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We’re in this together

September 1, 2012 by Mark McGlothlen 

When my wife and I became engaged and eventually got married, many of our family and friends said it came as no surprise as they always knew we would end up together. I guess we just had that “they are going to get married and live happily ever after” appeal to us.

For the past nine years, we have done just that. For the most part, anyway. We have had our share of bumps along the way. We have fought about finances, watched TV in separate rooms because we don’t always want to watch the same shows, disagreed on paint colors for the living room, pointed out each other’s faults and don’t always see eye to eye on parenting issues, among others.

I guess that is what married life is all about. We do not agree on every issue, we get mad at each other now and then (maybe more, depending on the situation) but at the end of the day, we are in this together, for the long haul.

Some of our favorite television shows over the years have been ones that focus on married couples, like Everybody Loves Raymond and King of Queens. Both shows are no longer on the air, except for reruns over course! Thank goodness for syndication! Some episodes we can watch over and over and still laugh like it is the first time we are seeing it.

Whereas our lives do not parallel those of the Barones or Heffernans, we find so many things on both of those shows that we can relate to, especially the fights, disagreements, and situations the couples find themselves in or the things they do or say.

Flipping through the channels the other night, my wife came across an episode of Raymond titled “The Suitcase.” We knew which one it was immediately and had to watch it.

In the episode, Ray and his wife Debra come back from a little getaway and are exhausted. After sending the “gruesome twosome” home (that is what Ray called his parents, who were there to watch the children), the pair goes to bed, leaving the suitcase on the landing of the staircase.

The next morning, neither Ray nor Debra puts the suitcase away. Days go by and the suitcase just sits there. Ray thinks Debra should take care of it because he works every day and Debra is a housewife and Debra thinks Ray should man up and take care of it himself.

My wife and I laugh at this episode because it reminds us of us and our marriage. We do that to each other all the time. It does not matter if it is a book, the laundry or replacing the toothpaste; we like to see who will hold out the longest before finally caving in. Unlike Ray and Debra, it is more of a challenge for us and not a fight, but both of us have a point to prove.

The best occurs when Ray is leaving for a two-day trip for work and packs his clothes in a plastic bag from the grocery store, just so he does not have to move the suitcase to repack it. After a hunk of smelly cheese was added to the suitcase by Ray, Debra empties the suitcase of the clothes, but leaves it on the staircase. While we would not do that, it just adds to the fun insanity of the episode.

The show ends with the two of them actually fighting over the very thing they were fighting over in the first place with both of them trying to put the suitcase away!

Marriage is not always fun or easy. It takes work, dedication, communication and honesty. When we can sit back and watch a show like this and basically laugh at ourselves for the things we say and do in our real lives, it makes us think that maybe our lives are not so bad after all!

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