Marriage is hard. And I'm not talking about the finances, or big decisions like having children and where to spend Christmas. I can deal with that stuff. It's the little things, like perhaps my spouse's inability to put a single dish in the dishwasher, even though it is right next to the sink. THAT's the kind of example that makes me daydream about how happy I was when I was single.
I'll admit it, though: I'm no cup of easy street either. For instance, I am a rabid, raging harpy until I get at least half a pot of coffee in me. It's in these early hours of the morning that I'm most likely to say "You know what would be nice? If you moved back in with your parents."
Also, I can hold a grudge. For a looong time. About things that one might never realize I'm upset about.
Jason: We haven't had chicken and dumplings in, like . . . ever.
Me: I think you know darn well why I will never make you chicken and dumplings.
Me: Remember on June 3, 2007? In the Bisquick aisle at the grocery store? When you said maybe I should read a recipe on how to make chicken and dumplings? How DARE you imply that I need a recipe? You can choke on your dumplings, pal!
Also, there are a couple of traits we both have that don't always mesh together well. Jason, for instance, does not like to order new foods, but he likes to try and sample whatever is on my plate. I, on the other hand, am not good at sharing. Oh, sure, my parents taught me to share at an early age, making me split everything with my sister. And you know what? I am GREAT at sharing with my sister. We'll share bowls of chowder, slices of cake, members of Duran Duran . . . but I am not so good at sharing with Jason. After spending 15 minutes listening to him gripe about how there's nothing on the menu he likes, then watching him order chicken fingers (in an italian restaurant) while I opt for the steak gorgonzola over fettuccine, I am not particularly tolerant when I see his fork slowly creeping towards my plate for a taste. That's often when we playfully engage in a game I like to call "Move Your Hand Closer So I Can Stab You." He also has an uncanny knack of doing this at every meal when I'm on Weight Watchers. (I'm eating steak gorgonzola over fettuccine, people. Of course I need to go on a diet.) Note to all of you married men out there: When your wife is on a strict diet of 1200 calories a day, don't even think about taking one little mouthful of our carefully measured-out food away from us. We'll kill you, and no jury in the world will convict us.
Sure, the man can't wash a dish, or cook, and I often refer to myself as Dobby the House Elf when I'm feeling put upon. But he does do a couple of things that make up for it. Jason is always urging me to get more of my writing out there, and when I do send out stories that get accepted, he's tireless about promoting me and bragging about me. If my novel is rejected, he's the first one to tell me the publisher is clearly a tasteless, illiterate idiot, and he won't let me dwell on that rejection, but will suggest other markets to send it to next. And he's great about knowing how to cheer me up. He loves to surprise me by running to the library and renting a terrible B-movie if I'm feeling blue. A couple of weeks ago, I was depressed over a big project that's been overwhelming me. There was Jason, beaming: "Look, honey! Sharknado!" And you know what? It did cheer me up!
So for those of you thinking about getting married, my only advice is to make sure you two know all of the ugly details about each other before tying the knot. Jason was fully aware of my caffeine addiction prior to the wedding, and to his credit, he didn't run when I threatened to shave "Cream, two Splenda" into the side of the cat so he'd remember how I like my coffee. I knew prior to tying the knot that Jason was incapable of cooking anything more then ramen noodles in the kitchen (and, disgustingly enough, he microwaves them). It's okay. Because you know what? This marriage thing is working for us. So far.
Happy Anniversary, Jason!