I think that most people who know me probably think that I’m a reasonably intelligent man. My Beloved knows better. Case in point:

Beloved and I got married when we were in our early 20′s, and right after our wedding ceremony we received a copy of what I thought was just a cute little souvenir certificate (mistake #1) of the wedding signed by the person officiating the ceremony and our two witnesses.

In my haste to begin our honeymoon I inadvertently laid heavy luggage on top of the marriage certificate (mistake #2).

As we began unpacking at our destination, Beloved noticed the wrinkled and slightly torn marriage certificate and handed it to me. I should have taken closer notice as to the look on her face (mistake #3) and if I had, and if I’d had a functioning brain cell in my head I might have found a way to salvage the situation.

But that was not to be my fate–-the lack of brains and the lack of salvaging the situation. In fact I made the situation far worse.

I know that you are probably wondering as to how anyone could be that stupid, and even if someone was that stupid, how could they make it any worse, but trust me, if a problem can be made worse I’m usually the one to find a way to do it.

As Beloved handed the mangled document to me I figured it was too far gone to be saved (mistake #4) and that we could just buy another one from the state that would have equal sentimental value to my Beloved (mistake #5), so in front of her I began to finish ripping it the rest of the way in two (Mistake # 6, 7, 8, to infinity).

As I was mid-rip, she screamed: “STOP!!! What are you doing to our marriage certificate!?!?”

That’s not quite how either of us had dreamed our honeymoon would start.
If she had killed me right then, I doubt if a jury would have convicted her.

And to her credit she didn’t end the marriage right then and there. Or maybe it just proves she isn’t quite as bright as people think she is either!

Whatever the reason, I’m eternally grateful that she has hung in there with me for all these nearly 34 years. It hasn’t always been easy, but it has rarely been boring!

And yes, we still have that original mangled 34-year old marriage certificate with a tear half way down it. It has gone through some tough times with us, but like our marriage, has always found the strength to stay together no matter what.

With Love,


About russtowne

My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 4 young grandsons. I manage a wealth management firm I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of 23 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children. In addition to my family, friends, investing, and writing, my passions include reading, watching classic movies, experiencing waves crashing on rocky shores, hiking in ancient redwood forests, and enjoying our small redwood grove and fern garden.
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17 Responses to Clueless!

  1. Redneck Garage says:

    Russ, Thanks for sharing that great story. First major mistake I made, being a gearhead, was assuming my new bride would be able to use the vacuum cleaner I owned without a step-by-step demonstration. When I blew off her request for assistance I sealed my own fate for the first blow up. I have learned a lot in the past 28 years. If you missed this post on my blog on how not to solve a problem, you and your wife will most likely have a good laugh:


  2. Oh my how could you do such a man thing………..oh yeah you’re a man……………………lol

    • russtowne says:

      That explains a lot, doesn’t it? Actually, I think many men would have been smart enough to have avoided every false step I made–and I sure made a LOT of them!

  3. Loved the post! Had a good laugh:) It’s good to know men are more or less all the same. It’s nevertheless brave to be able to write and laugh at ones mistakes.

  4. utesmile says:

    Your beloved one really loved you, and loves you, 34 years is a great time. There is something about you two! Keep it going, send my love to your beloved one, who kept you on your toes all these years!

  5. bulldog says:

    Whooow you were really looking for trouble…

  6. mimijk says:

    Laughing…nice to know that someone else makes has some really ‘duh’ moments too!!! And lives to tell the tale.

  7. This is a wonderful, smile-inducing story, Russ! 🙂

  8. Bonnie says:

    GREAT story Russ…love the candidness of your openness. And that video is indeed hilarious!!

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