Love and Marriage

In my usual morning trawl through the news I came across two quirky stories... The first involves a young Taiwanese lady called Ya Ya Ching, who is blogging on her attempts to snog 100 different people in the romantic city of Paris... I won't be starting any such endeavour soon, largely due to concerns for my health... Sally would kill me. But if you are interested in seeing how this young lady is getting on, or indeed in helping her along, you can check out her progress here (so long as you can read Chinese)...

But if you are interested in more than just a swift smooch (although it may not last much longer given the age of the person involved and her past record) the second story involved another not-so-young lady who is interested in getting married again. Having got married to a young man 70 years her junior, who also happens to be a drug addict, 107 year old Malaysian, Wook Kundor (pictured above with her beau) is thinking about divorcing him and marrying someone else before he runs off with a younger woman when he finishes his drug rehab programme.

People these days... they have no staying power...

But all of this is just a rambling intro to my "Thought for the Day" on Radio Ulster this morning which is focussed on the issue of marriage... It's relatively insubstantial, but given that they asked me to write 4 with a couple of days notice, what do you expect! Anyway, for what it's worth here it is, and you can hear the audio version here on iplayer (at 25.35 mins and in a mangled form at 1:25.38) until it does its "Mission Impossible"-like self-destruct in 7 days.

Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary… my 20th wedding anniversary and I plan to spend at least some of today looking for a gift for my wife. Most people I know think that she deserves a medal, but apparently the 20th Anniversary is marked by the gift of China… which may not be a bad idea given that a combination of our dishwasher and our children has knocked lumps out of the dinner-service that we were given when we got married.
Mind you, it’s not just our wedding china that is showing its age… Recently, one of the clocks that we were given 20 years ago terminally stopped ticking, and the chairs around our kitchen table are slowly but surely disintegrating… There’s only so many times you can glue and screw them together.
When we were first married we took special care of all our wedding gifts… but down through the years we started to take them for granted. And that can happen not only with wedding gifts but also with the marriages they were given to mark, so much so that sadly the gifts often last longer than the marriages.

When we got married our gift list was fairly rudimentary, which is why we ended up with 96 towels. But I’m amazed by what I see on some lists these days. For many of our bigger purchases we had to save up, whereas I’ve seen dinning room suites, washer-dryers and plasma screen TVs on some lists… But whatever else we hope that others will give us we cannot expect “a perfect marriage” to be another gift that we simply receive. For one I don’t know where you would go to find such a thing. I personally don’t know any perfect marriages, certainly mine isn’t. I DO, however believe that a good, healthy marriage IS a gift, a gift from God… But it is a bit like one of those flat-packed wardrobes from a certain scandanavian furniture shop… It doesn’t come ready assembled. Following the makers instructions, you have to work at it… From day 1 through to year 20, and beyond…


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