By John Norberg, Humor Columnist s

When young couples marry they believe they know one another very well. But those of us who have lived many years realize they have a lot to learn.

My wife married me, in part, because she believed I was stable. She soon discovered the meaning of stable: "unwilling to change."

Women marry men for attributes they find very attractive. Then those some attributes drive them crazy for the rest of their lives.

I don't mind change, as long as it's in someone else. I'm not one to try something new when something old is working just fine for me.

I'm not adventurous when it comes to trying new foods. I love good old Hoosier food like meat, corn, beans, breaded tenderloins, pork chops and elephant ears and corn dogs at the state fair washed down with chocolate chip chocolate, chocolate lover's fried chocolate ice cream.

What more could a man want in life?

Only a good woman to enjoy this good food with him.

My wife and I married many years ago and went off to a wonderful honeymoon in Bermuda.

Every evening fantastic meals were served in the dinning room, gourmet delights for tourists from around the world.

Waiter: "Good evening. Have you had an opportunity to look over the menu? Are you ready to order? Perhaps an appetizer before your meal?"

Me: "I don't need an appetizer. I've already got an appetite. I'll have the filet, median rare, and a baked potato."

Waiter: "Very well sir. I believe that's the same as last night and the night before and the night before. And madam. What will you be having?"

Wife: "I would like an appetizer. I'd like the escargot please."

I was stunned. I couldn't believe what I'd heard her say. I thought I knew this woman. And then she ordered escargot. She had never ordered escargot while we dated.

Me: "You're going to eat snails?"

Wife: "Yes. I love them. I had them in Paris years ago."

Me: "But snails? Are you aware that after dinner when we go upstairs I'm going to want to kiss you? This is our honeymoon. Does a man really want to kiss his bride when she has snails on her breath?"

Wife: "Last Saturday you promised to love me in sickness and health, for better or worse, richer or poorer."

Me: "Yes. But I said nothing about snail breath."

Wife: "I will not have snail breath. I can't believe you are being so superficial."

Me: "Have you ever seen snails? They're slimy things that slide through the garden. They're disgusting."

Wife: "Have you ever eaten escargot? It's made with butter and spices and it's delicious."

This is how it goes. You think you know a woman, you marry her and then all of a sudden she's ordering escargot. What is she going to do next? If she orders frog legs I'm going to have to leave the table.

This summer we went to Paris and on our final night there we had dinner in a beautiful open-air restaurant. The waiters were dressed in black slacks, black vests, white shirts and long white aprons.

Waiter: "What can I bring you this evening?"

Wife: "I'd like escargot."

It was déjà vu all over again.

Me: "Not again?"

Wife: "I haven't had escargot since our honeymoon. The time has come for you to try this. You're in France. You're in Paris. How many more opportunities do you think you'll have to try real French escargot? The snails I ordered in Bermuda were delicious and the ones I'll have here will be even better. When are you going to get over this?"

She ordered. It came. She dared me to try it and I did. I stuck my fork into her escargot and brought the snail to my mouth. It reached my tongue and my taste buds exploded, my entire mouth came alive, excited with wonderful flavors. It was fantastic.

I'd been wrong our entire married life. Escargot was actually a delicious delicacy and among the most wonderful things I've tasted in my life.

After 34 years of marriage I faced the prospect of telling my wife I had been wrong for all these years. There was only one thing for me to do. I am a man. I knew I had to do it. And I did.

"It's horrible," I said.

Wife: "It is not. Try another one."

I did.

Me: "Okay. It's not disgusting. Are you going to finish the rest of them? I'll do you a favor and finish them."

Wife: "So you like them."

Me: "I'm just trying to save you from having to eat them."

Wife: "That's fine. Just don't expect me to kiss you tonight now that you have snail breath."

France was wonderful. The escargot was fantastic.

But so much for Paris being the city of love.