He's wrong, she's right; one thing to do - write
Fortunately, my brother Phil sounded the warning when it was already too late for my new bride Jo Ann to do anything about it.
As co-best man, Phil gave a toast at the reception in which he pointed out that Jo Ann would be seeing her name frequently in my weekly column. She quickly checked our marriage license and discovered she had not read the fine print.
When you write a weekly humor column (or humor column weakly), you have to draw inspiration from life.
I discovered that my neighbors took a dim view of me hanging out in their kitchen waiting to get ideas for that week's column. So, I was primarily left to rely on writing about my family.
(My relatives also took a dim view of me hanging out in their kitchens, but they put up with it because they were fairly used to it by then.)
My parents were subjected to double jeopardy. They had to live through my childhood not once, but twice. My actual childhood was probably rough enough. Even worse, they had to read my columns that told those stories again.
The weekly newspaper columns did offer two major advantages over my actual childhood. The big one was that the statute of limitations had run out, so I did not have to worry about having the police stop by.
The second benefit was to my parents. It was much easier to laugh about the goofy things I did as a kid and adolescent 20 years after the fact.
Deeds that would have caused me to be grounded for most of my teen years did not seem all that bad many years after the fact.
This was due to the fact that some of my dumb decisions also involved potential physical harm. These kinds of situations were always easier to accept by my folks years later when I was providing my own medical insurance.
My two brothers and sister have also been very gracious about being included in the columns. This might be due to the fact that they always come off looking good compared to me when I write about childhood goings-on.
Thanks to my parents' and siblings' sense of humor, our home was filled with laughter much of the time. (It's too bad that the same cannot be said of this column.)
Relatives outside my immediate family were also sources of ideas to write about. I'm fortunate that I have so many unusually named kin, such as Uncle Uziah, Uncle Melchizedek, Aunt Tallulah and Aunt Prunella.
Over the years, though, I've written more about my wife Jo Ann than I have about the rest of the family put together. Unlike most times, I do have a good reason for doing this.
The old cliché that opposites attract is more than a little true in our case. Sometimes, we come close to stereotypes. This is particularly true when it comes to discussing what is bothering us.
Jo Ann explains her feelings and we resolve whatever issue that is at hand. I generally take the guy approach and keep my thoughts to myself.
Then, she will immediately notice that I am more quiet than usual and won't accept "I'm OK" as an answer.
The same holds true for our views as to what is the ideal temperature in our home. She is usually cold, while I am not. We fight the battle of the thermostat and I don't have to tell you who wins.
Typically, though, our contrasts take a different form. For example, there is housekeeping.
Before I met and married Jo Ann, I lived a three-room apartment. There were times when I had to use a weed-whacker to clear a path through piles of my clothes.
By contrast, Jo Ann does not allow dust to settle. After 21 years, I still won't win the "Good Housekeeping" Seal of Approval, but I have improved.
When it comes to finances, Jo Ann does the books. This is definitely better than me blundering through financial affairs. If I were doing the books, I would also probably doing time for questionable accounting practices.
Jo Ann's cooking is also in stark contrast with my own culinary skills. She is able to duplicate delicious dishes that both our moms served up, and to successfully cook new recipes.
Her mastery of the stove, oven and microwave also includes baking. The only positive I can think of on my behalf is that I am able to eat more than she is. When it comes to cakes and pies, I am able to eat much more than I should.
Jo Ann is even better at fixing things than I am because of my total lack of mechanical skills. I will fumble around with screws, nails or other hardware for hours, and she will come along and have everything where it belongs in minutes.
There is one area where I should have an advantage over her - humor. After all, I've been writing this column for 27 years.
Unfortunately, Jo Ann even has a better sense of humor than I do. After all, she married me.
(Kozlowski, a freelance writer from Mount Carmel, writes "Walt's Way" for each Sunday edition.)