How Do I Count the Ways?

Dave and me in Mount Charleston, NevadaBy Judy Berman

We’re yin and yang. After 29 years of marriage, we still see life thru a different lens –  and often laugh like crazy about our outlooks.

What makes a happy marriage? Here are a few observations I’ve made along the way.

!) The real difference between men and women? It’s not the momentous things that distinguish the sexes.

Once, I bought a car deodorizer – a strawberry-scented teddy bear with a flower to hang from the rear-view mirror. Dave stepped into the car and was immediately overpowered by the sweet smell.

“Couldn’t you have found something with a manly scent?” he asked.

I told him I tried, but the store no longer stocked tiny, smelly sneakers or carried something that smelled like a locker room after a double-header. (He just laughed.)

2) Even though he should know better, he still trusts me.

Like the time we were in Paris – years ago – and we’re heading down a flight to the subway. A message comes over the public-address system (in French, of course), and I was able to understand only a few words.

Something about “changer de train” (changing trains) and “je regret” (I’m sorry). I continued confidently down to the subway and Dave followed – even though commuters were racing up the stairs in the opposite direction like rats fleeing the Titanic.

The train took us and two other stubborn commuters only as far as the next stop. There, we were met by some police officers who urged us to get off and move on.

our wedding bands
our wedding bands

3) He still indulges me and really listens even when it’s “crazy talk.”

One time, after some rich food and a little wine, I told Dave about a weird dream I had. A mobster (you know, the one from “The Firm”) was confiding in me. I was recording him, and he knew it. Plus, I was typing notes from our conversation.

Well, those notes – typos and all – got in the newspaper where I worked. The mobster wasn’t happy AND I was trying to wriggle out of this disaster.

By this time, Dave was hysterical, He thought I’d said “lobster.” I have to admit Dave’s take was much funnier.

4) Dave’s motto must be: “Forgive and forget.” (Thank heavens!)

After a vacation in Alaska, we had a “little” accident. I flipped our rental car, a 4 x 4 Ford Explorer, on its roof. The car was totaled. We, fortunately, were just a little bruised.

When Dave returned to work, they were calling him “bat boy” because … for a brief time, we were hanging upside down. We were held in place by seat belts.Alaska - Another roadside attraction - Dave and I

Happy Anniversary, honey. Thanks for the memories.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-15. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider,, or earthriderdotcom) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Music video: All You Need Is Love, by The Beatles  

Photo – Dave and me at Mount Charleston Lodge (50 miles outside Las Vegas)

Photo – wedding bands – ours

Photo – Alaska – another roadside attraction – featuring Dave, me and our rental car, a Ford Explorer

  1. These are the things that make a great marriage. It’s the day to day stuff and not so much the jewelry and flowers thing (although that’s nice too).

  2. This was cute and funny ! …im always happy and grateful to see “working” marriages, especially in today’s day and age !! 😉

    1. Thank you, refinedrandomness. I was chuckling as I thought of these “little” moments in our life and Dave laughed as he read them. (He is my editor – an unpaid, but highly valued position.) 🙂

  3. Happy Anniversary to both you crazy kids! Your outlook on life and ability to get through all the ups and downs inspires me every day! I can only hope that Vern and I can follow in your crazy footsteps! And I like the dream better as if it were the lobster not mobster! Love you both!! ❤

    1. Awww! That was very sweet msdiznee (aka my youngest daughter, Jenn). Having a warped sense of humor really does help you as you navigate the maze of life. You both have that.

      Yes, I like the “lobster” angle better myself. 😆

  4. Happy, happy anniversary, Judy and Dave.
    She says mobster, he thinks lobster; she flips him like a bat, and they live happily ever after, thanks to love and laughter.
    You’re a perfect combination.

    1. Marilyn … I love this poem. Thank you. The way we look at our many years together is also telling … and humorous.

      Dave says “it seems like (we’ve been married) forever” – while I look at it as “it seems like yesterday (when we got married).” He says, his comment means he can’t remember a time when he wasn’t married … and that’s a good thing. My take on that is … “It seems like we’ve been married FOREVER!!!” (Looking back, it just doesn’t seem like it’s been 29 years.) 😆

      1. Judy, your Dave and my Jim sound very much alike. We’ve been married 28 years, and we survived a roll over, too, and we both feel like we’ve been married forever (meaning we can’t or don’t remember when we weren’t married.) Being married to your best friend makes all the difference in the quality of our lives.

        comment from earthrider to Marilyn Warner:
        Being best friends is key, Marilyn. Like you and Jim, we have each other’s back.

  5. Congratulations! Your post made me smile as I too am in a loving long term relationship. This is a little poem that comes to mind:
    Be sure that you appreciate
    everything you’ve got
    And be thankful for the
    Little things in life
    that mean a lot.
    …Author Unknown

    1. Thanks, timethief. I love the poem – a sweet reminder that the little things are the most important. I’m glad my post struck a meaningful chord with you. A great relationship does make all the difference in our outlook. It’s wonderful when it all works out. 🙂

  6. This post made me smile. You both have so many wonderful memories together. Thanks for sharing them with us. I wish you both many many years of happiness and togetherness. Happy anniversary, Judy!!

  7. Happy anniversary Judy! 😀 You sound like the perfect couple, despite your little differences! There can’t be a couple on this planet who aren’t ‘chalk and cheese’ quite a bit of the time. And if it wasn’t like that it might be a little strange, always agreeing together on everything!

    The fragrances in cars I think is an issue for a lot of couples! I can remember my Dad being over sensitive to certain smells and fragrances, my poor Mum hardly ever used perfume because he moaned so much about the smell making him want to cough! And yet, he loved to wear Old Spice aftershave – such an overpowering aftershave, and he’d put a truck load on when we were going to church or out for a meal. My bother and I, wanting to sneeze in the back of the car. But did we say anything – no – he wouldn’t have wanted to heard our opinion anyway! We did joke a lot about it years later though, he’d got over that phase in his 60’s and 70’s, but seemed to be baffled by what he’d put us all through! 😀

    1. Suzy, we’re perfectly imperfect. 🙂 But, I thank you for the vote of confidence. It would be odd – and boring, I think – if we agreed on everything.

      My Dad wore Old Spice aftershave, too. I do love it because it triggers many happy memories of him.

  8. Happy anniversary, Judy! Somehow it’s the little disasters in a marriage that make for the best stories and bring us closer together. It’s easy to be in love when everything runs smoothly. If you’re hanging upside from a seatbelt in rental car in Alaska and you’re still speaking to each other, you’ve got it made 🙂

  9. Keep laughing. That seems like the overall theme to a happy marriage. I know that’s what keeps us going after 21 years. It never gets dull, we just don’t understand why we have to get older in the process. I guess the laughter will help us to feel and look young (like you) for a very long time.
    Happy Anniversary!

  10. Hmm! Laughter – the elixir of youth? Erasing those furrows between our brows? Quick. Slap a copyright on that. 🙂

    Laughter is the glow that warms you – and tickles you – from the inside out. Thanks for the compliment and good wishes, Danielle (aka my first born).

  11. Happy anniversary, Judy. I think you and Dave have discovered the secret — which is that there isn’t any one secret. It’s about learning through trial and error (a lot of both) and paying attention, and discovering who the other person is. Or at least making the attempt.

    1. Charles, I think you nailed it. There is a lot of give-and-take, listening and communication, and laughing at life’s curves that helps forge a beautiful friendship in marriage. Thank you for the good wishes.

  12. I think my favorite part was after you flipped the car, and you and Bat Boy were hanging upside-down, and he turned to you and said: “Well, honey, at least we’ve got this great strawberry-scented teddy bear to smell and enjoy…”

    Oh wait, I guess the SSTB came later… : P

    Wonderful stories, happy anniversary to a unique and lovely couple!! : )

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