Advice to my niece on a successful marriage in celebration of her engagement

Very cool, Melissa! Congratulations to him, and best wishes to you! As you
proceed down this path, remember the Dan Reams rules for successful marriage:

1) Always close the bathroom door. The excitement never ends.

2) He shall not be held responsible for anything you tell him during sporting
events or PS3 games. He may produce audible indicators that he is acknowledging
what you say, but believe me, they are simply autonomic survival responses and
have not been produced by his conscious mind.

3) Agree that you each can have a night out, away from each other, once a week.
You may not elect to take it. In fact, you may go weeks or months without doing
so, but you need to agree that it is fine, and you need to take it, now and
then, to remind the other it is ok. You will thus remember yourselves, as being
separate entities, and bring more to the relationship when you are together.

4) You shall not be held responsible for multiple pairs of unopened shoes or
clothes in your trunk; these shall not cause him heart attacks, and he must be
made aware that you purchased them to “think about them” or “see them in the
light of day” and that you intend to return “95-98% of them”. He shall dismiss
the logic that you could have made such decisions in the store and saved
yourself the return trip. Further, when you do return them, and bring home OTHER
items, he shall try not to think about “net spending” when you say “This new
thing cost me nothing, because I used the exchange to pay for it.”

5) Babies are like puppies. No, not with regard to how they are maintained, but
rather, how they act as chick magnets for dads out with them while their wives
are out having their “me” nights. This will often be his only chance to flirt
with other women and maintain his self identity as an attractive mate. Allow him
this indulgence and your babies will become brilliant social animals, able to be
around other “mommies” or “mommy-like” people with ease. This will prepare them
for playgroups in their toddler years.

6) Babies are generally useless beings. Yes, they're cute, but they serve no
function that a warm water bottle or {again with the } puppy could not better
and more efficiently provide. However, they are incubators for the personaes and
intellects that shall become CHILDREN, entities far more interesting. So,
grudgingly, as you care for them, make sure to follow my 2004 rules
(http://waukeshawestside.blogspot.com/2004/12/knowledgebase-item-baby-is-driving-you.html),
love the heck out of them, and put up with all the nonsense through the process
of them developing cognizance. You will be irritated with them because they make
no sense, whatsoever. Their ability to produce ejecta, in the form of white or
green stains, that never come out, can be off-set by one of those bags of spare
clothing in your trunk. Be creative.

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