Word Count: 499
To Have and to Hold
By Peg Scarano
I have gathered so much insight over the past 44 years; I decided I could be a marriage counselor
without a license. I’m not sure people would pay for my services and I’m not sure I’d charge.
Maybe it could be only on a “satisfaction guaranteed” basis. But if my clients were satisfied…I
had best be paid big bucks!
Here are a couple of newlywed scenarios. After the trauma and stress of planning a wedding and
honeymoon, I think it is amazing couples even make it to the altar, let alone the honeymoon. We
were fortunate that my parents lived in Fort Lauderdale at the time. They stayed in our new
house for the week while we stayed in their condo with a pool. The first full day we were there,
the elderly gentleman who lived across the courtyard passed out in his webbed-folding chair.
His name was Rex and his wife broke sound barriers screeching for help. My hero flew out of
the pool leaping over chairs to go to the rescue, while ordering me to take the wife inside and call
911. As I was truly being helpful doing as I was told, I looked out the window only to see my
hero trying to give Rex CPR while he was still in the folding chair, which immediately collapsed
with Rex in it. The groom was obviously not CPR trained. The EMT’s finally arrived, but it
was too late for Rex. I thought honeymoons are supposed to be trauma free and relaxing, but we
sucked it up and tried to move on!
The first week home after our honeymoon heaven, my groom came into the kitchen before work
and asked, “Aren’t you making my lunch?” With raised eyebrows and a not-so-pleasant
demeanor, I simply responded, “No.” He replied accusingly, “Well, my mother always made my
lunch.” To which I calmly countered with, “But I’m not your mother.” I won, but there was a
sudden chill in the air.
A few weeks later, at his request, I begrudgingly handed him my entire paycheck for the second
time since saying our vows. We had yet another “come to Jesus” encounter. “Look,” I began. “I
have cashed my own paychecks for the last two years; taken what I thought I would need to live
on until the next check and used the remainder to pay bills or save. I do not like asking you for
my money. So from now on, I will cash my check; take what I want; and give you the rest.
However, I am not asking you for money ever again. I hate it!” An argument ensued. I won.
But it temporarily got really cold in the house again.
After one month of marriage, I discovered I was not so good at holding my tongue. But I
excelled at holding my ground and holding my own purse strings. We were still holding hands,
but we were also holding onto our hats for the bumpy ride ahead!