THE ” ‘I DO’-PLEX”: Secret to a Happy Marriage?

Duplex home
Duplex home (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Today, a friend and I  met for lunch. I hadn’t seen her since she married — again.

“Where are y’all living, now?” I ask, sipping my tea.

“We live in a duplex.”

“Oh? How do you get along with the neighbor?”

“Fine,” she said,  smiling drolly. “He’s my neighbor.

“Whoa!” I  catch the tea  spewing from my nose. “Gotta wrap my head around this. You’re saying that you…and your husband….”.

” We live in a duplex,” she says, with a nod. “He lives in A. I, in B.”

“So,” I asked, in my best Dr. Phil impression. “How’s that working out for you?”

She wiggles her eyebrows. The naughty-girl from within lights up.

I lean back and shake my head.

 No way could my man talk me into  that. To me, marriage equals one husband, one wife, one roof.

“So, where do you sleep? On your side? Or his?”

“His. Mine. Depends.”


She leans forward. “All right, here’s the deal. He and I love each other, right? But our differences could  be game-changers. I’ve gotta have my fur-baby; he’s allergic to dogs. If we buy a duplex and each take our half, I get to keep my dog where I want.”

“And you’re living in a duplex for that reason alone?”

She shakes her head. “Not all. I also have a bazillion pictures of kids and grand-kids on my walls. Having my own space allows me to keep them that way.”

“And we decorate differently,” she adds. ” Look up minimalist in the dictionary and there’s his picture.  Me?” She winks. “Girl, you’ve seen the way I live. I’ve got some big-honkin’  furniture. And I like my stuff where I can see it.”

“It’s the best of both worlds,” she concludes. “Togetherness and me-time. He’s got his man-cave. And I have my chick haven.”

The server appears. “Separate tabs for you ladies?”

When she reaches for her check, I  shoo her hand away.

“Nah, this one’s on me. You just gave me an idea.”

Sounds like a plan to me.  What part of it works for you?



Men, gotta love ’em. Whatever would happen if we gave them the remote to our world?

They would start with our cosmetics. Cherry chiffon or peppermint twist lip gloss would be replaced by new flavors: pork-rinds-and-hot-sauce, or buffalo-wings-and-beer.

Oh, but wait! They’re just flexing their manly muscles. Next on their list, new fragrances. Soon, our honeys would have us dabbing on eau de woodsmoke, slathering on steak-drippings shower gel, or spritzing on cowhide-leather body mist.

Cosmetics conquered, they would make over our malls. Sandwiched between Victoria’s Secret, Chico’s, and Coldwater Creek would be rifle ranges, fishing ponds, putting greens, race tracks, and calf-roping arenas. Out would go those unyielding wooden-slat benches in favor of Lazy-Boys and giant t.v. screens. For an hourly fee, they could even rent a dog to scratch behind the ears as they leaned back for their Sunday afternoon nap.

And speaking of shopping, wedding registries would not go untouched. Bridegrooms would be offered their own choices in bed linens — flannel-lined or goose down sleeping bags by Eddie Bauer. And flatware — a Swiss Army knife including a tool for digging Vienna Sausages out of the can. Glassware? Nothing but the finest — quart-sized Mason jars.

But it won’t stop there. Coming soon — men’s book clubs. The entry will be two sentences, tops.

Men…bless their hearts.