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Yesterday, my sister-in-law, Kati, asked if I was familiar with Ogden Nash’s poem on marriage. Of course, I’ve read Nash’s poetry before and love the light silliness that many of his poems have, but I did not know this one. When I read it, I was delighted to see many of the themes of my marriage reflected in Nash’s verse.

“I Do, I Will, I Have,” Ogden Nash

How wise I am to have instructed the butler
to instruct the first footman to instruct the second
footman to instruct the doorman to order my carriage;
I am about to volunteer a definition of marriage.
Just as I know that there are two Hagens, Walter and Copen,
I know that marriage is a legal and religious alliance entered
into by a man who can’t sleep with the window shut and a
woman who can’t sleep with the window open.
Moreover, just as I am unsure of the difference between
flora and fauna and flotsam and jetsam,
I am quite sure that marriage is the alliance of two people
one of whom never remembers birthdays and the other
never forgetsam,
And he refuses to believe there is a leak in the water pipe or
the gas pipe and she is convinced she is about to asphyxiate
or drown,
And she says Quick get up and get my hairbrushes off the
windowsill, it’s raining in, and he replies Oh they’re all right,
 it’s only raining straight down.
That is why marriage is so much more interesting than divorce,
Because it’s the only known example of the happy meeting of
the immovable object and the irresistible force.
So I hope husbands and wives will continue to debate and
combat over everything debatable and combatable,
Because I believe a little incompatibility is the spice of life,
particularly if he has income and she is pattable. 

I bolded the following line 

And he refuses to believe there is a leak in the water pipe or
the gas pipe and she is convinced she is about to asphyxiate
or drown,

because for weeks (possibly months) I insisted we had a gas leak in our house. Whenever I passed the entry way at the bottom of our stairs, I would smell gas and every night when I laid down in bed I could even taste it in the back of my throat. Week after week I would tell my husband I was sure that our house was going to burn to the ground. I even lost sleep thinking that we were slowly being asphyxiated.

Our house did not burn, we were not asphyxiated, and it turns out that I have acid reflux disease (hence the bad taste in my mouth).  Thankfully, I am pattable. 

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