna lose a tooth."

This morning, I was pretending to read my paper while watching him twirl the bagel, idly wondering how one could ever describe the path it made in its mad wobble.

"People make marriage too complicated," Bernard volunteered.

"It is too complicated," I replied.

"No," Bernard said as he stared at the wall behind me, his bagel at rest. "Marriage is very straightforward: you find an adorable woman and then you adore her."

"That simple, eh?"

"That simple and that hard."

"So how do you find an adorable woman?" I ask, curious as to whether he had more.

"They're all adorable, you twit."


"Of course. You just have to pay attention to the details of a woman to see that. Crowds and mobs are shaped by gross generalities. Women are shaped by fine details. Just pay attention."

"Well, if they're all adorable, how do you make marriage work? How do you adore just one woman?"

"Ah. Two mistakes men make. One is to try not to adore other women. This will only confuse your heart."

"Well, Bernard, it sounds to me like it would confuse a marriage pretty badly if you actually tried to adore other women."

"What? You're going to turn yourself off from half of humanity? That's good for your heart? That kind of stragegy will just make you repressed and boring. But you didn't ask about the second mistake."

"What's the second mistake?"

"Not taking out all this adoration on your wife. You hold her responsible for all that's adorable in women."

"That's it?" I asked. "That's all you're going to explain about it?"

"What?" Bernard bristled. "You want stock tips too?" He began again to twirl his bagel. "This is enough. Take this to heart and it'll keep you busy for decades."

As it turns out, Bernard is a romantic. It suddenly occurred to me the path his wobbling bagel followed was that of a heart.


cce said...

Let me guess...Bernard's not married? Maybe I could borrow Bernard. I'm feeling like I need a little adoration right about now.
I think I like Bernard's simplification of all things marriage. I will broach the topic with My Better Half and suggest that he adores me always and without limit and, in return, I'll make him waffles on Sunday morning. Seems like a good solution to me.

exskindiver said...

If I made Steve responsible for all that is adorable in men...

(mind drifts off...pondering)

wait, what was I saying?

Ask Bernard if this works both ways.

exskindiver said...

ps. that bernard is one smart man.

Life Hiker said...

My Good Witch is a fine representative for all women - plenty adorable. Bernard has hit on one of the best parts of a long marriage...for romantics, at least.

Dave said...

A picture of this Bernard please. He always seems to have something pithy and wise to say. And only to you. Moses and the burning bush?

Ron Davison said...

adoration in exchange for waffles - sounds like an irresistible offer. And a past posting mentioned that Bernard has an ex-wife.

Bernard says that he hadn't thought about it before but supposes that's true. (He does add the percentage of adorable men seems to him substantially lower than the percentage of women.)

as usual, we're in sync on this.

No pictures. Everyone needs an invisible friend. Bernard is mine.

Bernard appreciates the comments and says (pointedly looking right at me) that he's glad at least someone is paying attention to what he says. Thanks.