Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Happiness Average

This situation happened years ago, but I still think about it from time to time.

I was working in a large hospital on the medical-surgical floor and the husband of one of my patients phoned repeatedly with questions about flowers.

Patient’s husband call 1: Can I bring flowers to my wife.
Me: yes

Patient’s husband call 2: Are there certain flowers I’m not allowed to bring?
Me: bring any flowers you like.

Patient’s husband call 3: I’ve got the florist on hold, are roses okay?
Me: Roses are GREAT!

Patient’s husband call 4: Is there a limit to the number of flowers? Can I bring a lot?
Me: Bring as many as you like
Thinking - just quit calling and let me get to work (!)

Well, he showed up with 50 -yes, FIFTY- big red roses. Standing by his recovering wife’s side he said, “Today we’re celebrating 50 happy years of marriage, and---“
She elbowed him, interrupting. “We are NOT!”
He went on “50 happy years and that’s not a bad average out of 53.”
She looked at me, “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. We’ve been married 53 years.” She studied the clock. “In two hours and twenty minutes it will be exactly 53 years.”

But I knew what he was talking about. He didn’t deny the 53 years, but said that 50 of them were happy and that “wasn’t a bad average.”

I don’t know what a “good average” is, but three years seems like a lot of unhappy days. I know marriage is built on good times and bad times and helping each other through the worst times.

This man with his massive bouquet of roses really reminded me to do my best to make every day of my marriage full of love. Because those days add up to weeks and months and years.

When William and I hit 53 years, I hope we’re celebrating 52+ years of happiness!


  1. Aww! I've never heard of there being an average to marital happines... but it's so true!! I know my hubby and I have been married for 5 years and we've had our share of ups and down... I hope that at 53 years we're averaging 50 happy years!! Stopping by through SITS! Can't wait to read more from you! Have a great day!

  2. What a great reminder that it's not fair to harbor on the bad times when there are so many good ones...

    Thanks for stopping by MyBrownBaby today--let's make a point of visiting each other!

  3. That is a very touching story. Who knows why those three years weren't the best...but fifty good ones is VERY impressive!

    I'm just stopping by from SITS. Have a great day!

    The Beautification Project

  4. This is such a great story!! And I love this man... what wit and charm.
    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. This is actually a cute story. And I kinda like that average too. I mean, thats a lotta years right?! And how many people go through Bad years? I think it is sweet that he celebrated the good ones while aknowledging the bad. What a good man. but I will Agree with you girl, wouldnt we all love to be blissfully happy for our whole lives and be able to look back and say "Damn, that was fun" =) Thanks for stopping by my Blog! Love your blog title! =)

  6. This is a cute story. I hope that the three years were just a joke, though. Unless it was something that made them stronger?

    I know that we strive to make EVERY day a good one :)

  7. What a sweet story! Being a nurse sounds like such an adventure.

    Visiting from SITS and I love your blog. I'll be following!


  8. Hello
    By the good I see your banners. Well done.
    I blog over to try and comment about it I have.

  9. I love this post. I think 50 is pretty good considering. Three bad years? Not too shabby.

    Thanks for visiting btw.