In Memoriam - Mell Lazarus, cartoonist. (NYTimes obit.) Donald W. Duncan, Vietnam anti-war activist and former Green Beret, whose obituary appeared 7 years after his deat...
Thursday, July 12, 2012
I'm Glad You Think Marriage Is Important, Kirk Cameron
Dear Kirk Cameron:
You're a lunatic, but I kind of like you. I do. I've decided not to change that. And I have to admit, I really respect that you think marriage is important, and that you're a Hollywood actor who's been with the same woman for more than 20 years. Good for you! I mean it. I'm not being facetious. When you say that the one thing you personally don't want to fail at is your family, I know exactly what you mean.
My wife and I have been married since 1999. We have three young boys who are smart, cute, and utterly determined to kill us all and destroy our house. After we had our last baby, I quit my job so I could become a 1950s housewife with a five o'clock shadow. My wife works at a high-pressure career track job, and when she comes home she's usually desperate to see her kids, and I'm usually desperate to get rid of them. We're both tired and worn-out, hyper-scheduled and now we're getting over colds, the kids have just gotten over a wicked bout of pinkeye, and there is a cage-trap in my kitchen, because yesterday a goddamn squirrel got down the chimney, and crawled into a gap in my wall. Plus, I can't get my hound Daisy to stop urinating on my deck. The weeks fly by, but some days take forever. And last night, while we were wheezing and coughing and the dog was whining nervously, as we sat in our dining room, listening for sounds of scratching from behind the cabinets... I told her that there was no one on the earth I'd rather do any of this with. She agreed.
She believes in God. I do not. She dresses the boys in their jackets and ties, and they go to church, where she says a prayer for me, while I enjoy the silence in the house, pour brandy in my coffee and watch old Christopher Hitchens clips on Youtube. They come home, and I cook for them. We drive each other crazy - she can't leave one message for me when 12 will do, and I try to not let a day go by without telling her the most soul-crushingly offensive joke I can think of. When I'm five minutes late, she always assumes I'm dead, and she hugs me when she sees me like I just got out of a war zone. And as cynical about religion as I am, I found myself saying an Our Father and a Hail Mary each time she gave birth to our children.
We have a unique marriage. Everybody has a unique marriage. Sometimes the woman has the job, and the man stays at home, and sometimes both people work, and sometimes couples don't have kids, or they have a huge number of kids, and sometimes they're even both the same gender.
I am really happy you want to help marriage in America, Kirk. Here's what I know, and what you probably know too, somewhere down deep... There is exactly one marriage you can do anything about. There's really only one marriage about which you're the expert. And it's not mine, okay? It's not the gay couple's down the street. You go ahead and use the wisdom from the Bible to work on Kirk Cameron's marriage. I don't believe in it, but that's not really the point. The point is that you can't care for people in general. You can only care about them one at a time. I know there are many Christians out there who understand this. My best friend sure does.