This week Bob and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. With divorce rates over 50 percent, I feel that the mere fact that we've made it to 25 years qualifies me to write a self-help book on the subject. The fact of the matter, however, is that I don't feel motivated enough to write a whole book and I have to fill up this space, so I'll just concentrate on a self-help column. I'll tell you what worked for us and you can help yourself. It's actually a simple, three-step process. 1. We're pirates During late summer/early fall, Bob and I are pirates at a nearby Renaissance festival. Now, if you saw "Pirates of the Caribbean," you'll remember that Johnny Depp (was he cute in that movie or what?) excused his bad behavior several times by just reminding people he was a pirate. Bob and I were doing that long before Johnny thought of it. Good behavior is fine if you happen to be capable of acting that way, but for the likes of us n well, we need a good excuse. 2. We're united against a common enemy I suppose you could use a pesky in-law or unlikable neighbor for this, but Bob and I have teamed up against Mother Nature. How can you fight with your loved one when you are both locked into battle with
a swarm of carpenter ants? We've also fought off mice, frozen pipes, huge snow drifts, a yard full of mud, falling trees --- the list goes on and on. And when you are at war with a powerful enemy like Mother Nature, a strong sense of camaraderie is bound to occur between you and your partner. 3. He lies to me If I ask, Bob always says I look nice. This is just plain common sense, but some guys don't have any. He also never admits that I look fat, pretends I could pass for 22, and many other various and sundry out-and-out lies. This is excellent for the health of a relationship. So. There you have it n the Bakers' recipe for a long and healthy marriage -- make excuses for behaving badly, make the environment your enemy, and give out compliments even if they're lies. Wait a minute. This sounds more like three easy steps to a political life. In fact, it sounds like a politician's handbook. Maybe I should write a self-help book for aspiring pols. Of course, I don't feel motivated enough to write a whole book.