Thursday, January 24, 2013

Senseless Squabbles about Egypt

Marriage is a series of negotiations. From the first kiss, right up to, and including the wedding vows; and even the venerated 50th Anniversary; married couples are forever swimming in an ocean of potential misunderstandings and strife. Take this latest episode between Sue and myself as an example. It was the most passionate argument we have had since the one about recycling a few years ago.

When I was a kid I always dreamt of going to Egypt to see the Pyramids and cross the desert on a camel after poling down the Nile on a raft. So, when I got older, I did. Sue also dreamt of this same tableau, but never got around to it, electing instead to get married and have kids; a decision she does not entirely regret; but the desire to make the journey remains unfulfilled. That brings us to the “meat” of the story.

I can’t travel very well anymore due to some physical problems; so I won’t be going to Egypt anytime soon. Sue has no such limitations and would like to go tomorrow, if possible. She has expressed this to me several times over the course of our marriage. And, there was even a time when I could have gone. But that time has passed me by, and regrettably, we will never be making that trip together.

Well, last week, Sue and I had a knockdown, drag out fight about making the trip; that is to say the argument was about her making the trip without me. I was angry that she was taking the trip and leaving me alone and in poor health. I even hurled the “whatever happened to better or worse” bomb at her. And she, for her part, nuked me as a “dreamkiller”. Harsh words on both sides.

Now, the worst part of having an argument as you get older is that it is physically draining. Even a simple verbal dispute can leave both parties exhausted and feeling ill. And, beyond that, it’s a fact that due to age limitations, most wife beaters are young; as are most women who kill their husbands. Let’s face it, things are simply just too much more demanding as we age.

Now, this argument was a loud one; entertaining the neighbors being a by-product of marital disagreements; and so we even had a few neighbors standing outside in the cold night air to get a better take on the issue at hand. Most; no doubt; are even expecting a postcard from the Sphinx sometime soon. But here’s the rub.

There isn’t going to be any trip to Egypt in the foreseeable future. It’s not that I’m a “dreamkiller”, and it’s not that Sue wants to forsake her marriage vows concerning “better or worse.” Simply put, we don’t have the extra cash to take the trip, making the entire argument specious; or to put it more simply; totally unnecessary. But, after 26 years of marriage, it’s very important to keep in practice.

Now, that’s my side of it, here’s a few words from Sue; my better half; concerning the above.

As Robert said, it’s draining to have these passionate fights anymore, especially unexpectedly out of the blue.  I was just coming down from upstairs, where I was working, to have lunch when the trip to Egypt that I've dreamt of taking since I was a child was suddenly thrust at me. I still haven’t figured out why or where this came from, I've only ever wistfully mentioned that maybe someday I could see the Pyramids, the Nile and ride the camels.  As much as I want to visit, going without him would be lonely and I would miss him. He has been there before and could tell me of all the changes and a history of the area and people.

So, Egypt has been a dream that most likely will remain unfulfilled, but other dreams have been filled, and overshadow this one many times over; such as falling in love, marrying, and raising children together, having mini vacations and road trips.  My dreams are far from over; some are fulfilled (love); and others are benched (Egypt); while some fall totally by the wayside (winning that last big Mega Lotto) and new ones are made – Should I dream that we no longer fight over nonsensical things? Hmm, fat chance that that one will happen.

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