I didn't even get into how awesome her hair is

Today in Relief Society the teacher opened the lesson by asking if any of us had examples of couples whose marriage we really admire. I immediately thought of an answer and smiled to myself, but the teacher saw me and asked who I had in mind, so I had to tell her:

Coach and Tami Taylor from Friday Night Lights.

Except it's true, y'all! They are awesome. As I tried to explain to the room full of blank stares, I admire that the writers really seem to have gotten it right--this is a couple who has a strong marriage, and the respect and love they have for each other always comes through, even when they argue.

(And I'm not the only person who thinks so. There are tumblrs and everything.)

At that, a few older ladies cited their own parents' marriage as ones they admire, making sure to add that their parents never argued. (Uh huh.)

Anyway, when I reported my class contribution to my pop-culture-loving husband after church, I think it made him love me that much more. Thanks again, Taylors!

This made me think about the Marriage Prep class I took once at BYU (of course I did, everyone did, hello). Actually, wait, I technically took two--one from the School of Family Life and one from the Religion department. So, you know. Bases. Covered. Was fascinating to contrast and compare the two:

Religion department instructor: "I recommend that you not do any reading or study about intimacy before you marry. The Spirit will tell you what to do." (Note: No, He/She/It won't.)

Family Science instructor: "I don't care what your bishop says--disclosure of sexual history before marriage is important because repentance can't fix AIDS, kiddos. Now let's discuss the seminal pool."

Can you guess which class was more useful? The textbook for the religion class was just a compilation of General Conference talks and Ensign magazine articles going back several decades, including one that contained a story about a woman who honored her perpetually unemployed husband's status as provider by not getting a job herself or seeking government assistance but instead by living out in a shack in the woods for years without electricity while collecting rainwater for their children to drink and bathe in. Even before I became a crazy feminist, I knew that was not an inspiring story. That was, like, Winter's Bone. 

Anyway, the Marriage Prep instructor from the School of Family Life, who was a PhD student training to be a marriage and family therapist, said that his favorite couple on television were Paul and Jamie Buchman from Mad about You. Remember that show? He said they had the best fights--they stayed to the point and avoided "kitchen sinking," they didn't spiral down to name-calling, they just really did it well. He even brought in a few clips to show us during class sessions about communication.

So. I feel absolutely justified in my choice. Anybody else want to share the names of the fictional people that inform and influence their real-life relationships?


Liz Johnson said... [reply]

YES. YES YES YES. Tami Taylor is my hero, and the Taylors have the best marriage I've ever seen on TV. I think the honest portrayal of their marriage was my favorite part about that show.

Melanie said... [reply]

This is an awesome post. I guess I should have taken the School of Family Life class instead of the Religion Department one....although I haven't had to use either yet.

And yes, what part of my soul do I have to sell to get Connie Britton-like hair?

Th. said... [reply]


Nick and Nora. Only we try to consume fewer martinis. Which is not difficult. No one consumes as many martinis as Nick and Nora.

Christina said... [reply]

Weirdly enough, I had the exact opposite reaction to those same two classes: my MFHD class was hokey and my religion class was exceptionally good. Also, we skipped that awful story you mentioned. Thank goodness.

Elsha said... [reply]

I totally admire the Taylors' marriage. Also, I think I would have liked your family science instructor.

Missy W. said... [reply]

off topic, but I LOVED Winter's Bone!

Kelly said... [reply]

So many good couples to model ourselves after. Considering I want to BE Tami Taylor (so wise!), of course I agree they have the best marriage. Also, love Paul and Jamie. Also, Nick and Nora, Th.

I was thinking about my favorite shows and who is a good example of marriage, and I came up with Shelly and Holling from Northern Exposure. Did you ever watch that show? It's still a favorite. Anyway, there's something like a 40-year age difference between them, but they respect each other, and are kind to one another. They do argue, but they work it out, and are a good example of just being aware of your spouse and what he/she is going through.

Kelly said... [reply]

PS Am spending way too much time on that tumblr.

Jenny said... [reply]

Ok I was thinking about modeling respectful arguments so kids can learn to have healty marriages like we were talking about and here is what I was thinking of. Is the respectful segueing of which you speak in front of kids creating conflict or tension in the environment, because if it is all the kids are most likely going to remember (I can't speak for the 13and up kids) is conflict and tension and not the eventual resolution. And that is actually scientifically proven, unfortunately. Another similar study showed kids who watch pbs's Arthur where they spend the entire episode discussing a problem or a conflict and then it gets resolved in the last 2 minutes of the show are actually just learning all those negative behaviors because that's what the show spends all the time showing the kids

So I guess yay for tami and Eric and I love them, but i would need some data or results before I go and say respectful arguing is how you teach kids to have a healthy marriage. Because you might just be stressing them out.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Thanks, Liz! And I agree--Tami IS the best.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Melanie, my guess is that all those classes were luck of the draw to begin with. I got lucky with one, not so much with another.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Th., I still haven't read that. Must rectify!

Nemesis said... [reply]

Christina, my teacher never assigned that story as part of the reading either. But I still saw it. Maybe most of the instructors wished it wasn't in there bc hi, wackadoo.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Elsha, he was a good guy. And color blind and fashion-challenged, so his wife created a work wardrobe for him where everything went with everything else so he couldn't mess up.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Missy, you DID? Man that thing scarred me, especially since my baby sister was about to leave on a mission to that area. "If they say they don't want to talk, turn around and LEAVE. Preferably at a run."

Nemesis said... [reply]

Kelly, totally watched that show! Don't remember too much about that couple specifically except that when she was pregnant she couldn't talk, only sing. Is that right?

Nemesis said... [reply]

Jen, I wasn't using the Taylor's as an example of how to argue in front of your kids, just how to argue with your spouse. The (scripted) conflicts I'm thinking of were handled privately.

But with reference to the conversation we WERE having about how to potentially model "conflict resolution" or whatever to kids, I'm sure you're right.

Kell said... [reply]
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Kell said... [reply]
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Anne M said... [reply]

I first watched Friday Night Lights when we had just moved up to Boise and I didn't know anyone and had a new baby. I think it saved me and the Taylors taught me important things about communication and respect in marriage at a time when it was greatly needed.

Peter & Elizabeth Burke from "White Collar" are also on our list of favorites as far as TV couple. They are a great example of making time for your marriage when life is busy.

elliespen said... [reply]

Enthusiastic cheer for Nick and Nora! (And though it may be blasphemy to say it, this is one case where the movies really are better. Because the movies have William Powell and Myrna Loy.)

Saskia said... [reply]

I always hope I'll magically wake up as Molly Weasley one morning.

Saskia said... [reply]

I'm not sure I want to be married to Arthur but I think I could do worse.

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