Because I have appeared many times on a cable news channel I am often approached by people who ask me how to keep their marriages from getting stale. Having the answer to everything is one of the perks of appearing on a cable news channel. The other perks are: I can get a cup of coffee at Starbucks for only $2.15, and I get free copies of AM New York handed to me by some lady near the subway. Oh, and I got to touch Kevin Federline’s presumably unwashed hand.
Rather than answer everyone’s queries about marriage freshness individually I have prepared this helpful advice. I have done so knowing two things. One, nobody who plays hockey with Tim Robbins seems to like him, and two, advice always follows a standard formula: clever analogy and three main points to remember.
The word analogy can be broken down into ana – the name of a girl who mixes anti-depressants with alcohol to amusing effect, and logy – which means “field of study.” Therefore, an “analogy” is the study of why drunk Ana can be talked into setting fire to a duvet.
That’s weird, because actually analogies are very important for colorfully explaining concepts to people. Alas, they don’t work for Stephen Hawking, whose analogies for “folding space” still only make sense to those with doctorates in quasar management.
My analogy of choice for marriage is the orchid. An orchid is a beautiful flower that thrives under the right conditions – or dies when you put it on top of a hot cable TV box. So in many ways a marriage is like an orchid, though one hopes his marriage lasts longer than an overpriced flower and can withstand warm electronics.
THE THREE MAIN TIPS
Tips are essentially little bits of advice hastily assembled like an issue of In Touch and completely subjective, like VH-1’s 50 Greatest Album Covers show. Like good jokes and celebrity deaths they usually observe the Rule of Threes.
*CARRY A RED-SPECKED LOOFAH
I realize that sounds weirder than Cripsin Glover lecturing a tire iron, but it works. I carry a red-specked loofah with me everywhere I go and it’s done wonders for my marriage by giving wife-o and me something to really talk about. From “Why are you bringing that to my sister’s wedding?” to “Don’t take that to the restaurant” I can guarantee there’s always a spirited conversation just waiting to be had. Any expert will tell you the cornerstone of a good marriage is communication. Explaining why you want to bring a red-specked loofah to greet your mother-in-law at the airport is communicating, thus making the cornerstone of any marriage a red-specked loofah.
*DO NOT CO-STAR IN A FILM WITH ANGELINA JOLIE
I can not stress this enough: Do not sign a contract binding you to co-star in a blockbuster with Angelina Jolie. I realize it’s tempting – the huge paycheck, the stardom – but it’s a marriage-killer that can be traced to the fact that Angelina had a bad dad. Like many women with bad dads, she has issues with men and needs attention from them even when it’s not good attention. Unlike most women with bad dads, she didn’t go into stripping.
You may have a very happy marriage and the best of intentions when you enter into a three-picture deal with Angelina but her lips are puffier than a Zodiac boat and she’ll come at you with them. She’ll get sexy all over you and prance about the trailer naked and make you ice her down and your marriage will seem boring and un-fresh as a result. Trust me. Hold out until you can co-star with someone less marriage-endangering, like Rita Rudner.
*DEVELOP EARLY-ONSET ALZHEIMER’S
When you don’t recognize your wife in the morning, you’re not in danger of suffering the traditional plight of the average married couple. Instead of the daily grind you have a fresh perspective: a brand new woman in your room, what looks like a cat under the bed, and you’re standing in front of the closet with a golf club and a menorah. That’s the kind of adventure that keeps your wife on her toes and keeps the relationship spicy and refreshing. A wife is usually hinting that she likes surprises. I know that she means “jewelry” and “dinner reservations” but is it not surprising when she gets a call that you’re at an intersection wearing oven mitts? Frankly, there’s no better way to let her know you’re one in a million than standing in the shower shouting at pillow shams.
AN END TO UN-FRESH MARRIAGES
Take it from someone who doesn’t seem to have been invited to his TV show’s Christmas party: It may take some effort, but you too can keep your marriage fresh and exciting, like Pia Zadora once was.