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Robert Kirby: I’m glad I married an ‘older woman’ — someone needed to be the adult

Maturity is vital. She has it and, well, I obviously don’t.

Robert Kirby

My wife received her COVID-19 vaccination Saturday. Although not yet eligible for mine, I am deliriously happy that she has received hers. I need her to stay alive. Hell, so do you.

Being younger by several years, as well as a newspaper columnist, I am not old enough or important enough to be vaccinated yet. I don’t mind. Just as long as she’s safe.

I say this because she has been a major factor in keeping me in line. I attribute this to the superior level of maturity she possesses in part because she’s older than me.

Our age difference would have been scandalous had we dated in high school or college, where it’s generally considered abnormal to date outside one’s age group. A senior girl being escorted to the prom by a ninth grader just wouldn’t have worked.

We dated for just a few months in 1975. When I mustered the courage to propose, I half-expected her to say something like, “Let’s just be friends, OK?” or “I think I’ll buy a monkey instead.”

But on a warm July day under a willow tree in my parents’ front yard, she looked up into my terrified face and said, “Yes.” I’m still a bit confused at how easy that was. But I will be forever grateful.

When we announced our engagement to my family, no one seemed to care that she was technically an “older woman.” After all, someone in the relationship needed to be a mature adult.

Four decades later, we’re still together. And I am still immature. Does this bother my wife? Sometimes. Does it bother me? Not in the slightest.

Maturity is important. It plays a major role in paying bills, eating healthy, keeping a job, and staying out of trouble.

I imagine a fair amount of maturity is required in many larger endeavors such as birthing babies, astrophysics, aerodynamics and eye surgery.

But sometimes maturity isn’t all that much to brag about either. See, it’s always “mature” people who start wars, conduct genocide, burn witches, think up crazy religions, pass idiotic laws, and bankrupt entire countries.

Was it “immaturity” that invented nuclear weapons, biological warfare, gulags and Sunday closing laws? Nope.

Now compare that to a couple of guys who just want to see how far a homemade cannon will shoot a bowling ball, or the distance a dead rodent could achieve with something called a “Rat-A-Pult.”

Then there’s a guy who enjoys needling people until they lose all sense of that decorum the mature are so proud to allegedly have.

Granted, you wouldn’t want someone like me driving your bus, managing your retirement funds, or flying your plane. I’m far too easily bored. While you’re snoozing, working on your second scotch, or watching a movie, I might attempt to barrel-roll the aircraft just to keep up my interest.

Were I your investment counselor, I might even see what kind of return I could get out of your life savings in Vegas. But then you’re smart enough and mature enough not to allow that.

The same could be said about reading my columns. If it bothers you, shouldn’t you be mature enough not to do it?

Robert Kirby is The Salt Lake Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.

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