Ask Dayton #24 – Move Over Dr. Phil
Thanks to your involvement G&T I have started following your Fog of Ward blog. You are a silly beast. My question is multipart, so I beg your indulgence. I beg it!
One: It was so touching to see that you married your high school sweetheart, so what is, in your estimation, the secret to such a long and happy marriage? What advice would you give to someone who is writing you on an internet radio show and is a newlywed?
Two: With this world seemingly so crazy – even though I have heard Ms. Teri say it seems more crazy but is no crazier than any other time and I will respectfully disagree with her – what do you do to keep that precious sound of your wife and/or children laughing?
Three: If you know someone, either as a personal friend or an internet friend – someone you truly do think of as a friend even if you met only once but chat with often – and they are suffering through hard times, what advice do you have to help them? In this world of long – sometimes very long – distance friendships/ relationships, I think this important.
Finally Four: Did President Ford write back to you?
Thank you for considering my questions and your continued partnership with
Wow. Maybe I need to give more thought to having the G&T Show pay me by the word for these answers.
Okay, let’s be serious: First, congratulations on being a newlywed. If you’ve got the right attitude, being married is the best thing that’ll ever happen to you. With that in mind, let’s take your questions one by one:
1) What is, in your estimation, the secret to such a long and happy marriage? What advice would you give to someone who is writing you on an internet radio show and is a newlywed?
Okay, Dr. Phil. Sit your ass down. I’ve got this.
As for there being a “secret” to a long and happy marriage (or any other long-term relationship), I think that anyone involved in such a relationship will tell you it’s not really a secret, nor is it that difficult to figure out. Simply put? When you’re in a long-term relationship, the other person is the most important thing in your life. Period.
Now, I’m not an expert on relationships (except, maybe, my own), so bear that in mind as I keep rambling here. In my opinion, most relationships that fail do so because one or both parties are unwilling to make the necessary commitment; to put the relationship and their partner first, ahead of their own wants and desires. Such a commitment requires a maturity that many people—particularly but not exclusively younger people—lack. Once some missing these key ingredients enters a relationship and they have to consider someone else as they go about…you know…living life and all that shit…such immaturity tends to manifest itself in any number of ways, depending on the situation: selfishness, jealousy or other forms of distrust, infidelity, even abuse.
I’m not saying I defer to my wife on everything, and neither are we fused at the hip, always doing every single thing together without regard for individual interests and pursuits. What I am saying is that we always consider each other first whenever it comes to, well, anything. Schedules, finances, major decision making, whatever. We get “buy-in” from each other, rather than just doing whatever we want whenever the mood strikes.
So, the big secret, essentially, is: “Don’t be a self-centered asshole when you’re sharing your life with someone.” There. I just saved you from having to read the latest relationship voodoo cure-all advice column in Cosmo, or having to endure another minute of some self-appointed “life coach” running their pie hole.
Is it easy? Of course not. There are days when my wife does or says something to irritate me, and there are even more days when I know she wants to hit me in the head with a baseball bat. But, when it’s all said and done, we each know, deep down, that such things are bullshit that doesn’t really matter. We’re not just married; we’re also each other’s best friend, total confidant, shoulder to lean on, sounding board, and conscience. We’re a team; it’s us against the world, and we’ve got each other’s backs. Always.
2) With this world seemingly so crazy – even though I have heard Ms. Teri say it seems more crazy but is no crazier than any other time and I will respectfully disagree with her – what do you do to keep that precious sound of your wife and/or children laughing?
Well, this one’s easy: I’m an incredibly funny mother fucker. No, seriously, god damn it; I’m fucking hysterical. I consider it a personal challenge to find, do or say something every day that makes my wife laugh so hard that she can’t speak or breathe, along with the possibility that she might even pee just a little. I can find the humor in ANYTHING. It’s partly a defense mechanism as I move through life observing the rampant, abject stupidity that defines so much of the human race. However, rather than dwell on the negative aspects of such things and be pissed off all the time, I’m going for the joke. Sometimes it’s cheap, sometimes it’s easy, and a lot of times it’s both, but if there’s even the hint of a wise-assed remark to be made about anything? I’m gonna try to find that little bastard. As for making my kids laugh? Hell, that’s even easier. Make some funny noises or faces, or just say “poopie” a lot. For some reason, kids think poop’s a fucking riot. No shit.
3) If you know someone, either as a personal friend or an internet friend – someone you truly do think of as a friend even if you met only once but chat with often – and they are suffering through hard times, what advice do you have to help them? In this world of long – sometimes very long – distance friendships/ relationships, I think this important.
My wife and I spent a good bit of our relationship’s early years separated by geography. Sometimes, there was half a planet between us, in the days before internet and cell phones and e-Mail. Even back then, we knew we’d get through it because we put in that effort to stay “connected” however we could under the circumstances.
Besides that, the reunions were awesome.
As for friendships, long distance or otherwise, and getting through the tough times, there’s no simple answer for that kind of thing. My personal philosophy is that it’s easy to be a friend when everything’s hunky-dory. It’s when things go to shit that you find out who your real friends are. I want to be the kind of friend who’s there no matter what kind of fucked-up cards Fate deals the people in my life, and I like to think that the people I truly consider my friends know I’m that guy. Likewise, I know who those people are for me in the event I’m the one holding fucked up cards. I see it as being a lot like other relationships: the ones worth keeping can sometimes be a hell of lot of work, and it requires a maturity and a level of commitment to see you through the tougher times. You either reach down and find the fortitude to be that person, or you don’t.
4) Finally: Did President Ford write back to you?
For those who don’t get the question, this is in reference to my having written to President Gerald Ford way back in the 70s, and me—along with thousands of other people doing the same thing—asking him to consider renaming the first Space Shuttle from Constitution to Enterprise. I did this with the help of one my school teachers, and we were all thrilled when the president saw to it that our wish was granted. But, no, I never received any kind of reply.
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He is the co-owner of Busy Little Beaver Productions and is the producer and co-host for G & T Show and Gates of Sto’vo’kor. He’s directed voice actors, and produced and edited audio podcasts and dramas because he doesn’t have the face for video. He plays well with others and is always on the look out for the next project, the next thing, the next next. If he wasn’t working on something with a half dozen other projects waiting in the wings, somebody please check to make sure he’s still breathing.
During the day, he’s a mild-mannered computer repair man who dabbles in web design in his small, rural, Central California community. He lives with his lovingly dysfunctional family and loyal canine companion and spends most of his time in the closet concocting some hair-brained scheme or another. He’s got an unhealthy obsession with Lego video games, Klingons, and Star Trek Online that borders on the neurotic.
Despite all this, he still finds the time to write the words. Find out what he's doing here.
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