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Early Marriage Tactical Error #1

May 22, 2018

(DuQuoin, Illinois circa 1984)

Melissa and I married young.  She was nineteen going on thirty-seven and I was twenty going on twelve and a half.  Despite our despairing maturity levels, Melissa had learned little about some of the basics of living.  We were married almost a year before I discovered she threw our bank statements and cancelled checks away with the junk mail.  Thinking back, it is clear we failed to negotiate responsibilities around the house.  I used my parent’s (Leave it to Beaver) arrangement as a default but since she grew up in a single household, she had no template at all.  We both had a few holes.

I had a teaching job interview coming up and had picked out my favorite outfit to wear.  Dress to impress.  It was a button-down light blue shirt and a pair of Levi’s Dockers.  For some odd reason, I assumed she knew how to do the laundry and the ironing; since my mom was particularly skilled in this area, I had high expectations.  No one had ever taught Melissa to iron, but to her credit, she did the best she could and when my favorite brownish-tan khakis were laid out for me to wear, there were two crisp creases, both on the left leg.  This would be a sensitive situation for even a mature person but that had little to do with me.  Thinking I was hilarious with my quick wit, I quipped “Melissa, most people only wear one crease per leg.”

I don’t remember her response at all but what I can tell you is we celebrated our thirtieth-sixth wedding anniversary this year and she has never again ironed a single thing for me in those three and a half decades.  On the one or two occasions I have asked her to do so, she responds, “No one likes to do nice things for complainers.”

It doesn’t seem so hilarious now.

Hasn’t for thirty-six years…


-Rev. Shane L. Bishop is the Sr. Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois

One Comment
  1. Cassidee Wolter permalink

    Thank you so very much for sharing your insight with all of us! I appreciate you and your wisdom more than you could imagine!

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