Best Experienced With: Dire Straits; Romeo and Juliet
( Please right click on the link below to open the suggested background music to this evening’s treatise in a new browser window. An open letter to a good friend’s question on a successful marriage, set to one of the finest love songs ever. The eternal question….. “You and me babe, how about it? ” Indeed.)
Some folks choose to surround themselves with attractive people as bait fish and others surround themselves with troll-like looking people to make their beauty shine through. Some choose to surround themselves with sycophants in an attempt to avoid intelligent debate and still others surround themselves with contrarians to keep the conversation lively. I choose to surround myself with ridiculously smart people because ridiculously people have the best stories. Smart people are also a free source for “word of the day”.
Had the good fortune to meet one of these ridiculously smart folks years ago at a job that we will blind here as Acme Anvil Company…the only place Wiley-E-Coyote will purchase anvils. This gentleman, further blinded with his pseudonym Oliver Kloseov, and I often worked late at the Acme Anvil Company Dallas office and we had tended to have very robust conversations about business and relationships. I recall one late evening when he asked “are all women crazy” and I replied (very misogynistically) “yes they are…however if you look at it as a graph of craziness versus your love of them, you can determine the line of diminishing returns and make the correct decisions based upon the data”. Older and wiser these days, I would like to recant that answer and modify it. All 6.7B of us are crazy and the same graph holds true for men and women.
Oliver K, seriously overqualified and underappreciated in his position at Acme Anvil Company left there and got a full ride to Penn’s Wharton School. He has since carved out a fantastic space for himself in this world. A space I watch with great interest and zero creepiness through Facebook each month because when I write, several faces always come to mind. One of the faces always present is Mr. Oliver Kloseov. If I can make him think and if I can make him laugh, then I have most certainly nailed down the far, far, far right tail on a Gaussian distribution. That tail is the true target audience for Mind of Mully (classic) and Mind of Mully Biz Haus Shoppe.
Read a Facebook message from Oliver K last week which, among other things, asked; “What are the most important things you think for success in a marriage? We got the disagree, talk, and hug part down…” Clearly, they have seventy percent of the secret to a successful marriage nailed down with the “disagree, talk, hug it out” offense. The open letter to Oliver Kloseov below is one man’s opinion on the remaining thirty percent. A man who choose to remain blissfully single until thirty-eight, and remains blissfully single again. A man who lives with five cats.
A man whose best friends from college, three sisters, and mom/dad remain happily married decades after saying “I do”. I am the Joe Buck of marriage…a student and rabid fan of the game, yet a non-player of the game. While this letter is for Oliver K and his beloved, the rest of you are welcome to read along. Later on there will be a bonfire, marshmallows and a sing-along to Olivia Newton John. Let’s begin.
Dear Oliver Kloseov,
You found someone to hang with forever and ever and ever! Fantastic! That leaves just one of us to continue the offense of hanging out in random psychologist offices, looking for our personal version of Natalie Portman’s Samantha character from the movie Garden State. You have my word that I will remain holding the torch in that quest and will continue the pursuit in perpetuity. It is a quest I intend to pursue with great vigor and intensity.
Very much looking forward to seeing you again and meeting your betrothed on August 27th. It’s been far too long since we have laughed like hyenas together. Pescadero, California looks like a most excellent location for a wedding! I am going to bring a guitar along on the train ride, mostly to busker for tips along the way, but also so that on one of the evenings we can croon together at Duarte’s there on the main drag in Pescadero. We are going to sing the song you cued up there above for your fiancé/wife (depends upon which day we take over Duarte’s and sing this lovely song to her).
Pescadero! Mostly white painted buildings, dating back to the wreck of the ship Carrier Pigeon in 1853 when the Pescadero townsfolk recovered white paint from the Carrier Pigeon wreck and put the shite paint to good use. Forty-one years after the Carrier Pigeon shipwreck, in 1894, Duarte’s was founded when Frank Duarte bought a barrel of whiskey over in Santa Cruz and dragged it on back to Pescadero and sold glasses of whiskey for a dime. Am certain that all 643 permanent Pescadero residents, as well as everyone joining you two for your nuptials will truly enjoy drinking more pricey whiskey at Duarte’s when we sign this song to your beautiful fiancé/wife (depends upon which day we take over Duarte’s and sing this lovely song to her).
In the event I am unable to learn to play a B chord by the end of August, we also might sing her Use Somebody by Kings of Leon. Let’s play it by ear and you choose when we get to Duarte’s?
It has, indeed, been far too long and despite the years and the distance, I remain tickled pink that we have stayed in touch. Mostly because you are the type of person who would ask a friend to opine on “what are the most important things you think for success in a marriage?” Before weddings, most folks are all wrapped up in seating arrangements and center piece selection. You are reaching out to friends and asking their opinion on the keys to a successful marriage. (clapclapclapclapclap)
The answer to “what are the most important things you think for success in a marriage?” is as follows.
Everything you need to know about being a great partner in a marriage, all the things critical to success in a marriage can be garnered by carefully examining roles and characters played by Brad Pitt. Brad Pitt characters and, of course……… Rudyard Kipling’s Rikki Tikki Tavi .
Avoid acting like any of these Brad Pitt characters while married:
- Louis de Point du Lac from Interview with a Vampire
- Jeffrey Goines from Twelve Monkeys
- Chad Feldheimer from Burn After Reading
- The preppy guy in Less Than Zero
- Early Grayce from Kalifornia
- Floyd from True Romance
- Patch Boomhauer from that episode of King of the Hill
- Heinrich Harrer from Seven Years in Tibet
As often as possible, act like any of these brad Pitt characters while married:
- Tristan from Legends of the Fall
- Joe Black from Meet Joe Black
- Achilles from Troy
- Benjamin Button in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- Aldo Raine from Inglourious Basterds
- Floyd from True Romance
- Rusty Ryan from Ocean’s Eleven
- Rusty Ryan from Ocean’s Twelve
- Rusty Ryan from Ocean’s Thirteen
- Rusty Ryan….in general
See? Everything you need to know about being a great partner in a marriage, all the things critical to success in a marriage can be garnered by carefully examining Brad Pitt characters. Yes, the Floyd character was supposed to be on both lists. Mostly because Floyd is my favorite Brad Pitt character of all time. Joe Black may seem like he would fit into the first grouping, being Death and all; however, Joe had a deep fascination with understanding love and asked wonderful “love” questions throughout Meet Joe Black When Joe Black asked Quince how he knew Alison loved him, Quince replied; “Because she knows the worst thing about me and it’s okay.” That is one hell of a great answer.
Brad Pitt theorem is proved and closed. And what of Rudyard Kipling and Rikki Tikki Tavi? You could substitute “ great husband” or “ great wife” for “man my son” at the end of Mr. Kipling’s most famous poem, If. That’s one hell of a great poem, explaining a solid offense for a successful marriage. It’s not Rikki Tikki Tavi, but it is one hell of a great poem.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!
While “If” is a fine Rudyard Kipling work and does define the things necessary for a successful marriage, the best Kipling example of successful marriage can be found byclosely examining the mongoose Rikki Tikki in Rikki Tikki Tavi. Refresher. Rikki Tikki was washed out of his house by a flood, ended up close to death near a family ’s home in India. Man and boy (Teddy) find Rikki, nurse him back to health, and adopt Rikki Tikki. Rikki kills one cobra (Nag) and makes that cobra’s wife (Nagaina) and enemy for life.
If you cue up the You Tube video below when you finish reading your letter, fast forward it to precisely 3:36 into the video and watch it until 6:03. The boy sitting at the table at the beginning? That’s your relationship/marriage. Rikki Tikki is you. Nagaina is anything that gets in the way of you two having a ridiculously successful marriage.
As you two roll through the next four or five decades as a married couple, please mentally picture that mongoose jumping up and down, making that chirping sound, and fluffing out his tail to make it look bigger and then attacking whenever anyone or anything gets in the way of your marriage. Nagaina might come in the form of your pride, your job, old friends who don’t fit into your new chosen path….there are many Nagainas. Kill them quickly. And if you leap straight into the air and make that chirping sound, that will add to the entertainment value. Exponentially.
Brad Pitt, Rikki Tikki, and, as I texted you last week, Nekked Saturdays. Because all the good things contained in this letter can be undone in a heartbeat if you fail to make the time for Nekked Saturdays every month for the next three thousand months. Keep that in mind. See you at the end of August.
All my best,
Stuck around for the bonfire, marshmallows, and sing-along, did you? Grab a carpet square and find a pointy stick. The sing-along will be to Olivia Newton John’s “I Honestly Love You”. For twenty-five years, I have waited to see someone up on the altar grab the microphone from the pastor or officiator at a wedding and start belting out this tune. I may get married for a weekend just to cross that off my list.
Olivia Newton John’s “I Honestly Love You”
Hey look….someone brought a doggy. Someone get the doggy a marshmallow…brown it nicely.