I love my husband. There is just something about him that is irresistible to me. He’s hilarious, smart, he knows the answer to almost every question I ask him, he doesn’t dress like an asshole, he is a wonderful father, and he is extremely supportive of my having time for myself. I find it hard to complain about him. Particularly now that I know some mothers who are struggling with their marriages, because, really, my guy? He’s da bomb.
So, I like him and everything, but you must know (and anyone that has come within 5 feet of a serious relationship, marriage or not, does) that this union of ours isn’t always a Broadway show of love and awesomeness. There have been issues on both ends of our relationship. For example, last night, in a bizarre moment of utter dudeness, my husband asked me if we had ESPN. For those of you who don’t know my husband, his asking me that question would be equivalent to my asking him if he could help me mainline heroin or if he needed anything from Abercrombie and Fitch. So, when just yesterday, for the first time in 11 years of our relationship, John told me that he “loves” the World Cup and then asked me if we had ESPN, I simply replied, “I’m moving out.” Because, dude. Oprah has her no-phone zone and I have my no organized sports zone. And that zone is pretty much anywhere that I am. (I just know that my cousin is feeling a sense of relief right now that he didn’t marry someone like me, and you know what? I’m cool with that.)
Then there is me. I’m obnoxious. Sometimes I listen to myself as I talk relentlessly about something or other, and I actually find my own self annoying. Do you ever realize something about yourself that is fairly unattractive but while you are realizing it you simultaneously realize that you have been this way your whole life and it is pretty much too late to change it? And don’t tell me that anyone can change anything about themselves if they work hard enough, because while that may be true, it is also true that I get tired just thinking about changing certain things about myself. I can’t even shave my legs, for the love of all things holy. All of you can just adapt to me. Plus, I’m adorable the way I am.
Apparently, I don’t wash the bottoms of pots and pans. And that is gross to John. It isn’t like I vomit on them first. And who licks the bottom of pots or pans? I’m chatty in the shower and never about anything urgent, just mostly things like, “Hi!” and maybe, “what is the temperature going to be today?” When I need help with something I never just ask for help. If I can’t reach something, instead of just asking him to get it for me I ask, “John, how tall are you?” or in lifting something heavy, “John, how strong are you?”
Or there is always this:
“Can I ask you a favor?”
“Can you pass the salt?”
I don’t know why I do it. But I do, and quite honestly, although it has been a small issue at times, it isn’t high on my list of priorities to change it.
I have a zero-tolerance policy about some things, and I have had to use tough love about them. No generic Ritz crackers or tampons for example. You may call that preference, plain and simple, but for me it’s the law. Have you ever had a generic Ritz? Do a taste test. Don’t taste the tampons. No country music, and no idiotic jokes with racial or derogatory gender punch lines told in my presence, please. (This is not a problem in our house, but I think I included it so that you never come into my house playing Toby Keith and saying, “three whores and a wetback walk into a bar . . .”)
(And just so you know, I typed in “Country music asshole” when I couldn’t remember Toby Keith’s name and it came up.)
Not that John is a freaking prince. He’s cute and all, but . . . sweet Jesus! I can ask him to grab something from the other room and he says, “sure!” He leaves the room and comes back seven seconds later without the thing and starts to do something else. In nine seconds he has forgotten the reason he left the room. Nine seconds, people! He loads the dishwasher like he is on crack (which I know I’ve mentioned in the past but it still alarms me every time I open the dishwasher), and he will complain that I haven’t made a vegetable with dinner, but two hours later, he will eat two bowls of Cocoa Krispies. When he feels strongly about something, even if it is, say (to honor an old family gripe) liquid soap, he will speak to you as if you are both hard of hearing and the devil. Now Rowan will get upset and tell him to use a different voice, and I just nod at John like I now have proof that he talks like he is at a town hall meeting.
Both John and I are very quiet (you can close your mouth now) and introverted people. We cherish our alone time, would rather read a book all night than go to a party, and we appreciate autonomy. We bonded over this as we began to date and it is the reason, I believe, that we will stay married until one of us dies from cancer (since it seems to be killing everyone). We have more similarities than differences, and I feel confident saying that we appreciate the nuances of our differences. I find him fascinating and so socially conscious that it is inspirational. There are so many people in my life and family that know only one fraction of a tenth of him, and mostly I feel bad for them. I’m still thankful that I was almost able to clone him by having two boys. Okay, clearly I love him but, dude, I have been washing my own pots and pans without contracting dysentery for years before I met John! What sacrifices we make!
I say all of this because apparently, I will be watching the World Cup. Or at least hearing about the World Cup. I would rather devein myself, but alas, this is love . . . and if I watch the World Cup, maybe, just maybe, he will let me chat with him while I am in the shower.