Wednesday, June 29, 2005

the key to staying married 52 years: communication!


(Photo taken during this past weekend's trip to the Freese Family Farm.)

Left: My mother's faux-laminated instructions for my father as to what he needs to do to successfully get that strange machine on the counter to make his morning coffee.

Right: The note my father re-uses to indicate to my mother that she does not need to worry about preparing his evening meal.

Behind camera: Son who loves both his parents well enough but who regularly feels when he visits home like he would gnaw his arm off if that was what was necessary to get out of a marriage like theirs.

13 comments:

astrid jane said...

Those signs are actually laminated aren't they?

If it makes you feel any better, I think the only thing necessary to get out of a marriage like your parents' would be to tack up a memo in the kitchen reading "I'm leaving you. Coffee can in pantry. More coffee at grocery store. Water comes from silver tap over sink." or "No supper....EVER AGAIN"

Goesh said...

My wife usually can't read my notes. Your parents are neat writers! Surely it cuts down on any disagreements.

Anonymous said...

Wow! 52 years?? Are you the baby of the family?

jeremy said...

I'm the youngest child in my family, yes.

A+ said...

You know, it's times like these when being single, in all seriousness, doesn't seem so bad. I mean this sincerely. Your parents are clearly not the only people whose marriage is like this.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'm curious what's written below, "JUST PUSH THE BUTTON!" ~jlp (nice artwork, and I like the symmetry in the positioning of the thumbtacks)

Anonymous said...

at least they communicate

Anonymous said...

Those note bother you? Oh. Hmmmmm.

Oscar Madison said...

Just checking: the faux-laminate is Saran-wrap, right?

sep said...

no, oscar, it's packing tape... don't ask me how i know

but jeremy, does your dad know how to use the washing machine? mine didn't and after 49 years (why not hang out for the party at 50? because they knew damn well that no one would throw if for them!) my mom had to drive over to his new "bachelor pad" and not only walk him through the first load but also write down the instructions for him.

and we wonder why it only took them 49 years to figure it out.

sep said...

oh, i should clear that one up! i'm guessing packing tape because that's what my folks used, not because i've actually been to jeremy's house. i don't want any of you to have the wrong idea here :)

astrid jane said...

Mmm...yes, the thumbtacks are nicely positioned. I like the "his and hers" memo containers too, they say something about the personality of each user--Mom's is very feminine, the heart suggests she sees herself as the emotional center of the family, the "olde world" styling suggests a certain defiant anti-modernity (and yet the twin tacks driven through it hint at the personal cost of all of this?) Dad's is very smooth and inscrutable, white and clean...suggesting an unadorned and hard (protective) masculine exterior, revealing nothing of the emotional world within. Or maybe the white curved plastic container is merely a nod to the Bauhaus influence in modern design? Perhaps your father is expressing nothing more than a certain anti-Baroque sentiment here. Hard to say...is your father a fan of 30s German architecture?

jeremy said...

Anon 9:22am: The notes, I think, are actually cute. The more general way in which my parents communicate with one another is not at all cute.

Oscar, SEP: I have no idea what my mom uses as her faux-laminate, but suspect SEP is correct, especially given her certainty.