The prenuptial compatibility quiz you should take
Burt's Eye View
Question: Shouldn’t marriage licenses include mandatory compatibility testing before couples engage in matrimonial deadlock?
Answer: My wife and I are fine, thanks. We’re still crazy about each other other.
Q: And sometimes, just crazy?
Q: Prenuptial worksheets designed to bring out thoughts are feelings are fine, but what about the practical stuff?
Q: Here’s one no one ever talks about before the wedding — what is the correct setting for the thermostat?
A: Oh, no. I’m not answering that one. It’s a law of physics that “cold” people marry “hot” people.
Mama feels a shiver coming on and shoves sweaters and mittens on the kids so as to warm herself by their sweat. Papa scampers behind her yanking open windows and tossing ice cubes around the living room. The kids wind up in therapy, half in Greenland, half in Barbados.
Q: Should newspapers be read at the table during mealtimes?
A: Reading the funnies aloud to my spouse is sharing my innermost thoughts and feelings. If “Curtis,” “Zits,” “Funky Winkerbean” and “Garfield,” aren’t real life, what is?
Q: A husband and wife are clothes shopping together and the wife finds three styles of shirts she just knows would look fabulous on him. Should he (a) try on all of them in only his favorite color or (b) try each in at least five colors so he and his bride will know for sure which looks the absolute best?
A: Ha! Trick question. Husbands and wives should NEVER go clothes shopping together. Not if they wish to stay married. When we accidentally do so, my wife feels like she’s scored a major victory if she wrangles into trying on one shirt.
Q: Is time merely a concept?
A: Let me quote the great philosopher Lewis Grizzard. The two-minute warning in football gave his wife fits. Fifteen minutes later, when there was still 30 seconds on the clock, she asked how this could be. “It’s very simple. It’s just like when we’re late for a dinner reservation and you say, ‘I’ll be ready in two minutes.'”
Q: Can a pizza still be a pizza without pepperoni?
A: You’re married. You have a license to thrill. Order a Hawaiian pizza with ham and pineapple. A mac and cheese pizza. Or barbecue chicken. Please, I’ve had enough pepperoni.
Marriages have been saved because many pizza shops fill half-and-half orders. But these couples can’t have kids. Pizza guys tend to hang up when you ask to divide the toppings eight ways.
Q: What is the purpose of the garage?
A: I’ve heard some families actually park their cars in their garage. That’s probably an urban legend.
Q: Is a grunt proper acknowledgment of anything your spouse says?
A: It should be, but for reasons I can’t fathom, it’s not. Marital conversations are something like the game show “Jeopardy!” It’s best if I respond in the form of a question. Yes, this keeps the conversation going, even if there’s a very important football game on TV. But she’s a lot warmer than an 80-yard touchdown pass. (Also, football has instant replay.)
Q: Do you have other compatibility questions that should be asked? I’ll get to them in two minutes.
— Counsel with Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.