Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Bob’s Banter

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By Robert Clements

Marriages with DARE Ingredients..!
Was invited to a wedding where I had to raise the toast, and as you know raising the toast doesn’t end with just glasses being raised and ‘cheers’ being said, even though the emcee did a great job, by whispering that I needed to say ‘cheers’ at the end of my speech, and not, ‘dare’ as he felt I was going to do, but ‘cheers I said, and to a couple who did a dare that required a standing ovation!
A couple, who in today’s atmosphere of hate, dared break the communal divide and decided that their love for each other was greater than one being from one religious community and the other from another. Love can do such things. Love can smoothen the roughness of distrust, can open the eyes of suspicion and can bring about rejoicing.
And it was lucky me, given this opportunity to raise a toast, which everyone in my country should be raising their glasses to, “To Love!” But I had to bring in DARE: A different DARE!
“Stretch the word DARE I said right across the entrance of this hotel, and let the word light itself in your minds.
The first ingredient, is from the letter D is for being DAFT in your marriage. Keep the silliness going, the funny things you say to each other, the fun and laughter. Be Daft with each other. Be stupid. Don’t let the bonds of marriage take away the laughter of love.
The second ingredient is the next letter A, I said, is to ASK! Ask each other for help. Let the other know that each of you is vulnerable, and needs the other’s aid. You don’t have to show your strength through your own muscle, show your strength through showing your partner, you need his or hers. ASK.
R, I said, the third letter of DARE is to show RESTRAINT. Yes, show restraint in your fights, and oh yes, there are gonna be fights, but fight FAIR. Make rules, and even as I say it, I remember Neil Diamond singing, “Angry words spoken in haste, such a waste of two lives!” Yes, restrain yourself from hurtful words in a fight.
And the last letter of DARE, is E, which is to EMPOWER each other. AS you build each other up, the marriage grows stronger, and I told the gathering of my closest friend, a writer, who empowered his wife to also become one, and finally they also brought out a book of poems together. That is building each other up.
And let God come into your lives and let Him empower you.
I raised my glass as the emcee whispered ‘cheers,’ and I did the same, though the word that nearly came out was DARE!
Not just the young couple, but into all your married lives, may DARE make it’s presence!
But as I move away from the last evening and the toast I raised, there’s another dare in marriage that I’d like to mention and that is the dare of being called a ‘hen pecked’ husband. What’s that? You ask, well once in a while, when going with a friend to visit someone I am warned before I reach, “he is a henpecked husband!”
“Oh!” I whisper, and go with quite some apprehensions of a wife pecking away at every statement her husband makes, and he sitting forlorn and dejected in a corner, pleading with silent desolate eyes for us to rescue him from his terrible ordeal.
Most often, I am quite disappointed: What I see is a very happy husband and a very happy wife too.
“I don’t see any henpecking!” I whisper, when they both have disappeared to make some tea.
“Just watch, he’ll bring the tea!” chuckles my friend, and like a prophet who’s been proved right, he grins as the husband comes to the room, delicately balancing the tray with the cups of tea in it.
But how wrong he is.
We’ve had the same cook for nigh on twenty- five years, and for years I’ve watched her walking from home to home, cooking lunches and dinners and even a breakfast or two, and with the money she earned, sent her two daughters through school and college, and today one of them, has a doctor title prefixed to her name.
I always wondered what her husband did, and heard he stayed at home and looked after the house. “Very convenient!” I used to smirk.
The other day, while I was having lunch, and she was in a mood to chat, she told me how it would have never been possible for her children to have grown up with so much ambition and focus, without her husband who with love and care, motivated them and also her.
They just switched roles, and since a cook was needed in the area she lived, she took the job route and he the role of homemaker. And how well it’s worked.
Similarly, one finds these switched roles in other areas in a husband-wife relationship. The wife, being good at detail, has a husband who happily allows her to run the finances, “Look at him!” says the world, “He asks his wife for money!” In a world where equality between genders is now the norm, shifting roles is going to happen more often, and it is time we realize that the strength of a man needn’t be in what we see but much in what is not seen, where, equality in a relationship can be measured only by the couple’s happiness in their relationship with each other.
Finally, all said and done, the taste of the pudding is in the eating, and if the children turn out to be fine, and the family happy, then it’s you and me who need an eye-pecking before we talk of henpecking!
A different column today, right? Ingredients that make a happy marriage, including being henpecked…!
(The Author conducts an Online Writers and Speakers Course. For more details send a thumbs-up to him on WhatsApp 9892572883 or [email protected])

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