In the 1960s and 1970s, most marriage ceremonies I attended consisted of barefootin on the beach and other creative, casual affairs. The newlyweds gratefully received my standard gift of freshly baked, whole-grain bread along with candles, incense, and love beads from others.
By 2005, though, more than two million weddings were performed in the U.S. with an average price tag of $25,000 each. Just try bringing a gift of homemade bread to one of these costly, highly choreographed events now.
I, too, was recently engaged, married, honeymooned and settled into living happily ever. Married life is great, but I found little focus of weddings and the aftermath relates to the groom and his needs. If so, wedding ceremonies would last ten minutes and receptions would go into the wee hours of the morning at a nightclub, filled with billiard games, bratwursts, wild music, and sports on wide-screen TVs.
Even our newspaper has devoted this issue to the theme of brides, wives, and women in general - what they want and how to get it. Yet, who thinks of the husband... until it is too late? It takes two to tango - grooms are human beings, too.
As a newlywed and recent groom, no one will ever ask me for marriage advice. Im going to give it anyway. The following is a post-wedding survival list... for husbands. I only wish someone had passed on these suggestions to me.
First, guys - learn to enjoy showering with cucumber-apricot body lotion or honey nectar oils and the like. Old-fashioned bars of soap apparently are not available to married couples. Just remember, there is nothing wrong with smelling like a coconut when leaving the house in the morning. Other married men are simultaneously marching around like one big salad, proudly emanating scents of the many varieties of fruits and vegetables.
Also, now is the time to discover the joys of diversifying your wardrobe. My approach previously focused on an efficient lifestyle: wearing the same jeans and tee-shirts everyday until a little ripe or worn out. I found this simplified strategy saved on laundry and clothing costs, not to mention valuable time in decision-making.
My wifes gifts of clothing and strong suggestions gradually resulted in me seeing the light - I now change my clothes EVERY DAY. I also wear sweaters, clean underwear, and am thinking about learning to iron. My progress has advanced to the point of spending seconds each day coordinating the colors of my wardrobe ensemble. All bachelors out there should begin doing the same.
The satisfaction gained from doing domestic chores was another important lesson for me. Before marriage, I didnt realize the benefits of scrubbing bathrooms and sweeping floors more than once a decade. Who would have guessed that making the bed each morning could be such a delight? Despite a previous aversion to washing dishes after each meal, I now enjoy performing this task - almost as much as cleaning bathrooms and making the bed.
My most important suggestion for those being healed of bachelorhood is to find an excellent partner like I did. Despite the adjustments mentioned above, I married Northern Michigans sweetest, kindest woman.
And she definitely deserves a purple heart for attempting to civilize me.