My wedding anniversary is coming up soon. Some 12 happy years, a lovely home and a beautiful daughter has been the result so far. But after all this time, it’s getting harder and harder to come up with ways to celebrate it that haven’t already been done before. So this year, I’ve decided to do something news. I’m going to ask my wife to convince me why we should remain married.
Things have been great but I’ve noticed that over the years the household budget has been increasing. Should this be the case? I know the cost of living has been going up but surely after all this time shouldn’t I be getting a discount on the cost of chicken dinners and hugs when I come home after a hard day at the office? I’m sure there are more cost effective dinners and displays of affection out there. And are those the best hugs that I could be getting? Sometimes I see other people getting hugs and wonder if those hugs might somehow be better. You know, firmer, longer, slightly more pas- sionate, maybe being dispersed more gratuitously. And my daughter still isn’t a concert grade pianist. Why not? There are some kids in her class who are bona fide Liberaces at the ivories. How come my wife hasn’t managed to coax that out of her yet? And don’t tell me it’s because she plays the drums and not the piano. That’s just an excuse.
Maybe a new wife would be able to deliver all that for me. So while I ask my wife to put her case for remaining my wife together, I’ll also ask some prospective new wives to make a counter argument. I would like to see their sug- gestions as to what they would bring to a marriage. Maybe I’ll get them to cook some chicken and see how far they can stretch a pack of drumsticks while still improving on the visual appeal, aroma and overall yumminess of a meal. Then I’ll get them to give me a practical demonstration of their hugging techniques and score them accordingly. And I’ll give each of them two weeks with my daughter to see what masterpieces they can get her to play on the piano. That should be enough time, shouldn’t it? I think it’s only after I conduct such an exercise that I’ll be in a proper position to judge whether I should stick with my current wife or maybe switch to a different one.
After all, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from my time at an agency it’s that truly successful long-term partnerships aren’t built on understanding, trust and mutual respect. They’re built on constant renegotiation and the ever-present threat of immediate termination.
I’ll keep you updated on how my experiment works out. And in the meantime, if anyone can offer me a couch to crash on while it all plays out, I’d be most grateful.
Evan Kearney is strategic planning director at Memac Ogilvy Dubai