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  • I watched her storm off into the bedroom and lock the door for what must have been the tenth time in as many months. The door opened briefly to allow the transfer of a pillow into the hallway. The door slammed shut once again and another stick of gum had been taken from my pack.

    Thinking back on that night, like so many other nights, makes me wonder why I stayed around as long as I did. I guess I was always hoping for that elusive dream; the one that promised a great marriage and passionate love despite hardships. But the passion had died out long ago leaving only pain and an ache that could not be quenched. What does a child do while undergoing insufferable pain - where do they go and how long do they weep before giving up?

    Whenever I buy a pack of gum, I am always fully aware that I will be asked to share a stick or two with a friend. And I'm willing to do that. It makes me smile when the inevitable phrase comes out of someone's mouth: "Hey, can I borrow a piece of gum?"

    When you give the gum away, does the recipient ever give it back? Of course not - but the premise of borrowing gum has continued to linger in our culture. Perhaps its because we have grown accustomed to someone else "loaning" us their gum when we need it. In that vein, I guess I always thought my marriage was like borrowing gum. I waited for a stick to come my way. But it never did.

    Call it being jaded or pessimistic, but listen when I tell you this: never give your last stick of gum away.
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