“IT’S PROBABLY BEST NOT TO MARRY ANYONE WHO REFERS TO THE REHEARSAL DINNER AS THE ‘LAST SUPPER'”
Tomorrow is my 5 year anniversary. 5 years of marriage. That’s 1825 days.
Weird way to start out a post about a time of celebration, right? I am flabbergasted that it’s already been 5 years! Not only because they’ve gone by so fast, but because I made it 5 years! That’s some real commitment from a guy who gives up on a poop after 20 minutes. And yes, I am looking for a pat on the back here! Feel free to leave plenty of congratulations in the “Join the Conversation” section below.
This year seems to be a year for weddings, with my sister, several close friends, and even a coworker tying the knot. While I’m excited for them all, I feel it is my duty as a 5 year veteran to bestow some knowledge upon them…knowledge that was never given to me, and would have helped to know early on. Thus, today, I am going to walk you through the things I’ve learned in 5 years of marriage.
First things first: guys, living with a woman is a lot different than you’d think. There are a lot of things that we never thought of that are NECESSITIES…for example, pictures. Photographs should be in frames, and either hung on the wall or put on tables, desks, or mantles around the living quarters. Gone are the days of duct tape and the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition (don’t you judge me). Now, that trip to the Grand Canyon (where you lost your favorite pair of RayBans to the Arizona desert through the open car window when your air conditioner broke) is forever memorialized on your nightstand, where you can drift off to sleep with the wonderful memories of the 3rd degree sunburn you got because “somebody” forgot to pack the sunscreen…
Much of your stuff will not make it in the merger, by the way. That bean bag chair where you like to sit naked and eat Cheetos while watching ESPN…it doesn’t match the mahogany faux-leather love seat and arm chair combo she’s getting with your wedding money. If you’re lucky, and the place you live in has the space for it, you may be able to salvage some of it in a “man cave”.
You learn some fun new games right away also. My personal favorite is “Does this belong here”, where she holds up something that you’ve left on the floor in the hallway where you dropped it, and asks you where it should go. Also, “Impossible Questions” will become a bedtime tradition, as you are snapped out of your peaceful reverie by the ever persistent “What is your favorite thing about me?” or “Would you still marry me if we just met today?” (Helpful hint: there are no right answers)
Before you ladies get in an uproar and try to kill me with your soul-eating stares (where do you learn that anyways? I got that stare from a 7 year old girl the other day…you learn it young!), it’s not all terrible. The food is amazing. Hot dogs wrapped in american cheese and a can of corn…that’s bachelor food. Married food is Chicken smothered in onion and mushrooms, with fresh green beans and some sort of jello. You’ll gain weight, and you’ll thank God for every bite of it.
As far as household etiquette: the bathroom is no longer a safe zone. As you are working on your business, she will brush her teeth, curl her hair, and have conversations with you. Get used to it. Speaking of bathrooms, one day you may come home to a small bucket of mulch on the back of your toilet. That is potpourri…meant to make the bathroom smell nicer. Also, when you get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, bring a light. It is no longer acceptable to find the toilet by sonar…in the morning, she will wonder why the roof started leaking, and why it smells like asparagus (which I find it easy to blame on the potpourri).
Things change over 5 years, but in all seriousness, it’s an easy thing to adapt to. Why? When your whole life gets flipped upside down? Because every day is a blessing, and reminder of just why you made that commitment to that one special person that changed your life for the better. After 5 years of marriage, I am more in love with my wife then I was the day we said “I do”. And even though I sold all of my encyclopedia’s because my wife knows everything, and I learned that auto-correct is a standard feature on every wife, I wouldn’t trade a minute of it for the alternative.
So, to all you soon to be married or recently married folks: it’s a wild ride, but you’ll make it through. And to my amazing wife of 5 years, I may have married you for your looks, but not the looks you give me as you read this. And I love you anyways.
In fairness, I’m only giving you one side of the story…so as a special treat, I’ve asked my wife Stacy to let you know what it’s like to be married to a guy who has most of your friends and family wondering if you ate paint chips as a child. She has a different style, and I hope you enjoy her observation. Make sure to check out her amazing blog, Flights of Delight.
Take it away, hun:
It’s probably no surprise that I almost constantly get asked, “how do you handle being married to him?!” Often, people ask incredulously or exasperated. My answer: sometimes I ask myself the same question. Surprising, I know.
Being married to Shreck is like caring for a large manchild. Let me illustrate.
Hangry: a word to describe the angry disposition of one who is hungry. Hangry is like a disease of epidemic proportions in our house. When Shreck is hungry, the slightest thing, such as a simple, meaningless glance he interprets as unwelcome, will trigger a rant that would render Lewis Black speechless. Nothing in the world is right until food is satisfactorily jamming the hangry signals. However, keeping the hangries at bay is not straightforward.
This manchild is utterly incapable of making any decision that isn’t life-changing. Just lost a job and need to figure out if we are staying or moving? Simple- we’re hittin’ the road! Pack up your life, dear! Here is a sample of me trying to figure out what I can feed him which will result in minimal complaining about how it isn’t what he wants to eat (though, he doesn’t know what he wants to eat in the first place):
Me: What do you want to eat?
Me: What kind of food?
Me: What kind of edible food?
Shreck: Good edible food.
Me: How about tacos?
Shreck: I don’t want tacos.
Me: What about burgers?
Shreck: No, because I would want them grilled and I don’t want to wait for the charcoal.
Me: Okay. Chicken Stir-fry?
Shreck: I had a meal with chicken yesterday.
Me: Brinner? I’ll make pancakes and bacon.
Shreck: uuuhhh… no. I don’t want brinner.
Me: Well, I guess you’re just going to starve or eat whatever I decide to make. And, you’re just going to have to wait.
Shreck: Fine. I guess I’ll just have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with crackers and cheese.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen- Shreck will turn down BACON when he’s hangry. Shocking, but true. Take a tip from me, ladies, when your man starts acting like a toddler with low blood sugar before nap time, just get sassy and tell him to eat what you serve him and deal with it. Or, he can starve while he goes and pouts in another room. Ain’t nobody got time for dat!
Then, there’s the 24/7 on-stage comedian manchild. Oh, boy. If you have ever spent a few hours caring for an attention-starved kindergartner tugging at your leg saying, “look it!” every time you blink, you’ve got a glimpse into my “leisure” time. Shreck is always on a quest for a laugh, like the Knights Templar sought the Holy Grail. Getting a chuckle out of someone… anyone, is like hitting the progressive slots jackpot for Shreck. Cha-ching! My evenings are filled with a string of jokes, funny videos, and ridiculous meme photos. No wonder he gets hangry so often… how can I cook when I am being beckoned to the “throne room” to watch a hilarious video every three minutes?
Having said all of that, I wouldn’t trade Shreck for anyone in the world. He has been my faithful and loving companion through all of life’s ups and downs. He loves me unconditionally, makes me laugh, encourages me, challenges me, and just wants the very best of everything for me. Yes, he is a big goofball, and I can see how people are amazed that I married him, but life with him is a grand adventure with rarely a dull moment.
NOTE FROM SHRECK: The above story is absolutely true. No names have been changed in order to expose the guilty.
Until next time,