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This Month:


Dear Madrone,

My husband and I have this disagreement about what is love. He says it's getting up every morning, going to work, coming home, turning over the paycheck without complaining, day after day, week after week, year after year. I'm not knocking that, but seriously would it kill him to put on a nice shirt and take me out for a meal some place classy where the food doesn't come out of a sack? I can't remember the last time we went some place besides his mother's… oh right that's because we didn't. He says I'm being silly, I say, if he loved me, he would think twice before he tries to push dinner with his three brothers, their screaming wives and their assorted brats as a night on the town. My husband agrees to take me out if you say it's a good idea.

Torqued off, Williamsport.

Dear Husband of Torqued,

Hey buddy, take the wife out once in a while, I mean seriously, would it kill you?

God Bless, Madrone

Dear Torqued.

I have news for you. IF you think that my haranguing your hubby is going to solve any of your problems, think again. Nine times out of ten, nagging doesn't work, even if you get someone else to nag for you, he knows where it's coming from. And I don't think I did it, let's hope not, but there is no point in coming in between him and his mother. IF that's what this is about, forget it, no matter what, you lose. And by the way, if you aren't sure if your husband, a man who by your own say so, is a good and faithful provider, loves you, why do you think some surf and turf or a nice osso bucco cooked by someone who knows how to do it is going to ease your mind? But I can't answer this question because you did not ask it.

God Bless, Donna

Dear Madrone,

Could you please reprint your wedding reminders? My sister's best friend's cousin is getting married next year and already the body blows being sustained by the parties involved have reached intensities that would stun a water buffalo.

Ducking for Cover, Lefrak City

Dear Ducking, Good idea..

READERS Here's the list. If more people only understood that weddings are blood sport, fortunes would be preserved, vendettas would be kept to a minimum, and dreams about the world being basically good might remain unshattered. This is for those of you who know that wedding bells signal the final round a WWE power smack down. I recommend you keep one copy of these reminders with your emergency phone numbers, and one next to your heart medicine.

  1. Get in between the bride and her mother, it's on your head. (That includes everyone, including hubby to be, any potential children, born or unborn, and certainly any bystanders. And it also goes for the bride and her mother. No exceptions.)
  2. Whoever pays pulls the strings, I don't care how nice they are about it.
  3. Someone will be insulted
  4. Someone will pitch a fit
  5. Someone will get drunk
  6. Comparisons will be made, and they won't be good
  7. The two families aren't really all that interested in each other.
  8. 8. No EMTs = Moral Victory
  9. No one ever forgets anything that ticked them off at a wedding.
  10. Don't ever confuse the wedding with the marriage.

I heard some egg head scientist actually found some chromogene that makes humans crave the pain, expense and trauma of a wedding, even causing them to label it "the best day of my life" You can always go with a ladder and a suitcase, but even then … My son's roommate's twin sister ran off to one of those states where you can be disturbingly young and still get hitched, and her aunt Matilda cut her out of the will, thinking she'd been stiffed off the guest list. .



Pamela Bongiorno Monk is a full time faculty member of Penn State University, where she teaches creative writing, both fiction and non fiction. She pursues freelance writing, authoring plays and feature articles. She has broken nearly as many rules of family as she has enforced.

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