Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It's the Second Childhood

Our church had its sweetheart banquet Sunday night. This is one of those lovely moments when you realize again that love comes in all shapes and sizes and generations. And what do church-y types do when they want to recognize its loving couples in the congregation? Why, they play a rousing rendition of The Newlywed Game, of course.

We all remember The Newlywed Game, right? It was a smarmy game show popular during my teenaged years, back in the days when network censors still took their roles as the upholders of Standards and Practices very, very seriously. Believe it or not, children, there were still seven words you couldn't say on television.The whole point of The Newlywed Game was to ask the couples embarrassing questions to see what kind of euphemisms they could create to describe body parts and marital encounters.

So when the pastor announced three couples were being chosen to play The Newlywed Game Husband leaned over and whispered to me "I wonder how they're going to work 'making whoopie' into this?" I giggled, because that had been the exact thing was I leaning over to ask him.

As it turned out, though, the game was a sweet and G-rated reminder that love is not just for newlyweds. Among these contestants were a couple of oldlyweds (46 years wed, to be exact) and some midlyweds (19 years), as well as the true newlyweds who exchanged their vows only four years ago.

Here's what I learned from that game: Husband and I would have lost. I could not have come up with his favorite music star, because "Anyone from the '70s" would not have been acceptable answer. I couldn't have told you the bad habit I wish he would break because I know better than to point out his faults in front of all those people if I want him to continue to balance my checkbook. I wouldn't have been able to pin down his favorite vacation unless I could have said "Any of them except the 1988 camping trip through Ohio."

We would have fallen into the same category as the oldlyweds, who did not win because there were just too many choices, too many memories piled up together in their collective databanks. He said her favorite musician was Elvis Presley and she picked Johnny Mathis, who would have been her second choice.

But hey, if the question had been "What was the most common answer on the original Newlywed Game?" Husband and I would have earned the five points because at heart we are both eight years old and we would have known "making whoopie." We are, in the most immature sense of the word, childhood sweethearts.

We may not win the SPECIAL PRIZE CHOSEN ESPECIALLY FOR YOU!, but back off, Bob Eubanks. This is working for us.

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