The Wise Novelist

The Hermitic Life

I’ve been married for a long time. What that has taught me is that in order for a marriage to be successful, you must be willing to compromise every single day. Without exception.

A good marriage is a union of two individuals. Different perpectives. Different ideals. Different personalities. Different needs at different times.

Putting aside the romantic concept of marriage – while stressing that that part is the most important and the most fun – a good marriage is a practical partnership. Everything you do should be geared towards improving the status of the partnership. Developing and increasing its assets. Resolving its problems.

My lovely and ever patient wife, Lisa, put me through college and then law school. I then returned the favor putting her through college and nursing school. We’ve since worked at our respective professions contributing to the family purse.

We’ve both pitched in equally in raising our three brilliant, beautiful and rambunctious children safely to adulthood. Their schools, sports, arts, health and happiness were our daily concerns for three-plus decades of the four-plus decades of this partnership. Of course, that has kept the family purse at break even status. Turns out, we are a not-for-profit partnership. However, those children and now grandchildren, are the most valuable results of the partnership.

It’s been a lot of work. A constant application. And lots of compromising, for both parents and children.

They have now gone on to create their own start up partnerships. Vaya con dios. Don’t forget to compromise.

I know this sounds counter-intuitive to anyone who knew me growing up, but I married someone I knew would never let me get away with any bullshit. Someone who knew me for what I really am, and still signed on for the job. Someone who would go toe-to-toe with me over every stupid idea I ever floated. There have been many. One who would take no excuses when I screwed up – a regular occurence. Make me a better person. She has. Thank you honey.

Truth be told, I could never put up with living with a clone of me. We would quickly die through a perfectly avoidable Darwinic catastrophy, or alternatively though gluttony or starvation, wearing the same – now filthy – pair of blue jeans and t-shirt we first put on as an adult, living with a million animals – we would shame Noah – in absolute squalor.

I am meticulous only by need, and sometimes force, never by choice. Given the slightest opportunity, I revert. Anyone who has seen my home office can attest to this. I am one phone call away from appearing on some Hoarding program.

Dirty Harry has taught me that a man has to know his limitations.

So you see, daily compromise through marriage has forced me to be a functional member of society.

So it is with total glee that I share how much I have enjoyed having my house to myself this past week. Lisa has been out of town recuperating her painfully cracked rib caused by Blue pouncing while she dozed in her recliner, and dealing with her side of the family matters. Don’t get me wrong, I miss the woman. But I don’t miss the compromise.

By day two I had completely reverted to old Tommy, doing what I want, when I want. Nirvana.

The TV never left Britbox – I even watched films and television with subtitles. I spent yesterday evening after chores reading a book – a quite brilliant new novel “In The Lair Of Legends” by Dave Buzan (check out the awesome video ) – which I hope to finish the next few nights before Lisa gets home. No sharing time with anyone.

My only conversations have been with my animals, who don’t care how eccentric I have become. Indeed, they spur me on. They recognize that I am feral by nature. I bay at the moon.

The house quickly became a reflection of my reversion. Those of you who have heard me rant on FB about cleaning the house this weekend now understand that it was a self-inflicted wound. My messy ways. Laundry left in piles on the floor, bed undressed, dishes in the sink, bathrooms a mess. Dust everywhere. Trash and recycling bins overflowing. Empty food containers and coffee cups with strange sentient creatures growing in their residue sitting on every available level surface. Empty wrappers of every kind blowing in the dusty wind flowing through every open doorway. Blue and Jeter tracking in dirt. No one to call me on it. Absolute Hermitic heaven.

The only reason I cleaned at all was that I knew Lisa would be coming home sometime this week. Damned near killed me. I’ve decided I would much rather have to shovel an unending flow of mule shit and shift a thousands bales of hay then clean my home just once. I mean that from the heart.

And while I have another three days of my Hermit life to enjoy, I know I must not go off the rails.

My equal partner shall be returning on Thursday. So I must restart practicing that art of compromise.

As a first step I better get ready for my work day.

But first, a kitty to cuddle, rounds to make and a dreadmill to punish me.

But you fine, five readers pay no attention to my bad example.

Continue being the upstanding citizens you are.

Go to work and produce something amazing.


But make today a great one.

3 Responses

  1. My folks always said compromise is the answer. They also said you have to always like your partner. Of-course there are times when one isn’t very likeable, but no one can just give up. Compromise. They were very good at it.

  2. I resemble that description. I have a desk, I just don’t know where it is, but there’s a huge pile of stuff in front of my office chair. Fold the laundry? Why, it’s just going to get dirty again. Might as well let the dishes pile up in the sink until there are enough to fill up the dishwasher. Muck the horse stalls? They’ll just be a mess tomorrow morning. Shovel snow? The official snow removal policy in Colorado is called Sunshine. I do, however, appreciate the reminder…wedding anniversary is this week! She’s the best thing that ever happened to me!

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