by John Norberg, humor columnist s

Matt was 9 years old when I married his mother. One of my favorite memories from that time is driving in the car and the endless questions he would ask that I didn't know how to answer.

Matt: "Why is pavement gray?"

Me: "Because it was made by men. If women made pavement it would be red or violet."

Matt: "How come telephones are attached to the wall?"

Me: "Because they always have been and always will be."

Matt: "Who's going to win the World Series this year?"

Me: "The Chicago Cubs."

Eventually he figured out I didn't know anything and stopped asking.

Now he is an executive for a big, international financial company and I ask him the questions.

Me: "When's this recession going to end?"

Matt: "The day you pull everything out of the stock market."

Me: "What's the best place for your mom and me to invest our money?"

Matt: "In your children."

Me: "How much do we need to save for retirement?"

Matt: "The way things are going retirement is an archaic, 20th century word."

Next Saturday Matt is getting married to a wonderful woman named Lisa. We couldn't be happier.

Matt is too smart to ask me questions about a successful marriage. But I thought I'd give him a few tips anyway.

Think carefully before choosing a side of the bed. It will be yours the rest of your life.

Compromise is the secret to a great marriage. And if you figure out the secret to compromise, please let the rest of us know.

Don't fight it: hidden in the marriage vows is something about shinning her shoes.

If you want to feel like a king, make your wife feel like a queen.

Be spontaneous in your relationship. This takes advanced planning.

Say "I'm sorry" often. Even if you think you haven't done anything to be sorry about, you probably have and just don't know about it yet.

Say "I love you" even more.

Marriage means sharing everything ? except her take home box from the restaurant.

Love means leaving the last piece of pizza for her.

Share household chores -- preferably with hired help.

Laugh together.

Dream together.

Do things together.

But never hang wallpaper together.

Matt, my wish for you is the greatest blessing life could ever offer: as happy and loving a marriage as your mother's and mine.

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