Thursday, September 20, 2012

shut up and talk to me: marriage


“And then she said,” I say, warming up, “that navy has never been an in color, and…” I look at my soulmate, the man I married, and his eyes are glassy, like a wax statue of himself, leaning forward in the driver’s seat, intent on nothing. “Hey!” I say, “are you even listening?” and then he lies. Depending on how important the information I have is, I will end up emailing him a reminder, or just internalizing it until someone has a baby and he’s like, “When was she pregnant?”

The problem is, I am awake during the day. I generally wake up in the morning, talk all day long, and I mean ALL day, and then in the evening, when it is dark outside, I go to bed. It’s a quirk of mine, sleeping at night.

So throughout the day, I see the Man Of God, and I talk to him. I tell him about my friends, and their lives, and their kids. I tell him about our kids, and about the house, about food and how much I love it. I talk some more about food. I tell him amusing anecdotes; things that I know you (the bloggerati) will laugh at. 6 out of 10 sentences land on rocky soil and the birds of the air carry them away, so he forms almost half-understandings of my ponderings.

And then the evening comes, and I, quirkily, grow tired. I lie down in my bed and read until my eyes start to close. I drift into my pillow, deeper, and then suddenly, there he is, chipper and awake. He comes in carrying snacks, turning on lights, chuckling about something, some amusing thing that happens in the night, when other people are asleep. “Hey!” he says, “want to hear about this galaxy that probably has water?” “No.” I say, like a good wife. “I want to hear my pillow.” He reads his email for a minute. “Hey!” he says intently, jolting me out of an almost-sleep state. “Hey, are you happy?” “Not particularly, now,” I grouse. A moment of silence, and I’m fading, fading, “I just don’t know how I feel about this eschatology,” he says, frowning at a troubling paragraph. Truth be told, I don’t know how I feel about it either. Hostile, maybe. “Wake up!” he whines, “I miss you.” “I have a great idea,” I say, frequently in the middle of the night, for 16 years, “We should talk at LUNCH sometime, during the DAY.” For 16 years, he says, “I can’t talk then, I’m working.

It’s the same conversation, the same one, like fighting over the air and heat in the car, the radio volume, the way I leave out the peanut butter, the way he puts car keys in the freezer or uses my toothbrush because his is in California. The two have become one, but one, united and divided, simple and complicated, in union and at war. The state of the union is strong, because the wheels are greased with laughter and familiarity, and the easy battles are easy, because so many hard battles have been won. We might not ever figure out when to talk to each other, but we’ll still want to have each other to not talk to. So, at the end of the day or at lunch, it’s good.  


  1. Oh LAWDY, whoever the lady was that said navy never was an "in" should have punched her in the face.

  2. So relevant! Had a similar dance with my hubs last night... I'm ready for SLEEP, and he's ready for snacks, lights, and talking. LOL! I said "are we EVER gonna have the same schedule?" And dozed off. You're so witty and well-spoken (written)!!!

  3. As described in one of the main books I use for marriage counseling, you two have a "perpetual problem". The trick can laugh about it and love each other anyway. That is a sign of an amazing relationship. Good job!!

    Jenn's Mom


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