We decide not to do the full-fledged premarital counseling where you write up a budget and talk about who takes out the trash and all of that stuff. My cousin did that before she got married and it was fabulous, but she and her husband are a lot younger than Primo and I. Primo and I have talked through this stuff.
But we figure it can’t hurt to have a few sessions and besides, we have to. So we talk to Father Joe, the priest at my church. Father Joe is from Vietnam and spent time in a concentration camp there before he escaped. He has focus.
His most important marital advice to us is to be nice to each other.
“Husband and wife supposed to try to make each other happy,” he explains. “If wife say, ‘I have head-aitch,’ husband say, ‘Why you tell me?! Go get Tylenol on shelf.’”
“Is it not better when husband say, ‘Oh! You have head-aitch. Here two tablets and glass of water?’ That how husband and wife supposed to be.”
He continues. “This Vietnamese woman tell me, ‘I don’t like cheese! I don’t like sandwich!’ Then she marry American man. She study many cookbook so she can prepare the food he like. After two years, she say, ‘Now I like cheese. There many different kinds of cheese. I did not know!’”
He talks about his life in Chicago. “We live in community,” he says. “Six priests. Five nationalities: Vietnam, Korea, African-American, Philippines, Poland. We cook. Different food every day.”
“Wow!” I say. “That sounds great!”
“Ahhhh!” he answers. “Korea food very spicy! Very spicy! And how can someone eat kimchi every day?”
He also suggests that interrupting someone during a basketball game was not a good idea and that a person especially should not interrupt a basketball game by standing in front of the TV.
He continues, “When I live in community in Chicago, some priest pray, ‘Please let Bears to win Superbowl.’ When Cardinal hear this, he say, ‘Come to my office.’”