For Better or Worse, Until Lutefisk Do Us Part

For Better or Worse, Until Lutefisk Do Us Part
Dorothy Rosby

My husband and I were in a long line on a cold, Minnesota day, waiting to buy what? Not the latest iPhone. Not tickets to see the Rolling Stones. No, we were waiting to buy lutefisk. I don’t even like lutefisk. I’m not even sure my hubby does, but he’s Scandinavian and he felt some primal need to serve it at a holiday gathering we were going to in the Twin Cities.

What could I do? Nearly 30 years ago, I told him in front of God and our witnesses that I would have and hold him for richer and poorer and better and worse. In the midst of a raucous crowd of Norwegians ready to storm a Scandinavian grocery store, I realized lutefisk might just be “worse.”

I think I can be equally supportive if we’re ever “richer.” And I believe being supportive of each other is one of the main reasons our marriage has lasted. Here are a few more:

We accept our differences. I was putting ingredients in the crock-pot for lentil soup one morning when he walked by eating an ice cream bar for breakfast. No one marries the mirror. Jazz fans marry country fans. Broncos fans marry Vikings fans. Fortunately, my husband accepts that I cook healthful if not necessarily delicious meals, and I accept that he adds butter and salt to them.

We have our own interests. Speaking of Vikings fans, I’m not one. In fact, I’m not a football fan at all. But my spouse is both. I’m also not one of those wives who learns to like a sport just so I can cuddle up with my man on Sunday afternoons. There are plenty of other activities we share—dancing, camping, and looking for his glasses.

We get together after the game. He tells me how it went, and I nod in all the right places. Then I tell him that I spent the afternoon finishing up a column for Black Hills Woman Magazine. He asks what’s it about, and I change the subject. He doesn’t need to know everything.

We communicate. Over the years, we’ve come up with the following rules for maintaining good communication in the age of electronics. Give them a try in your own relationship:

  1. Never buy an expensive smartphone and then neglect to answer it when your significant other calls.
  2. Don’t stare at your phone when you’re out for dinner together, especially on Valentine’s Day and your anniversary.
  3. Speak face to face now and then and be sure to use the tried and true phrases of the past. Examples include:
    • Thank you, as in “Thank you for standing in line with me to buy lutefisk,” and “Thank you for not insisting that I eat it.”
    • I love you, as in “I love you, even if you don’t watch football,” and “I love you even though you do.”
    • I’m sorry, as in “I’m sorry I got upset about that Black Hills Woman magazine column,” and “I’m sorry that you saw it.”

Dorothy Rosby Dorothy Rosby makes it a point to hide her copy of Black Hills Woman magazine.

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