Marriage is a funny thing | Column

by | August 18, 2018 5:00 pm

Last Updated: August 15, 2018 at 9:58 am

Marriage is a funny thing. Can someone remind me why do we do it?
Just kidding. Widdle Baby is the perfect husband–always kind, patient and understanding. And I am Queen of Romania.
Actually, I hit the lottery when he showed up on my doorstep, and he’s amazingly generous about my public teasing. (He was my second jackpot; the first was being born in America.)
Like most married couples, we’re two imperfect people muddling through life–and my muddle is way more imperfect than his.
I just can’t remember sometimes why people live together when they don’t have to.
In college, I get it. Roommates help pay the bills. Same for young professionals, plus the networking and social perks. But just randomly picking a person and saying, “I love you enough to risk stepping on your toenail clippings in the dark” seems a little… nuts. Yet I’ve done it twice. Get married, that is. (Let’s skip the toenail clippings.)
Some people marry because they want to start a family. Nope; I already had a family—Mom, Dad, siblings, funny uncles, etc.–so why be greedy and start another? Nor did I get married because I didn’t like being alone. I loved living alone. Sleeping nine hours a night, knowing exactly how much beer is in the fridge—what’s not to love?
I got married the first time because I was 26 and my very nice boyfriend… asked. Everyone I knew was getting married, my apartment lease was ending, and did I mention he was a very nice guy? It seemed like a fine idea. His mother wept uncontrollably throughout the ceremony, so maybe she had an inkling.
After 11 years it was glaringly obvious that we should have married anybody else in the world except each other, and we parted with mutual relief. (He’s still nice, although he went hog-wild with tats after the divorce. But that’s his story, not mine.)
So, what did I learn about being married? Nothing. After eight years I threw my hat in the ring again. A wise man said, “Remarriage is the triumph of hope over experience,” which will be my tattoo if I ever get a tattoo.
When we first got married Widdle said, “I’ll give you anything your heart desires. Pearls, a dog, a new car? You got it.”
Thirteen years later he says, “What are you buying at Harris Teeter, gold bouillon?”
I think we’re as happy as any married couple: We laugh at the same things, fight over guacamole and watch TV in shifts. (My favorite Facebook meme is: “Marriage is two people yelling, ‘What?’ from different rooms for 40 years.”)
Maybe being happily married is when you want to binge-watch the same series on Netflix. Unhappily married is when he’s obsessed with Game of Thrones and you’re like, “Who’s Jon Snow?”
Widdle puts up with a lot from me. He’s calm; I come unglued when the cable goes out. When lightning struck my house in Summerville, I ran in circles pulling my hair. He quietly made calls, pulled permits and lined up contractors.
The worst thing Ican say about him is that he doesn’t listen. Just last week he asked why I didn’t want Jello. When I reminded him that Jello feels like worms dying in my mouth, he’s all, “You don’t eat Jello? That’s crazy,” like it’s a revelation. I’ve told him a dozen times that Jello is a nonstarter, but did he listen? No.
Still… the bottom line is, I got lucky. He’s my bingo! I mean, jackpot.

Julie R. Smith, who fears that one day Widdle will write about her, can be reached at widdleswife@aol.com.

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