If the simple uttering of that phrase as quoted from “The Princess Bride” doesn’t set you to chuckling this morning, well…don’t expect this blog to either. Sorry.
Anyway, my wife and I have been married for going on 8 years now. Generally happy I might add. We have two children, a nice house, good jobs, yada yada yada.
We’re over that whole “do everything together” crap that newlyweds cling to for many years and instead, we both jump at the chance to leave the other holding the bag…er…kids, in order to get out of the house to go do something fun. So, suffice it to say, we have no delusions about each other’s need to be coddled. And that, I think, is as it should be.
However, despite our freedom around each other, there are still lines one should never cross. For instance, one should never say to his or her spouse, “You’re a filthy pig.” Or “My Lord, if I’d known you were like this before we married, I’d have called it off.”
Now, I’m in no way inferring these are things I’d say to my spouse. No, things aren’t like that, but there are certain bounderies one isn’t allowed to cross no matter how intimate the relationship. They include, and this list is by no means a complete one:
- Their sexual acumen (the caveat here is that if the marriage is falling apart and this is the reason why; and then, this subject can only be broached at the behest of a highly-paid the-rapist.) (oh and yes, it IS indicative that I, as a man, would put this one first)
- The other’s abilities as a mother or father
- The fact that your spouse does, in fact, perform #2 in the bathroom and that also, it in fact, does NOT smell like flowers.
Now, in addition to these completely off-limit subjects, there is a gray area of subjects that one should watch out for. Depending on your particular relationship, these will almost undoubtedly cause an argument, but are usually NOT show-stoppers:
- Your spouse’s driving abilities
- Your spouse’s language when he or she gets mad
- Your spouse’s moodiness
- Your spouse’s abilities around the house (cooking, cleaning, fixing things, etc.)
So, last night my wife and I went over to her parents house for a dual-birthday celebration. Now, if we’re being honest, they’d throw a bash for my wife anyway, so the fact that my birthday is coming up and cannot be ignored is just dressing on the, um, cake so-to-speak.
Unfortunately, our youngest son (of 11 weeks) has been collicky for nigh on 8 weeks now and it appears to have peaked here recently, despite all the advice that it should be subsiding by now. He was already screaming his head off by 6 p.m. and despite my attempt at heading off what was sure to be a “fun night had by all with the screaming youngin'” my wife insisted that we ALL go to her folks since most everyone that lives locally (11 people) would be there.
Sure enough, the baby screamed all the way over and didn’t stop all through dinner where a few of us took turns watching him. I went in and relieved everyone because I have a couple of tricks that usually work, as long as you’re willing to put him right to bed afterwards. Since by this time it was 7:30 p.m. I got in the car, turned up the white noise on a blank radio station and took off for a drive. I was stopped in the driveway by my wife, who pleaded for me to come inside and “open presents.”
Now, the part of me that at this point was really frustrated by the whole thing (and did I mention that her dad keeps the house at like 77 degrees, which for a screaming baby who is already hot, is REALLY HOT?), wanted to say something really nasty, but instead I said, “We are parents of a colicky baby, tough shit!” And drove off.
As I drove off, I reflected on my decision to say this and figured it would go one of two ways:
1. It would really piss her off that I cursed
2. She would stop, realize that her first responsibility is to her child, and realize I’m right
Luckily, the baby stopped crying within 2 minutes of my little driving-radio trick and my wife does appear to have gotten the message. Yes, things were tense afterwards, but it could have been worse.
Sometimes I think, we all need a little kick-in-the-pants to reorient ourselves regarding our responsibilities in life. I know I do.