Saturday, January 21, 2012


Dear Ben and Te-Ping,

Happy Wedding Day! So funny to think that you were in first grade, Ben (and I was your mom’s 35-year-old friend) just last week, but here we are. I LOVE weddings, and am really looking forward to yours. It will be bittersweet because you two are headed off to a new life in Hong Kong, but what an exciting future you have ahead of you! 

I’m sure you’ve been getting heaps of advice from all kinds of people about navigating married life, and since you have been together awhile you already know each other very well too. But perhaps no one has touched on the following nuggets of wisdom, so I’d like to pass them along to you.

1)      There will come a day when you may need bifocals. All the better to see each other’s wrinkles. You’ll wonder at the fact that wrinkles are suddenly so attractive. 

2)      There will come a day when one of you will forget the anniversary of the first time you went out for coffee. The other one will still remember, and a tear may be shed. Don’t worry! Eventually, you will both forget, and go on to forgetting where the car is parked, your children’s ages, and where your bifocals are (check top of head). 

3)      If one of you is skilled in a particular area (handwriting, say) and the other is deficient, the skilled person’s abilities will decline over time until it’s chicken scratch for both of you. This is called compatibility.

4)      You are both extremely intelligent, launched on wonderful careers. This means you will often be tired, and perhaps a wee bit cranky. When that happens, you may engage in some barbed badinage: “Why, beloved, after a plethora of admonitions, do you persistently neglect to transport your dish and utensils to the washbasin in the scullery?” Perfectly normal.

5)       You will experience many moments of telepathy, when one of you knows exactly what the other is thinking without uttering a sound. When gazing into each other’s eyes at a romantic dinner out, for example, you will suddenly realize that your loved one is concentrating on the fight at the next table, or figuring the tip. It’s uncanny.

6)      If you have markedly different tastes in, say, movies or music, that’s OK. You’re both entitled to your opinion, as long as you remember that Ben’s is wrong and Te-Ping’s is right.  

7)      There will be good days and bad days, good years and bad years. Married life, like all of life, is a wild rollercoaster ride—but think about it: what’s the fun of riding a rollercoaster alone?

Wishing you a beautiful celebration today, full of joy and laughter. More than that, wishing you the happiness Steve and I have found with each other for the past 35 years, cranky, distracted, stubborn, and forgetful as we both can be. 

So go ahead, climb aboard. Hold onto each other’s hands, and enjoy the ride. 

Love, Elise

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