by David Sisler

One of the themes which has been repeated in this space over the last seven years is marriage (definition: the union of one woman and one man as husband and wife). Permit me a few backward glimpses.

In March, 1992, I offered six easy steps to ruin your marriage (It is actually, not a difficult thing to do). Tear each other down, never build each other up. Never say, "I'm sorry." Never be honest with each other. Have a best friend other than your husband or wife. Avoid being intimate with your spouse. Leave God completely out of your marriage.

The following February a folk-proverb got things started: "Before you marry," the Jamaicans say, "keep your two eyes open. After you marry, shut one."

I told you last year that the members of my household are not perfect -- I live with a family of dirt balls (and they still haven't changed, thankfully).

Today we turn to the experts. I cannot tell you which learned society did the research, although I did attempt to locate its source. Nor can I document the validity of the study, but the answers have the ring of truth. There is one thing you should know about the respondents -- all were between the ages of six and ten.

The survey asked why love happens between two particular people.

Andrew said, "One of the people has freckles and so he finds somebody else who has freckles too."

Mae replied, "No one is sure why it happens, but I heard it has something to do with how you smell. That's why perfume and deodorant are so popular."

Amy Elizabeth Sisler, who was not asked to respond to the survey, used the old "Helpless Girl and the License Plate Maneuver" to attract Jack Donald Herrington, Jr., who did respond to Amy. Standing in a student parking lot at Augusta State University, nee Augusta College, Amy had a puzzled look on her face. "This great looking guy I've been dying to meet is walking this way," she thought, "and what can I do? I know. I'll try to put the license plate on my Toyota, using no tools. He won't be able to resist a damsel in distress."

She was right.

The survey sayers had some other good ideas. Feel free to try any of them.

"Tell them that you own a whole bunch of candy stores," Del said.

"Shake your hips and hope for the best," suggested Camille.

"Yell out that you love them at the top of your lungs and don't worry if their parents are right there," replied Alonzo.

An interesting question from the survey was to suggest the title of a brand new love ballad to sing to your beloved. These ditties aren't on any Top 40 play list, but they probably should be.

Larry sings, "You Are My Darling Even Though You Also Know My Sister."

"I'm In Love With You Most Of The Time, But Don't Bother Me When I'm With My Friends," is Bob's offering.

William enters the countdown with, "Hey, Baby, I Don't Like Girls But I'm Willing to Forget You Are One."

Last October while I was in Russia, I received a song via e-mail. Jack was updating the old-fashioned, and still very proper tradition of asking my permission to marry my daughter. Jack had been hanging out at our house for a considerable amount of time, and being no fool, I had anticipated that the question would be forthcoming. To the tune of the theme song from the old "Green Acres" television show, he asked. I hummed along and said, "Yes."

The Love Survey asked many momentous and important questions, but there is only space for two more.

First, how was kissing invented?

Gina explained, "I know one reason kissing was created. It makes you feel warm all over, and they didn't always have electric heat or fireplaces or even stoves in their houses."

No amplification is needed there.

And second, how can you make love endure? Remember, I told you these kids were experts.

"Don't forget your wife's name. That will mess up the love." So said Dick, age 7.

Dave, age 8 recommended, "Be a good kisser. It might make your wife forget that you never take out the trash."

But the grand prize answer comes from Natalie, age 9 (Jack and Amy, tonight, you will say, "I do," but as the days ahead rush into years, remember this one). "Don't say you love somebody and then change your mind. Love isn't like picking what movie you want to watch."

Finally, this day is special to another couple. Happy 28th Anniversary, Bonnie. The old guy claims the above answer as his own.


Published in the Augusta Chronicle 8/24/96

Copyright 1996 by David Sisler

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