Guest blogger mom-on-the-edge: My best friend from high school and her husband flew in for a visit. I hadn't spent time with the two since their wedding day thirteen years earlier.
My friend, I knew, was outrageously smart, easy with a smile, always up for a good laugh. But she could also be stubborn, temperamental and have a short fuse.
Her husband, I discovered, was the same way, only he was set off by small things.
So, how could a couple with a temper times two survive, and for so long, without killing each other?
Their daughter's American Girl doll got her hair done. It cost about the same as if that doll were a bridesmaid at a wedding. It was an extravagance enjoyed only because they were on vacation. Otherwise, that money would have been spent on groceries. When my friend's husband noticed the doll's braid was loose, he almost blew a gasket. "Do you see what you did?" "Take better care of your doll! Look at her hair!" Their five-year-old remained calm and so did my friend. He blew off steam and they all let him.
Later, their eight-year-old son dropped my computer mouse. I didn't care. My son dropped it almost every day. "I told you not to touch other people's things. Look what you did now!" Again, a family filled with calm. No crying. No added drama.
They went to see my friend's brother. The half-hour train trip turned into two hours because they started out in the wrong direction and then they forgot to transfer. When they got back my friend said, "We'd be bad contestants on The Amazing Race." He took offense, "I don't think so. I think we'd do great. We get mad and we move on."
And, that's how they did it. That was the secret to their successful marriage.
I only wish my husband and I could do the same. Get mad and move on.