Day 1: Dispatches from the First Year of Marriage

January 15th, 2016

Jon and Phoebe

This is him.

I‘m taking part in a 30-day writing experiment. The theme for me is “personal, not pretty.” See Kale & Cigarettes for details and the Facebook Group to read stories by other 500-words-ers.

The other night my husband and I got into it about the thermostat. This is the age-old quintessential married-couple argument, and I am a perfect embodiment of the stereotype of a woman who is always too cold for no good reason. My husband, on the other hand, is a skier. So basically, anything above the temperature of snow is too hot for him.

Our compromise is that we keep our thermostat at 66 degrees. If I lived by myself, the thermostat would be set at 85 year-round. I mean, as far as I’m concerned, 70 is the freezing point of water. But when you’re married, it turns out, you have to compromise. So, my husband decides upon the temperature of the thermostat setting (the truth is, I don’t know how to reprogram it) and I decide that we spend $6 a carton on grass-fed organic milk for the girls. 

I am 44 years old and have been married for 6 months. This is my first marriage, and it kind of took me by surprise. I never really cared about getting married, although I’ve always cared very deeply about monogamy, commitment, and family. I dated a lot of guys who gave those principles due lip service, but their heart wasn’t really in it. Either that, or to be fair, we just weren’t right for each other.

My husband, on the other hand, is all in. He is Mr. Monogamy. I love this about him. I also love that he has this sort of Ward Cleaver sensibility about him. He is not really a complicated person. But yet, he has this quirkiness that makes him weird, and weird is the number one thing I look for in a man. Sometimes things come out of his mouth that make me laugh so hard, and he wasn’t even trying to be funny. I’m not laughing at him; I’m laughing because of him.

The other thing I look for in a man is an absolute commitment to taking care of me when I’m old. And my husband takes care of old people for a living — he’s an RN — so. I feel like he’ll be pretty good at that. 

Still, marriage is hard, especially when you have twins that are a year old. We do our fair share of fighting. Mostly about dumb things like the thermostat setting or which is more gross: a cat sitting on top of the laundry or a dog burrowing down into it and sleeping there for hours. Yes the old dog-versus-cat argument is another popular one in our household.

Like a dog, my husband is happiest when everything is just humming along like normal. And like a cat, I am deeply suspicious of “normal” and always looking to throw a half-dead bird into the mix. This is a bad metaphor, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, I am just grateful to be able to participate in this age-old dance.

Share Button

5 Responses to “Day 1: Dispatches from the First Year of Marriage”

  1. Tom says:

    That last metaphor was perfect. Although only someone who knows cats could really understand it.

  2. Anna says:

    I so appreciate your public honesty. Know what I mean? Thanks!

  3. Margaret says:

    My husband is also a hard wired monogamist. But, our dog did leave a squirrel by the door last week. That created a little dissonance as you can imagine.

  4. jennifer says:

    Love your writing. I just read all your posts at once and they gave me such good, loud laughs. I cant find you on ig, though. Tell me, what’s your account? I’d love to see your photos too

Leave a Reply