Diamonds in the Rough - The State of Matrimony

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Diamonds in the Rough

Hitchin' on a twilight train…

This Challenge has already generated enough heat in the form of vituperation – directed not only at the innocent Mr Diamond, but also at me, for daring to suggest this – that I'm almost sorry I came up with it.

I said almost. I never stay repentant for long.

In case you've forgotten, the idea was to be inspired by a lyric of Neil Diamond's. Inspired to write, draw, or compose something, that is. Not to insult the fiction editor.

Next time, I shall suggest Barry Manilow.

Websailor has chosen prose (thank you, thank you!). She's taking us on a life journey, here. See if this reminds you of anything.

(Full disclosure: It brought a tear to my eye. We appreciate this, Webbie.)

The State of Matrimony

Bride and groom on a wedding cake

Marriage is a funny thing. It is not something to be entered into lightly, with the choice of opting out if it doesn't suit, though it seems many do that these days.

It is something to be considered carefully by both parties with a discussion about the most important issues affecting you both – children, money, housing, likes and dislikes in food and music, to mention just a few. All of these can cause strife in future years, as can the obligatory mother- and father-in-law, or outlaws, as some call their opposite number's parents!

Of course most of us do nothing of the sort, unless we are in a position where a 'Pre-Nuptial Agreement' might be considered wise!

It seems to me that marriage, like life in general, goes in cycles. First you have the honeymoon period when everything in the garden is lovely (or should be!) then there is the steady settling down to mundane tasks and getting the work/life balance right. Some of us never do, of course.

Then, if you choose and are lucky, along come the offspring and Boy! does life change! Don't let anyone tell you having children will make no difference to life. It is probably one of the biggest upheavals you can experience. Ask any new parents with 'baby brain', a mushy state of mind mainly due to lack of sleep, something taken for granted previously. The realisation suddenly that 'me' plays second fiddle to the demands of this tiny mite with a loud voice, usually deployed at the most inconvenient times.

The years of daily delight at the magical progress of each child, then the wrench, or relief, when they start school. Then life takes another turn as you juggle school times and terms with work and social life ….. what's that? I hear you ask.

It seems that before you have time to draw breath they are obstreperous teenagers, using the place like a hotel, then suddenly they are off to college, university or to work or travel abroad.

Now we come to a stage which many people find very difficult – the 'empty nest syndrome' when suddenly, once again there are just the two of you rattling round in a silent house. Heaven, you might think, but suddenly you realise that the two of you are not the same people who embarked on this journey all those years ago. You are older, probably heavier, with different views and tastes, and possibly near separate lives as you have juggled childcare with hobbies.

Romance has all but died (if it ever existed) and we treat each other like old comfy slippers. Long years of communication reduced to a grunt against a background of loud music, arguments, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, etc, find us struggling to say something new, fresh and exciting to our 'other half'.

Sometimes it can be the undoing of a long marriage, but often it shows that close association over many years removes the need to rattle on about every little detail. You know instinctively what the other is thinking, or what they will want, and some couples even take to finishing one another's sentences.

If you are lucky you blunder into old age, enjoying your grandchildren, great-grandchildren even. Perhaps, if you are not so lucky, you will be left wishing for that companionable silence that was once so irksome, and the words of another song come to mind: 'you don't know what you've got till it's gone'.

So you take one day at a time, counting your many blessings and remembering another song, the Neil Diamond song, with a twinge of sadness.

Diamonds in the Rough Archive


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