Tell Them What They’ve Won

There’s nothing that’ll take the wind out of your Valentine’s Day sails faster than coming in third in the Newlywed Game at the church’s Sweetheart’s Dinner.

Nothing except maybe coming in fourth. Or being led away from the Sweetheart’s Dinner in handcuffs. Yeah, that wouldn’t be so good.

When I agreed to be part of the church Newlywed Game (cleverly renamed “Marital Blitz,” because, I guess, Bob Eubanks is such a royalties hound), I didn’t realize that the first question of the night—the one I should have been asking myself—is this: If you and your husband screw up royally in matching your answers to bogus made-up questions, then does that mean that (a) you’ve provided rollicking entertainment for some of your closest friends, (b) you look at life from different, but often complementary, points of view, or (c) you should whip out your BlackBerry because the church counselor’s only got openings on Thursday nights, and they’re filling up fast.

Consider question number one: If your marriage was a movie, what genre would it be? (a) romance, (b) family comedy, or (c) drama.

(I suggested “horror” but didn’t get nearly the laugh I was expecting. Wrong crowd, I guess.)

My marriage, like yours (and believe me, I hope it’s like yours, or else I’d better reserve my spot on the couch now), is a combination of all three. Really, it is. There’s romance, but my viewing of only one drippy, sentimental, emotion-manipulating Nicholas Sparks-based movie convinced me I was NOT going to answer (a). There’s drama, of course, brought to us by anything and everything (including myself, my husband, my kids, my dog, my furnace, my dryer, and, just this week, my local phone company), but without explanation “drama” sends the wrong message. Sort of like “diva” or “dictator.”

But I’m a family humor writer. So you’d think “family comedy,” right? I answered (b), but my husband said (c), and boy did the gang love that. I’m sure that this discrepancy was particularly enjoyed by the parents of the young engaged couple that my husband and I just spent six weeks mentoring.

This kind of thing, I think, is why neither of us is in politics. Needless to say, I’m putting Marital Blitz on that ever-growing list of “we won’t be doing THAT again.”

Last night at our pitch perfect Valentine’s Day dinner out (which almost didn’t happen because I was so wrapped around the axel about the ridiculous “What would your husband do if he unexpectedly had the day off?” question), we talked about the movie question more. I think that we’re square on our genre, so next time we’ll be more prepared.

If our marriage was a movie, it would be a rockumentary. Starring Brad and Angelina. Playing Sonny and Cher.

Because even after an embarrassing night at the church, I’ve found, the beat certainly does go on.



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