Tuesday, June 5, 2007

With This Ring

Before we were married, my husband and I attended pre-marital counseling. We were asked questions along the lines of whether or not my husband approved of my working, and how I would react if he decided he wanted to return to his native England.

You can be assured that my husband practically leapt from his chair while enthusiastically giving the thumbs up to my bringing home more money. Likewise, my reaction to the possibility of moving to England was not as drama filled as the instructor might have hoped. I shrugged sure, thinking that the chocolate in England is so much better it would cure any homesickness I might have.

We passed marriage counseling with flying colors. It was sweet. And almost completely unrelated to what it's actually like to be married.

I'd like to set up my own marriage counseling course. Here are my proposed lessons:

1. Home Depot Training
Engaged couples should be forced to visit Home Depot or Lowe's a minimum of five times. They should be tasked with picking out new paint colors. It is really important to know, before you've paid the deposit to the caterer, that your intended wants to paint the living room to match his favorite football team's colors. Likewise, men should be aware of their beloved's propensity to paint everything in faux finishes, despite the fact that a marble wall in a suburban split level looks a little bit ridiculous.

2. Ethan Allen Training
Engaged couples should also be forced to outfit a living room together before marriage. Only then will they realize that one of them wants to decorate the house in glass, concrete and stainless steel, while the other wants to cover every available surface with florals. In fact, the conversation about whether or not the ratty leather recliner stays or goes should be held immediately after the appearance of the ring. Observe -

Him: Will you marry me?
Her: Yes!
Him: Will you let me keep my burgundy, corduroy loveseat? With the stains?
Her: This is all moving a little fast, don't you think?

3. Fart Training
Seriously. People need to be aware of the frequency, magnitude, and noxious-ness their one true love is capable of producing. We are talking the rest of your life here.

4. Television Training
I am in strong support of retaining television independence. Each outfitted equally. Merge your bank accounts, your address, your retirement funds and your furniture. Keep your own TV. Nascar and Lifetime are not the least bit interesting as background noise if you are not a fan. Valerie Bertinelli and Junior? Never the twain shall meet. You can always meet nicely in the middle for Netflix and Sixty Minutes, but have a decent escape available.

5. Chore Division Training
Forget about who's going to do the dishes and mop the floor. The person who cleaned their apartment religiously before is going to be the person cleaning the house religiously after. More important is to divvy up the 'other' chores. Who's going to wait for the cable guy? Who's in charge of letting the mailman know that you really don't appreciate his leaving your mailbox door ajar when it's raining? Who's responsibility is it to kill bugs? And if you are both buck naked and the doorbell rings - who needs to put something on and answer the door? Trust me that these are serious issues. Men do not understand the big deal about greeting your neighbor with uncombed hair, and women do not want to deal with the smushed remains of today's eight legged guest. These things must be discussed.

That's where I'd start. That, and acknowledgement of the fact that someday one of you is going to want sex, and the other won't, and it has nothing to do with the size, condition or talent of his unmentionable or the fact that her ass looked fat in those jeans. That the appropriate reaction to this situation is to let it go and go to sleep. That withholding it later on in retaliation is not good. Sex should never be used as a tool.

Except in Home Depot.


jenny leigh said...

I can So relate to this LIST!!!! I have been married for 4 years and the Home Depot is so true...when we first got married we were going to build a house...we almost killed each other right in the middle of Home Depot!! Way to many choices and 2 differ views...needless to say we put building a house off and just bought one already done!

Anonymous said...

Is THAT how I'm supposed to get out of going to Home Depot? All these years of suffering through it... why didn't I think of that?

Excellent post.