Sister Shelley (middle sister) and brother-in-law, Russ, will celebrate their fortieth wedding anniversary on December 24. She was a month shy of twenty when she took her vows. And she’s been making promises to Russ ever since.
Here are some of the vows Russ has asked Shelley to take—over and over—for a large portion of their last 14,600 days together. Well, they’re not exactly vows, but more like Rusty’s Rules of Order. They come along with his lifetime of pure devotion to my sister. And they even make Rusty laugh after all these years.
IN THE KITCHEN
Russ: “Stop resting your elbows on the table when you eat.”
Shell: “I promise I won’t.”
Russ: “The reason you have knee problems is because of the way you sit at the table. You should stop doing that.”
Shell: “Okay, I won’t.”
Russ: “You really shouldn’t put too much food near the light in the freezer.”
Shell: “I’ll remember that.”
IN THE BEDROOM (before they’re getting ready to cuddle at night)
Russ: “Take the barrette out of your hair.”
Shell: “Aye, aye, captain”
Russ: “Make sure you set your alarm.”
Russ: “Promise me you’ll look both ways when you get out of the bus. I noticed you just run out without looking.”
Shell: “I’m still alive after sixty years, but I’ll make sure to watch next time.”
Russ: “Don’t wear high heels because we’re going to be doing a lot of walking and you’ll be uncomfortable.”
Shell: Silence, as she slips on her heels.
AND…IN THE BATHROOM
Russ: “When you take a shower, put some water under the mat so it sticks better.”
Russ: “I heard you rolling out the toilet paper. Use less.”
Note: Russ was the toilet paper monitor in high school. I swear!