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Berger’s Burg

Writer Nathaniel Willis wrote: "It is the month of June, the month of leaves and roses. When pleasant sights salute the eyes and pleasant scents inhabit the noses."

He left out weddings. Thoughts of nuptials fill the heads and hearts of soon-to-be radiant brides dressed in white and nervous tuxedo-clad grooms in black. In this matrimonial mix are the worrying in-laws, who foot the bill. So, wedding party, beware of pitfalls!

A man on a plane was sitting next to an elegant, well-dressed woman. He could not take his eyes off her hand, which bore a ring with a huge diamond. He finally said to the woman, "I can't help admiring your beautiful ring. The stone is magnificent." The woman replied, "Oh, that is the Klopman diamond, but it comes with a curse." "What is the curse?" asked the man. "Mr. Klopman," she said.

Nonetheless, the Romans knew what they were talking about when they said that June was the perfect month for love and marriage. The month was named for Juno, goddess of marriage, so leave me talk about June marriages.

I have good news for June brides and grooms: Falling in love is good for your health. Doctors claim love causes chemical changes in the brain that can lower blood pressure, boost your heart rate, ward off depression, brighten your breath and make you as fit as a 300-year-old fiddle.

A dietician was addressing an audience. "The material we put into our stomachs is enough to have killed most of us sitting here years ago. Red meat is awful. Soft drinks erode your stomach lining. Chinese food is loaded with MSG. Vegetables can be disastrous and none of us realizes the long-term harm caused by the germs in drinking water. But there is one thing that is the most dangerous of all and we all have eaten or will eat it. Can anyone here tell me what food it is that causes the most grief and suffering for years after eating it?" A 77-year-old man in the front row stood up and said, "Wedding cake."

The state of physical and emotional arousal that love brings improves your posture and you will sing the aria from "Romeo and Juliet," researchers say. Psychologists say love causes the release of a neurochemical called phenylethylamine (try wrapping your mouth around that), which, like amphetamine, affects moods. So, lovebirds, be happy you are in love.

My Gloria, the kindergarten teacher, thinks she is a marriage expert. She keeps telling me that marriage is an institution that teaches men regularity, frugality, temperance and other swell virtues. Do you think the average man would need all that if he stayed single?

And Gloria makes certain we never go to bed mad. We just stay up until the problem is solved. Last year, we did not get to sleep until August. Yes, the institution of marriage is a great health provider, but who wants to live in an institution?

An elderly man was invited to his friend's home for dinner. He was impressed by the way his buddy preceded every request to his wife with endearing terms: honey, my love, darling, sweetheart and pumpkin. The couple had been married 70 years and were still in love. While the wife was in the kitchen, the man leaned over and said to his host, "I think it is wonderful that, after all these years, you still can call your wife those loving pet names." The old man hung his head. "I have to tell you the truth," he said. "I forgot her name 10 years ago."

When I first met Gloria, I wrote her love letters which she would send back corrected. When we returned from our honeymoon, I received a report card which read, "Alex is neat and friendly and shows an interest in fun and games."

Anyone who claims that marriage is a 50-50 proposition does not know the first thing about women or fractions. But when I try to establish who the boss of our family is, I have a small problem: Gloria never calls on me when I raise my hand.

One time following a tiff, we decided to visit a marriage counselor. The counselor advised me that whenever I am wrong, admit it and whenever I am right, shut up.

But love conquers all and we will be celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary this year.

Remember, newlyweds, a successful marriage is the most beautiful, exhilarating and wonderful experience in the world, and my life would be nothing without Gloria. I say this from the bottom of my heart — and Gloria reads my columns.

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