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Reflections from the SwampMy wonderful bride knows everything

My wonderful bride knows everything

Reflections from the Swamp
Richard van Duyvendyk

Dear Reader

Since Covid, my bride and I have spent a lot of time alone. Time together has allowed me to discover that my bride knows things I don’t know. Basically, she knows everything and is willing to share this wealth of knowledge with me daily. I don’t even have to ask. Knowledge pours out of her like water falling over Niagara Falls. Unstoppable.

Before we were married, my bride could make me feel like a genius. I’d spout on about politics, religion, and horsepower in engines, hockey, and stamp collecting. My bride-to-be looked at me with admiration as if she had never basked in such wisdom; she listened intently to my every utterance. She loved sitting beside me, admiring my stamp collection. No one else did. She said that she had never met a man who owned two copies of the 1937 King George V1, 3 pence brown overprint with the spelling mistake! I related to these stamps. I had trouble spelling, George and I stuttered, and I had about 3 pence to my name before we married. Never could she imagine the complexities and subtleties of the philatelic world and hear all the answers from just one man! My future bride swooned over my stamps and swooned over me. I was as unique as a 3 pence overprint. She modestly kept her own counsel so that the depth of her knowledge about everything else wasn’t apparent until the wedding day. Then the excrement hit the air-conditioning.

When we got married, our relationship changed immediately, not gradually, but directly. My bride started to share tremendous amounts of knowledge that I wasn’t aware she had before we were married, knowledge she must have stored, waiting to share with her future husband. Not all wisdom was shared at once, just bits and pieces, here and there on an ongoing basis. I thought it would end; now, I know it never will. She is an eternal fountain; her torch will permanently shed light.

I never know what is going to trigger her desire to share knowledge. Today, I walked into the living room, saw her, and walked back into the kitchen. I’m not sure if I remember all the lessons I learned yesterday. I checked to see if I had done the dishes, wiped off the counters, unplugged the coffee pot, and put the toilet seat down. I have a big midterm coming up, and I want to do well.

So far, I have never passed a domestic midterm. Hope springs eternal.

I never know what will trigger her desire to share additional knowledge. Last summer, I opened the back door. Maybe I wasn’t sure what the exact parameters were; I just opened the door. Suddenly, my bride whorled around and yelled,” Shut the door, or you’ll let 800 mosquitoes into the house”! I had no idea that mosquitoes fly in swarms of 800. You might think I’d notice one or two of them. I saw nothing but my bride, with her keen eyesight and wealth of knowledge; she knew that 800 mosquitoes almost got into our house. God bless her! Mosquitoes could have been bitten us to death that night. She saved my life, yet again.

We went to the cafeteria at Ikea. I reached up to get a carton of whole milk. While reaching, my bride said, you don’t drink whole milk. My hand adeptly deflected towards the skim milk. Who needs life insurance? I probably wouldn’t have survived to this age, with mosquitoes and whole milk trying to kill me. I would have been dead in a matter of months.

When I was young and single, I lived on the edge. I was a rough and tumble kind of guy and did things you wouldn’t believe. I don’t want to brag about my exploits, but I must admit that sometimes I wore shoes in the house. Sorry, I did not know that carpets were supposed to last a thousand years. Now that I’m married, I know I breathe… way too loud. My bride told me the exact distance that people could hear me. A mile! I know. Her knowledge is incredible.

Sometimes I get a pain in my stomach like I’m hungry. I open the fridge door and look for something to eat. Then I hear my bride’s voice, “Close that fridge door. You’re not hungry.” Good thing I married her. Gee, I didn’t know that. I heard my stomach grumbling, but it was a false alarm. I could be eating right now, and I’m not even hungry. Imagine a life not knowing if you are hungry or not. You might die from starvation or overeating and never know.

I’ve been married for 45 years. The other day I asked my bride if I was happy and she told me I was. I knew it! I asked her if she was content, and she said she was. That’s good enough for me. I have learned so many things from my bride over the years. She has an unending fountain of knowledge I never dreamed of before marriage. I’m one hell of a lucky guy to have married her.

I would have died maybe 40 years ago without her. Without my bride, somebody might discover my body lying on the carpet, with my boots on. A track of muddy footprints leading to the fridge would reveal that I had poured myself a glass of whole milk. A spilled glass of whole milk on the floor beside me and my body covered with 800 mosquitoes would lead the inquirer to conclude that I had left the outside door open for just a little too long. The debate would be whether I died from blood loss due to multiple transfusions by mosquitoes, death due to drinking whole milk, or a combination of both factors.

The Coroner’s Report stated that the debate between those blaming the milk and those suspecting the mosquitoes was just academic. The actual circumstance that caused the tragic death was that the deceased was single. The victim had to journey through the pitfalls of life without the constant guidance and knowledge afforded to married men by their brides.

Thank you, dear bride, for saving my life so many times, almost daily, and thank you for sharing your life with mine. We should live a long and happy life with your constant vigilance and boundless knowledge. You’re the best thing since sliced bread. Oh yah, gluten. You’re just the best.

I’ll give my bride one of my 1937 three-pence overprint stamps as a token of my love. Love has no bounds. I can just imagine how excited she’ll be. Sometimes I’d don’t know how to express my passion. I stutter like George.

I know that my life has joy and love, and I am genuinely grateful for how my bride enriches my life every day.


A Man Splitting Wood

Life Revisited



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