Like a horse and carriage

Cranbrook's Peter Warland discusses the benefits of marriage.

Peter Warland

“Unmarried couples find divorce difficult.” -Flubbed headline.

It is unusual for real men to discuss a touchy subject like marriage; to most of them wedlock had been as inevitable as old age and the subsequent decrepitude.

We’d drifted on to the delicate subject after one or two too many beers and the fact that hockey season hadn’t started up again. Harry, who always appeared decrepit, claimed that he’d avoided marriage like a plague but, naturally, had an opinion on the topic.

He was slumped there on the settee looking like a deflated inner tube mumbling, “Sometimes it’s good to be married; it saves all that messing about and going on expensive dates.”

Mac, from the depths of the best armchair offered, “I wasted years dating Bella. We started a bit at high school then met again at that re-union.”

We remembered that re-union. “Anyway, after that party, I asked her out on a date for dinner and a drink and got ready to get serious.”

“Your wife’s name is Janet,” I said, in case he’d forgotten.

“Yeah! I know. But at the bar I met Clare Delune and I had second thoughts.”

Ralphie, who’d said nothing up till then and was working on the serious business of opening another can of beer, muttered, “You ever have first thoughts, Mac?”

Mac muttered, “Yeah! Anyways, I gave up on Bella – or she did on me – and I chased after Clare until I ran into her sister, Jan. She came after me.”

We all tried hard to imagine any woman in her right mind thinking Mac might be a prize. But then, I guess, he might have been presentable once. Years ago, my future bride must’ve thought I’d clean up a bit.

Once, out hunting with Harry,  he’d admitted that he hadn’t always been a confirmed bachelor. He’d lived with a ‘girl’ when they were both much younger. He felt married so he got around to asking her to get properly hitched but she turned him down. “She said, straight up, that she had no intention of getting tied down,” Harry told me.

“What happened?”

“She took off with her boss at the bank. Married him after he got his divorce and then, just for the laughs, they sent me an invite.”

I didn’t ask him if he’d attended the nuptials.

George’s wife, Felicity, came in then with some sandwiches. She asked, “So! What’s the topic today, fellows? World affairs?”

“We were discussing the joys of marriage,” said Harry.

“Like not being involved?” asked Fliss, setting the sandwiches on a coffee table.

“Phil was telling how his wife was his soul-mate,” said Mac with an idiot grin on his face. He’d already abandoned the pipe and tucked into a sandwich.

Phil flushed. “That’s not true,” he argued. “I don’t like the word soul-mate but she was my best friend and we shared some wild, exciting adventures until the family started coming along.”

“And you had to start being sensible,” said Felicity. “That’s the way the cookie crumbles. That right, Georgie?” And she left with almost a flurry of skirts, which was odd because she was wearing old jeans.

“That woman yacks on about a successful marriage requiring falling in love many times, always with the same person,” mumbled George from what appeared at first to be a coma. “Prolly got that from Chatelaine at the hair-dressers.”

“I got fed that one too,” said Mac.

Phil said, “My old man told me once, ‘Marriage is a lot like life in general. Don’t ruffle your partner’s feathers. Don’t do anything to her that you wouldn’t want done to you. There’re no ten commandments to marriage.’ He used to go on: ‘Just that one. I’m still working on it.’ I believe he did until Ma died early.”

“Course,” mumbled Harry, “you end up a grandpa and have to go out and do dumb-ass street-hockey or soccer with kids who’d rather be playing video games.” We all stared at him as he massaged a sandwich with his one tooth then looked up grinning. “My brother’s grandkids, damn it!”

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

Most Read