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Musings for the Modern Mystic

After 60 years of marriage, an old lady on her death bed finally reveals the contents of the secret shoebox she hid from her husband all that time.

The Funny Secret To A Happy Marriage: The Story of the Secret Shoebox

Everyone wants to know the secret to a happy marriage. In fact, next to the secret of happiness alone, it may very well be number two on that list…

But a conundrum is a conundrum. And, while we have offered our humble advice on such matters in the past, and continue to do so, nothing remains quite as daunting and frustrating a mystery to us humans, it seems, as romantic relationships in general, let alone something as specific as the secret to a happy marriage.

Thus, in our continuing devotion to keeping things light, we arrive at the doorstep of your consciousness today, bundle of roses in hand, tapping the knocker politely with a telegram at the ready that reads…

“The Funny Secret To A Happy Marriage: The Story of the Secret Shoebox”

An elderly couple had been married for more than 60 years, and during that time their union had appeared consistently pleasant, so much so that other couples and friends couldn’t keep themselves from inquiring, from time to time, just what their ‘secret to a happy marriage’ indeed was. And though they always claimed ignorance, truth be told that they DID, in fact, have one little secret…

Over the course of those six decades, they had shared everything, with one caveat: the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet — a secret shoebox she’d cautioned her better half to never open, or even ask about.

At first the husband was a little perplexed, but he loved his wife and honored her wishes. Though he was tempted, he resisted every urge to open the box or question her about it. As time passed it became easier. He found he gave it less and less thought, until finally he had almost forgotten about the secret shoebox completely.

One day, however, long into the twilight of their marriage, the little old woman got very sick. After a prolonged period of illness, the doctor informed them that she would not be recovering.

While trying to sort out their affairs, the old man came across the secret shoebox once again. He took it down and sat with it at his wife’s bedside. He implored her now, after all these years, and after having been asked by so many what their secret to a happy marriage was, to let him look inside the box. 

She agreed, finally, that it was time to reveal its contents. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totalling $95,000. He asked her about them.

“When we were to be married,” she said, “my grandmother told me the secret to a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll.”

The little old man was so moved, he had to fight back tears. There were only two precious dolls! She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. Though still deeply stricken with sadness at her illness, he was suddenly filled with joy.”Honey,” he said, “that explains the dolls, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?”

“Oh, that?” she said.  “That’s the money I made from selling all of the other dolls.”

Source Notes / Commentary

An online anecdote for years, this charming story has no known author. This is our slightly revised version.



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