How long should couples stay together………in the same room.
After 20 -something years of marriage I realized that I can only tolerate my husbands presence around me about ten minutes per day. That would be 365 days times ten minutes divided by 60 averages out to , say, roughly 6.5 hours per year. Quite the discrepancy since the first “I Do’s” were spoken. Come to think of it I don’t recall uttering those two words at my wedding.
We were married atop the North Tower of the World Trade Center and our presiding clergy were a traveling duo consisting of a Priest and a Rabbi. The only thing that was relevant in my mind under my too tight wedding hat was the drinking of the wine before I delivered my vow’s in Hebrew. (Mind you, it was a warm Manachevitz with a screw top with no year posted on the label). I did notice the priest chanting something in Latin ( non-Hispanic) along side of the Rabbi while they both nodded their heads in approval. OH I BEG YOUR PARDON, that was Davening .
I was born a Catholic and I married a Jew. In NYC there are not many orthodox religions that will approve and preform a ceremony for a Bi-Religious couple and I was not keen on the JOP, the line is too long at the state department and , unbeknownst to my children until now, I had a bun in the easy bake oven so time was of the essence.
We found our Divine Duo in the yellow pages.The first encounter was scheduled with the Priest at his Midtown apartment on the sixth floor without a working elevator. We sat down to interview him and in the first five minutes we were interrupted three times by mysterious knocks at the door, which he readily answered. On the first interruption I noticed on the wall two photos of three priests dressed in their Sunday Mass Garb with their hands folded and their heads slightly lowered in prayer form. As I studied the Photos more intently I noticed one of the priests looked exactly like Robert DeNiro and the other resembled a likeness to a very young Sean Penn. When our Padre returned from his mission at the door I commented on the resemblance of the two pictures and the Father confirmed that these guys in the pic were indeed the two famous actors. He then rattled on about how he worked with them on a film.
“Oh”, I said, ” where they going through troubled times or maybe you were coaching them on Priest-dom for their roles?”.
No, he was also an actor, and he pulled out his resume of films and fanned it out on his desk. Obviously a method man from the Vatican…. He reassured us that he is also a writer for the Catholic Digest and engages in these sidelines for extra cash; adding marriage ceremonies to his repertoire and to his bank account.
To this day I still have a burning sensation in the back of my brain that might indicate that my marriage of twenty one years could be, well, just might not be, oh this is silly of course it’s legal. But I still get that funny feeling in my gut every time I watch the opening wedding scene in the movie Prizzi’s Honor and stare into the eyes of our Priest as he preaches the exact soliloquy to the actors as he used on us.
Which brings me back to whether or not I said “I do or I don’t”. I really don’t have a clue because the other half of the Holy traveling team was a Rabbi who only spoke Hebrew throughout the service; And he made me drink the wine and choke on words that sounded like I was coughing up phlegm. (Actually I was trying to choke down the Manashevitz and had an epiphany when my husband stomped on the wine glass.) I guess, maybe after twenty some odd years I have finally HIT the spittoon of Independence and want to manage my own chamber-pot. Maybe I’m tired of side stepping glass fragments that spew every time I hear a Mozel Tov. Maybe those ten minutes alone with my husband in the same room with no one speaking can be managed or downsized by half. Maybe in those five minutes we could actually come to a realization that that one night twenty one years ago neither one of us recalls saying those words: I DO”.
I DO remember telling his mother for the tenth time that night that”NO, I will not remove my hat”.
I DO remember my older sister arguing with me about the seating arrangements because she was mad at my other sister and didn’t want to be at the same table.
I DO remember my new husband spilling red wine on his Tuxedo shirt.
And I DO remember our Priest yelling out the phrase: “In Playboy” , when the Best man made his speech about seeing me for the first time.
Which made the Rabbi “oye Vey”, my father roll his eyes and denounce his Notre Dame lineage, my mother in law pull her son aside and say; ” I told you so”, my brother in law dial his cell phone to get a copy of the edition, and my mother asking for the Priest’s phone number.
A marriage made in heaven, or as close as you can get on the 107th floor of the WTC with all the trimmings.
Yes, ten minutes in a room with my husband alone after 21 years is like watching paint dry on a wall. The only excitement we encounter now since the kids are grown is catching a remake of our wedding video. Need I ask: Do I stand alone?