They were an unlikely couple.
Brought together by the random happenstance of life, they were
now trying to forge through difficult times together. One was
financially successful; the other not so much. For neither was
it a first relationship, as both had previous trysts behind
For one of them
the progeny of those previous trysts—although representing
disparate levels of social and financial strata—were generally
considered successful, at least economically. From a young age,
they had been taught self-sufficiency. Imbued with the
philosophy that they were each personally responsible for their
own fate while sharing responsibility for the welfare of their
family, they had worked hard at school, hard at home and hard at
after-school jobs. This had provided them with spending money
above and beyond their allowances.
The children of the other
viewed life differently. Their hearts bled as they looked about
them seeing neighbors who had less than what was needed.
They also bled when they looked further afield and saw others
who had more than they had. Although some of these
siblings excelled in school many did not. Although some were
able to land after school jobs, many did not. When their
educations and jobs were deficient, they had been taught that
they were victims of circumstances beyond their control.
When the two married
and their families merged, rivalry between the children was
inevitable. The siblings with less wanted more of the family
pie. Since they were one family now, they felt entitled to it.
The children with more, having worked hard and long for what
they had, didn’t feel they should have to give up what they had
Since they were now all one family,
the parent of those with less felt an obligation; using the
joint credit card now shared with the spouse, purchases were
made in an attempt to provide more equivalence between the
groups. This continued happily for several years until two
devastating circumstances occurred at the same time: 1) the
economy tanked reducing the entire family’s income and 2) the
credit card had been so over-used that the family could not
afford even the interest payments it required.
The side of the family that had more wealth
had a fiscally sound response to the crisis: stop using the
credit card and reduce spending.
The side of the family that had less wealth
had an impassioned response: increase the credit card’s limits
and share more of the remaining wealth.
So what is the traditional greeting when two people are wed?
Let’s see now: bon voyage is for vacation departures;
merry…merry anything doesn’t seem to work; happy…is no
better. So what is it? Oh, well.
Best wishes Barack and John