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Thursday, Sep. 1, 2016

My marriage secret: 'Yes dear'

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Today is my ninth wedding anniversary and in typical fashion my wife and I will celebrate the day like every other Wednesday. I will pass her in hall coming in from work as she's leaving to go to work with a nod or a "don't forget to pay the electric bill," statement. Touching isn't it?

It's been nine years but it seems like yesterday. I can still hear the preacher reciting the vows: "You have the right to remain silent because anything you say can and will be held against you. You may kiss the bride." Ahh, memories.

I've actually learned a lot in nine years. I learned that once you get married that every discussion must end with me saying the phrase "yes dear." It doesn't matter if that discussion lasts for several days, it isn't over until I say "yes dear." I've had a conversation with my wife that I thought was over days earlier, only to be brought back up repeatedly until I uttered "the phrase." It's unreal.

But really, you do learn a lot when you are married. The main thing you learn is how to live with the other person's little quirks. Take my wife for example. She has to have eight hours of sleep a day and she needs that much at night, too. I mean the woman can sleep at any time of day or night almost on cue. If sleeping were a sport, my wife would be the gold medal winner every year. But that's her thing.

Sports is my thing. If a game is on television, everything gets dropped and I watch the game. I don't know how many times my wife has had to take out the trash because from the trash can to the curb I get distracted by something like women's beach volleyball. You see, we all have these little quirks we learn to live with.

I also learned that when you are married, one person takes care of the money while the other is reduced to being a child again. I am the child in my marriage. Each Monday my wife gives me an allowance and that money has to make it to the end of the week. It's just like my mother did when I was in grade school.

Don't get me wrong, I do have a check that I'm allowed to keep for an emergency. But this is an emergency check only. It is a pretty nerve-wracking thing having that check, because it had better be something pretty urgent for me to pull it out of my wallet. I can't just use it for any Girl Scout that comes along selling cookies because then I have to explain why I used the check, how much I spent and why didn't I have enough allowance to use. So the check usually stays in my wallet for months at a time.

I've also learned how to be sitting in the same room as my wife when she is talking and not hear a single thing she is saying. I don't even mean to, it just happens. She can be talking about where we are going that night and what time we need to leave and invariably an hour later I ask her what we are doing and when do I need to be ready. It's an amazing talent and one that my wife would rather I not have, but I do.

It's like my wife's talent for annoying me with her use of little kid words. She is a director of a preschool so she can't help it but it still annoys me when she says things like, "I'll be ready as soon as I go potty," or "my tummy hurts." It took me forever to break her of saying "come right back," whenever I would get up to go to the refrigerator or to the "potty." But then again, I am the child in the marriage.

But in nine years I've learned that my wife is an amazing woman and that I have been blessed. I am not an easy person to live with and she puts up with my many faults. And any woman who lets me poke fun at her weekly in this stupid little column and never gets mad has to be a pretty special person. Of course, she did ask that I write something nice about her sometime and, of course, my answer to that was, "yes dear."

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