My Next Marriage

Probably the only reason I would marry is to coach again. Yet…

Now that I’m sort of retired, I like Monday mornings. I never liked them before. You started dreading them on Sunday afternoons, and by Sunday night you had what one daughter called “the Sundays,” the sense of negative anticipation that work Mondays bring.

For most of my life, Monday meant school and work and rushing off to meetings where nothing ever got accomplished, but the boss felt validated because, “Hey, we had a meeting. Probably change the world.”

Rarely did it ever.

Now on Mondays, I work on writing projects no one will likely ever read, such as a screenplay about my parents’ marriage … how it may have influenced my marriage and on and on.

Marriage is funny. Not a lot of laughs, yet funny still. I miss sharing things with someone. I miss arguing over whether chili should have beans (yes), or if salsa should be green or red (green).

I miss having a history with someone. I miss recounting the concerts my late wife and I saw, or the bad apartments we shared.

Not sure if I miss marriage, but I miss all that. So I guess I miss marriage.

At lunch the other day, I told a couple of friends that the only reason to marry again would be to have children to coach in baseball. I liked coaching more than I liked marriage. But I liked coaching more than almost anything.

Over cheeseburgers, my buddies Dave and Bill bet me that I would get married again. These two have known me a very long time, seen my kids grow up, seen and lived the saga of a modern married life.

Right now, the only people I want to be with constantly are Smartacus and White Fang.

They bet me that I would marry again, when I insisted I would not. They said it would be within five years.

So that clock is ticking. I suppose I win one way or the other: I either win the bet, or I win a person I want to go to concerts with, price a new couch, make plans for Christmas. That might even be better than money, though only time would tell. When it comes to marriage, it’s the expiration dates that scare me.

Right now, the only people I want to be with constantly are Smartacus and White Fang. Neither is interested in marriage, or even a prolonged friendship. Our relationship is built mostly on my feeding them and watching lots of sports together on television. Just my kind of guys (though White Fang is a female, she has adopted many of the idiot male habits of the pack).

If I could only find that. If only I could find someone who appreciates that I make grocery lists in meter, like a poet, and that I am fun at movies, because I share arm rests and popcorn, and I like to lean over and feel the warmth of the person next to me (and dig for any M&Ms she might’ve dropped).

And that I’m kind of funny at the oddest, most-unfortunate times, like at funerals, or during airport delays, or naked in bed. Especially then.

If only I could find someone who likes bicentennials and Dixieland bands. Or bumming around fishing tackle stores on long autumn days, and coming home to stack firewood in neat, uniform piles, like shelves of old books.

Whose favorite color is denim. Whose favorite flavor is yum. As in, “There’s a lot of yum in those ribs.” Or, “These beans need more yum.”

Hopefully, for the sake of all that is holy, there are no women like that. Can you imagine?

But if there ever were…

My new book, “Lavender in Your Lemonade,” is now out. We priced it, like all good literature, by the pound: $11 for the paperback; $7 for the e-book. Selling books is selling blood – just less lucrative. So please, if you happen to find it worthy, go here to post A CUSTOMER REVIEW

19 thoughts on “My Next Marriage

  1. All of the above. After 56 years of marriage, my wife being gone for 7 years now, I still miss everything Chris mentions. But at 84 there are not a lot of options for me.

  2. First, DEFINITELY beans in the chili! Otherwise, what is it, really?? As for marriage, I kinda think you will remarry, too, and I don’t even know you (tho I feel as if I do after reading your columns for these many, many years). I was married 43 years before my husband died 10 years ago. And, like you, I miss sharing things with him – the idiot who cut me off in traffic, the heavy traffic, the new store in town, sharing from each other’s plates, holding hands, etc.

  3. The past and memories are with me forever and there is no need to let them go, but if I want something new I kind of have to allow for “new” thinking.

  4. Chris- thanks for making this Monday sweet. My husband died almost 11 yrs. ago & I miss hugs, watching football, funny movies & shows,& our grandchildren together. I haven’t had even an offer of a date & my ego says what the *#*#*! But I I had a great guy & women do ok single. But men not so much so your friends are probably right. But Posh will always be the ONE‼️🤗

  5. I’ve been widowed 8 years. What I miss is my very best friend, the one who knew every single thing about me and loved me anyway. I doubt I’ll ever marry again, but a companion to do movies, concerts, travel, might be nice.

  6. So glad I have finally found your writings on my phone. I thought I would lose u when u left the LATimes. Thanks

  7. My husband died in 2003 and I never thought I would marry again even if I was young. 3 years later our friends wife died and the husband and I did stuff as friends for more than a year…to find out we liked each other! It took another year to realize maybe we might more than like each other…how does that happen? we got married 5 years ago, not to rush into anything don’t you thing ever. And we still love our first spouses and our kids love both of us. Posh will always be your ONE but there is room and time for another One who will think you are the One too. The door opens when you are least expecting it…hope the journey finds you.

  8. Something to consider…single men don’t live as long as married men ( sorry to be a bummer). Oh, red salsa and NO beans in chili…but three kinds of meat.

  9. I say get on with it, romance (or whatever to call it) is a bit different at this age but very fun, you forgot how much fun, you will even feel young again! Just gotta meet someone who ticks the important boxes, Find love, forget the marriage part; that comes if and much later!

  10. Post 17 years of marriage, I mourned for an appropriate period of time and proceeded to date men who, somehow, were not appropriate for my needs. I find it funny that after his third marriage to a woman who shares my name, spelled slightly differently, he finally got it right. We all tolerate each other. He never thanked me for anything or admitted he was controlling, but he got it right with her. At my age (70+), men want younger women. And, I don’t want to be a nurse with a purse….. Still, I miss the companionship and intimacy and someone to man the bbq! You’ll find someone who is the right one for you. Posh wants you to be happy.

  11. Just bought the book on Amazon – it must be a hot item they’re not delivering until Sunday. (I have your other two) Now even more reason for a Chez Jay rendezvous…

  12. OMG, you are my “Steve Martin” (whom I adore). You captured what everyone who is single (being it divorce or any reason) would want to say, but doesn’t have the balls to do so! You are a gem and I don’t even know you.,(but my friend Corrie Rausch and many others do) Thanks for always putting a smile on my face and in my heart. Oh, and yes, beans for sure in Chili along with Carroll Shelby’s secret spices; and sometimes even mushrooms and green peppers! Salsa…love ’em both!

  13. I would love it to be Angie. You are clearly carrying a torch for her, and why not? And she could (and has) do WAY worse. I am betting you will find Ms. Perfect and have lots more great grist for your columns and wonderful books. I am loving Lavender. Thanks for letting us into your world. Always a treat!

  14. Yes there is a lot to miss. Too much to list. I laughed about White Fang. My dog would marry me in a nanosecond. Anaïs Nin said, “You don’t find love, it finds you. It’s got a little bit to do with destiny, fate and what’s written in the stars.” Keep the faith. 🌠

  15. You are an all-in romantic. Of course you will marry again, or at least lengthily co-habit. Having done the former, losing a beloved after decades together to the same general experience as Posh, and being of similar disposition to you, I know whereof I speak. She will be different, but many of the common values and passions you previously shared will endure. Surprisingly, a subliminal theme may be growth and development. She will widen you. You will learn from her. The bond will be wonderfully tight, yet reassuringly flexible. She will be a delight; a wonder. You will marvel at how you could be so fortunate, have so much fun–again. She will make you a better–more sensitive, humane–person.. And all the while, the piquant music of Posh will be in the backround, anointing and smoothing the mind of the marriage–all this the consequence of your loss and period of resolution of the profound grief that attends such experiences. You think you are the same, but you are not, and what is now possible will become assured. Ahhh, if only Angie were time in a bottle, you could pour her over you. As it is, a little drink at lunch with her now and then could at least catalyze the mood, which I might characterize as ” Exalted G and T”.

  16. Chris, you are going to have so many women lining up to marry you after reading this column. Hope you’re ready for that!

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