Friday, November 28, 2008

Wife Rule #87: Read the Good Book (V)



They have their first date--he gazes into her eyes, and she desires to kiss him, of course--he resists, and their friendship grows into something beautiful.

AND it was not long until Christmas; therefore we did attend a Christmas concert together. And we did have much fun; and we did play agames together and enjoy each others' company.
 2  And at the end of the night, we did drive home, and I did walk her to the door of the alobby of her dormitory.
 3  And I did gaze into her eyes for the first time; and my heart did change, insomuch that I knew I would anever be the same.
 4  And ashe did make her move, as if she would bkiss me. But behold, I being large in stature, and also righteous, therefore I knew that she was merely spellbound by the sheer magnitude of my studliness; therefore I did not kiss her.
 5  Therefore our relationship began; and I did ponder often upon her, as I was home over Christmas break. And I did greatly desire to see her again, for she was truly a babe.
 6  And in due time we did return to school, and I did continue in my aefforts to be with her, for she was truly a babe among all babes.
 7  And it came to pass that I began to feel alove for her; and I knew not why, for I did not know her very well.
 8  And as I got to know her, I did adiscover why I loved her; and if I were to write all the reasons, it supposeth me that all the volumes in the whole earth could not contain them. Amen.

Footnotes for Chapter 5
1a TG Ping-Pong
2a TG Lobby-loving; Freshmen; Dormitories; Wacky Practical Jokes
3a TG Love; Whooped, Starting to Get
4a There is some debate as to the historical accuracy of the events described in verse 4; however, there is no debate that the author must have been irresistible.
4b TG Smooch; Studs, Irresistible
6a TG Library, Stalking In; Study, Not Much Getting Done
7a TG Exciting and New
8a TG Studs, Sometimes Possessing Thick Skulls

* * * * * * * * * *

So there you have it, the historic first publication of The Book of Love. I hope you were enlightened as much by it as I was. Kind of makes me want to spend more time reading the Good Book, or maybe even writing some history of my own.

After all, as the Good Book says, "If you and your wife have really got it, why not flaunt it?" Or something like that.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wife Rule #86: Read the Good Book (IV)



The University Police escort the author out of the building--he rejoices in the prospect of asking Crystal Waters out--the day arrives, and he asks her out.

AND it came to pass that when I had finished my song, that the University Police did escort me swiftly from the building.
 2  For never before had a student burst into song in the middle of class; yea, and never before had a student such great cause for rejoicing;
 3  For it did seem to me that I could get to know her and eventually ask her out, when she would be familiar enough with me so as to be able to handle my amanliness.
 4  For it was apparent to me that I was avery manly.
 5  And much time did pass, during which time I did think of Crystal Waters from time to time, and did make aexcuses to speak to her in class.
 6  But it was not until the last minutes of the last class day before finals that I did ask her out. And she did gladly aaccept, for behold, I was a stud, and her heart was bprepared.

Footnotes for Chapter 4
3a TG Studs, Sometimes Overwhelming
4a TG Chin, Stubble Upon
5a TG Sweaters, Compliments About
6a TG Babes With Superior Judgement
6b TG Skills, Babe-Catching

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wife Rule #85: Read the Good Book (III)



The author is a stud, and all the maidens want him--he seizes the opportunity to meet the Babe--her name is revealed--he sings a song of love.

NOW I would that ye should understand, that I was not without astudliness; yea, even though she did intimidate me, yet I was large in stature, insomuch that I was bfair to look upon myself.
 2  And it came to pass that I was much weighed down because of the burdens which were upon me;
 3  For behold, all the fair maidens in the whole land did greatly desire to have me, all save the Fairest One, who knew not who I was.
 4  And in due time I did find her sitting nearby. And it came to pass that I did sit myself next to her, that she did abehold my studliness.
 5  And it came to pass that I did introduce myself to her; and so aimpressed was she that she could say but little; therefore we did not talk much that day.
 6  And we did begin a friendship; and her name was aCrystal Waters.
 7  And my heart did rejoice within me; and I did sing, yea, even with a loud voice:
 8  A Babe! A Babe! I have found me a Babe! There is none so beautiful as she; there is none so studly as me; it surely was meant to be, this beautiful Babe and me!

Footnotes for Chapter 3
1a TG Truth; Standard of Men; Studliness; Buff; Handsome; Worth Your Time; Man, Strong but Sensitive; Highly Desirable
1b TG Mirrors, Uses For; Babeslayers
4a TG Obvious; Babe With a Sound Mind
5a HEB immediately whooped
6a From the Greek, meaning "One that attracts Studs"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wife Rule #84: Read the Good Book (II)



The author beholds a beautiful maiden--he becomes whooped--he desires to meet her, despite his weakness--great is the reward of him who is not a wimp.

AND as I tarried one day I beheld a amaiden; and she was bexceedingly fair and beautiful. Yea, her beauty did exceed that of the stars in the sky, insomuch that my heart did exclaim, Mercy!
 2  For so exceedingly fine was she that as I looked upon her it did seem to me as a dream; yea, as if I was acarried away, unto the separating of my soul from my body; and I did long to meet her.
 3  But so great was the mass of the people (now I do not mean that they were all fat, rather that there were many), yea, so great was the mass as they did exit the large and spacious room, that there was no opportunity for me to make my way to her side, that I might introduce myself.
 4  Nevertheless and notwithstanding the difficulty of the task, I did still adesire greatly to meet her. And as I saw her from time to time, I did wait patiently for the chance to meet her.
 5  And it came to pass that on several occasions she did sit nearby, but my aheart failed me and I did not open my mouth to speak to her.
 6  Now I would exhort you, my brethren, that when ye shall see fair maidens, that ye would not be wimps, but that ye would open your mouths and speak to them, for great will be your areward.

Footnotes for Chapter 2
1a The "maiden" referred to is undoubtedly the same Wonder-Woman-like babe that is the subject of Wife Rules, who is universally acknowledged as the most beautiful girl of all time.
1b TG MegaBabe
2a TG Whooped; Babes, Effect Upon Studs
4a IE he wanted her; TG Righteous Desires
5a TG Wimp; Babes, the Downfall of Studs
6a TG Kisses

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wife Rule #83: Read the Good Book (I)

In the classic play Fiddler on the Roof, Jewish father and folk-philosopher Reb Tevia often begins his observations with "as the Good Book says..." as a preface to some ridiculous proverb of folksy wisdom that clearly originated in his own head, for his own convenient purposes. For example:

"As the Good Book says, if you spit in the air, it lands in your face."

True enough, and all-too-often applicable, but clearly not found in the Good Book.

At least that's what I used to think.

I have lately become a little more open-minded about new sources of light and knowledge. You see, I have been doing a little archaeological digging myself, and I came across a most unusual document. I've studied it extensively and had several Biblical scholars and students of ancient manuscripts examine it. We have all agreed, based on a bunch of technical mumbo-jumbo that's way beyond the scope of a Wife Rule, that this manuscript is at least ten years old.

So technically, it should have some authority based on its age alone. Plus, I found it in a box of old memorabilia my wife has maintained, so if she values it, it must be good. Having said that, it's authenticity is questionable so it should be considered apocryphal at best. But as I have studied and pondered it myself, I have come to realize that it is just chock-full of truth. Thus I have decided to publish this work here in my Wife Rules, in its entirety, for the first time, so that the posterity of today's generation might not lose any valuable wisdom found therein.

This new "Good Book" is relatively short, but I have decided to publish it one chapter at a time, so that you might have ample opportunity to ponder the messages it contains.

* * * * * * * * * *


1) The chapter summaries in italics at the beginning of each chapter are printed exactly as found in the manuscript. So are the footnotes, which I highly recommend reading.

2) Through thorough investigation, I have determined that the footnotes use the following abbreviations:
TG for "Topical Guide," a concordance listing cross-references by subject, in this book and other better-known Good Books
IE retains its classical literary meaning; i.e., it means "in other words"
HEB means that what follows is an alternate translation from the Hebrew

3) Scholars agree that the name of the subject of the author's interest was almost certainly not "Crystal Waters," as first mentioned in Chapter 3 verse 6, though there may be some symbolic significance in this particular choice for a name substitute.

* * * * * * * * * *



The author begins the new semester--he looks upon many fish, but longs to catch the Big One.

aAND it came to pass that in the btenth hour of the morning on the first day of the new semester that I did find myself in a very large and spacious room. And the room was filled with all manner of people, that their numbers did seem to be as great as the sands of the sea.
 2  And I looked upon the many fish in the room, and I did behold that there were fish of every kind, but I did more especially look upon the afemale fish. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
 3  And after many days I did make some acquaintance with some fish, insomuch that I did say to myself, Biology 130 will be a righteous class.
 4  But inwardly I longed to catch the aBig One.

Footnotes for Chapter 1
1a Though scriptorians and songwriters alike have researched extensively, the question of who wrote "The Book of Love" remains a mystery. The research leaves no doubt, however, that the author was both a gentleman and a stud.
1b TG Early; Ambition
2a TG Babes; Scoping Out the Situation
4a TG Marriage, Celestial; Righteous Desires

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wife Rule #82: Nature Abhors a Vacuum

Nature abhors a vacuum.

So it's a little ironic that the very things that suddenly barge into our lives like steamrollers--demanding huge amounts of our time and energy and thus completely flattening lower priorities--leave such a terrible void in their wake, when they finally pass.

Which they always do.

All that remains is a faint hissing sound, produced from a hundred wistful sighs of mixed relief and regret that the busy season is, at last, over.

My wife was released today from her volunteer church position (all the positions in our church are filled by volunteers). For the last three years she was the president of our congregation's Primary organization, which handles the weekly church-related activities of our children ages 18 months through 11 years. As such, she, her two counsellors, and the secretary in her presidency deftly handled the responsibility of being in charge of a staff of over fifty adult leaders that included class teachers, nursery leaders, cub scout and eleven-year-old scout leaders, girl's activity day leaders, music leaders, and others.

In all, this combined army of volunteers herds about 200 children for two hours each Sunday, plus additional events during the week. My wife and her presidency also held weekly planning meetings; planned and attended child baptisms and the special meetings to prepare children and their parents for this most important event; planned and attended meetings to prepare the eleven-year-olds for graduation from Primary; did one-on-one interviews with each teacher; held appreciation dinners for all those serving in the primary; attended scout committee meetings, regular meetings with the bishop of our congregation, and meetings with other auxiliary leaders; planned and put on supplemental quarterly activities for all 200 children; and conducted interviews with each child as they prepared for advancement within the programs of our church.

That's a boatload of stuff to do, cutting a very wide and very clean swath through the middle of my wife's life, and to a large extent, the rest of our lives too.

So as today was the last time she stood in front of the children as their president, I wanted to take this opportunity to say to my wife: Job well done!

I know you feel a great sense of relief at the burden being lifted, but also a fair amount of trepidation to have such a huge interruption to your life's routine.

In a sense, you feel a little homeless right now.

I know it was hard to gut your binder, that precious, huge collection of information, policies, jumbled thoughts, and strategies for doing your job, looking for those necessary parts that constitute the baton being passed to the new president. You let those papers go with a little hesitation, like sending your children off into capable, but different hands than your own.

The papers you kept, those representing countless hours of thought and study and deep prayer to the Eternal Father of the children that have been in your charge, are even harder to part with. So you'll keep them around, and might even use a few again, but deep down you know this is really "goodbye" to these old friends who will be placed on a shelf to gather dust and most likely won't come off. They are precious and valuable, but also very perishable, and their shelf life is now mostly over.

You will miss those precious, regular associations with your trusted counsellors and secretary, those women who filled your home each week and brought so much joy and relief to your life. They will remain friends, but the built-in, regular times together are gone and life's new responsibilities, which will surely come, will make it a little harder to maintain the relationships as they have been. Thankfully, there is an implicit bond that will remain, for once two friends have leaned on each other and earned each other's trust, they always keep it.

And most of all, you will miss those 200 little faces, those precious souls who will from now on be frozen in time in your memories.

Ten years from now we will walk into a reception center, bewildered at the stunning bride or handsome groom that we know, standing there all giddy and wondering if she or he is ready for "real life." You will wonder the same thing, since only yesterday she had ribbons in her hair and was toting her scriptures in a bag with hearts on it; or he was chewing his tie, sitting backwards in his chair, and looking bored.

Twenty years from now you will still remember the ones that gave you headaches, as well as the ones whose purity and innocence so often brought tears to your eyes. These 200 souls, once given a place in your heart, will never really leave. They will change, but a small piece of them will remain as if in cement, ever-present in the fond reverie of your time spent in their service.

And they will remember you. Not all of them, and probably not even most of them, but fifty years from now, some old man will look back on the moments that defined his life, the moments where he learned who he really is as a child of a loving God, and he will remember a teacher, a song leader, or the testimony of his Primary president, you, who brought the fiery torch of the Spirit of God into the room where his heart lay open, ready for engraving.

He may then shed a little tear of gratitude, looking back at the glorious way his life has unfolded, with wife and children and grandchildren and sublime richness too bounteous to enumerate, a portion of which was first given to him by the selfless service of you, my faithful, loving wife.

So let's take this new time together and use it. We'll start by sitting together in Sunday School for nearly the first time in five years. But more importantly, we'll practice adjusting to change and voids and vacuums together, for more will surely come.

Your service as Primary president, while significant, is really not that much compared to the steamroller called "parenthood" that has utterly reshaped our lives and our very identities. This all-important work will surely change in time too, so let's be ready for it when it comes. When we are sitting together in an oddly quiet, freshly emptied house some day in the distant future, let's take advantage of the opportunity to be closer, to discover our next adventure together, and to remember the powerful forces of attraction that brought us together way back when the universe revolved around us--back when there was only you, and me, and gravity, and lots and lots of potential.

After all, most of the universe is empty space, a vacuum. There's no reason to abhor it; that just means there's room to grow.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Wife Rule #81: Kill Two Birds With One Stone

Problem 1: Life is short and should not be wasted.

Problem 2: Yet, time seems to drag on at an intolerably slow pace sometimes.

I remember well before our marriage, when my wife and I were attending college together, how it would seem like I was literally going to die if I didn't see her soon. Yet dreary, drab coursework was always there, separating us. Fresh, new love is a beautiful, bittersweet thing.

In such dire circumstances, the clever suitor will double-up; that is, whenever possible, apply a single solution to two problems: How to (1) reconcile the wasting of precious life seconds doing something utterly undesirable, while (2) passing the time before reuniting with the object of my heart-throbbing?

I was searching through some old files on our home computer today, and I stumbled across a document entitled "Petrarchan Sonnet Essay Paper." Some horrible drivel I was forced to write to appease some professor, was my immediate thought. But since the title contained the word "sonnet," I thought perhaps I would take a look.

I was delighted to rediscover (since I have no memory of composing it) a love sonnet that I had indeed written to satisfy some class assignment, but which I had apparently actually put some thought into as well, shrewdly transforming it into a potent wife-wooing, point-scoring triumph.

Since I had absolutely no idea what a Petrarchan Sonnet is, I did a quick read through Wikipedia's article (Don't you just love the Internet? I am never using the Dewey Decimal system again!).

It seems that the key components of a Petrarchan Sonnet are:

1) It's about unattainable love
2) There are 14 lines, divided into:
   a) two 4-line thoughts that introduce and then expound upon the love problem, and
   b) with a dramatic change in tone, a six-line solution.
3) The first eight lines have this rhyme scheme: abbaabba
4) The last six lines have this rhyme scheme: cdecde
5) Its author is a burly-chested, muscularly-chiseled, stallion of a man

Okay, I admit that I made that last one up, but only because it fits my situation so perfectly. Without further ado, let's see how I did:

* * *

How Long Shall Dreams of Pure Delight Still Warm

How long shall dreams of pure delight still warm
My troubled heart, though only for a day
Do my true feelings of devotion sway
My mind from plants and cells to her true charm?

Are gorgeous hair and curvy hips a crime?
No, no! They please the weary student's heart,
Though thoughts of joy and love make study part
Aside for aspirations more divine.

Be gone, all books, all study's ruthless toil,
All reading, fighting for a better grade,
All boredom, all exams, all vain desire!

For fantasies of love the grades would spoil
If sought more than the purpose man was made:
To love, to live, towards the heav'ns aspire!

* * *

In my be-it-ever-so-humble opinion, I pretty much hit this one out of the park (and I got the "A" and the girl to prove it). Talk about killing two birds!

Now if only I could figure out some way to woo my wife while mowing the lawn...