When my wife, Ramona, and I were first married, she worked at a pharmacy for five dollars an hour and I was a stay-at-home mooch. Jobless for almost a month, I learned to play the drums. I found my calling there and decided to enter the recording industry so that others might be touched by this gift that had taken me completely by surprise.
One night when Ramona came home from work exhausted, she hollered, "What's that noise? Are you killing chickens in there?" I decided then to look around for other hobbies and before long, I found one. On weekends I began videotaping weddings, a hobby that bore handsome financial rewards. Usually the bride's father, who looked extremely exhausted, would hand me a check and say, "Here, you fill in the amount—it doesn't much matter now."
All in all, I watched the start of more than 100 marriages, and thankfully the majority of those marriages are still intact. But every once in a while I hear of another one that has failed, and I feel nothing but sadness. It's not easy to watch high fidelity go the way of the 8-track, particularly in religious homes where they could have consulted a Third Party.
I myself come from a long line of married people who must have decided at some point to stick together even when the spark was gone. My parents, for instance, have been married 57 years despite the fact that my father still clips his toenails in the living room. Not long ago, I asked Mom and Dad what made their marriage last, and without skipping a beat on his pacemaker, Dad said, "Senility. I wake up each morning and I can't remember who this old girl is. So each day is a new adventure."1