Drumquin couple John and Mary Kane celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary yesterday with a word of warning for young people starting out on a marriage today. The happy couple, both aged 71, revealed some of their ups and downs since they were married in 1963 on a cold and frosty morning at the foot of Dooish Mountain.
Mary, an ex-vetinary surgeon, was first to offer her pearls of wisdom:
“It’s not easy, like. Familiarity breeds contempt so you’re best to decide early on that you’re going to annoy this person as often as possible for the rest of your life. If you succeed, reward yourself with a brandy or new lipstick. Little tricks included using the sport section of the Irish News for lighting the fire on a Monday morning before he has read it. It used to drive him to total despair, wrecking the house. I’d be full by midday.”
John, a fighter pilot by trade, also dipped into his treasure box of experience:
“I agree with Mary. The magic goes after three years. Then she becomes an enemy. My war experience helped here. I remember a great piece of advice my father gave me: ‘Marriage is like a game of cards. Starts with two hearts and a diamond and ends with clubs and a spade’. We’ve been metaphorically clubbing at each other for 47 years now. It’s neck and neck for who’ll be left holding the spade.”
John listed selective hearing, secretly hiding the remote when the racing is on and putting empty cartons and packets back in the fridge as key tactics in the long war. Mary added her best manoeuvres as hiding the toilet roll, walking slowly in front of the TV during big matches and leaving no petrol in his car.
John and Mary will celebrate again today with a good old-fashioned argument about the wrong wheaten bread be bought last week.