The Row Candle

When we got married, back in 1971 some family friends from Germany were in England so naturally, they came to our wedding. A gift they gave us they called a row candle. Apparently, the idea was that if a married couple started to row, one of them would light the candle and blow it out when the row subsided. If the candle burnt right out then the marriage was over. So here, in 2014 after nearly 43 years of marriage is our row candle.


It has never been lit.

I think it fair to say we very seldom row but even if we did, I suspect the last thing on your mind would be to find candle, matches and start burning the candle.

Of course we have differences of opinion. At the moment we are decorating and that’s a sure fire way of getting us into minor conflict. I love colour but it doesn’t stay in the memory and doesn’t impinge, particularly on flat surfaces. I like to see a variety of colours and I just can’t accept that there are rules of what goes together. People have opinions, of course but we are all allowed to have different opinions. When it comes to paint, carpets, wallpaper and soft furnishings, I really don’t mind. But I am forced to express an opinion. My wife has improved. My opinions always used to be greeted with, ‘oh no! That just wouldn’t do.’ It was often at that moment that I thought of the row candle but it was at home and we were elsewhere. These days my opinions are tolerated rather than rubbished but it seems impossible to get it across that I really don’t mind.

Anyway, all decisions about present redecorations have been made. The row candle is safe. And I do rather like the reminder of our wedding, the 1970s and the German friends who gave it.

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