I’m tucked away in my office, listening in on my husband’s conference call. I’m not trying to be a Nosy Nellie, but he’s on speakerphone down the hall, and I have ears. Also, I would very much like to go use the blender, but I’m guessing that would be bad marital etiquette.
His voice his calm and measured. But I can tell he’s mad as hell. Like, “Ima burn down your cubicle with you sittin’ in it” angry.
I guess this is a symptom of marriage. Not the plotting homicide part. The “I know what you’re really thinking” part. You spend so much time with someone that you learn the subtleties of their language. Verbal language, sure. But tone and delivery and timing and holy crap, don’t even get me started on body language.
I freely admit I’m a novice at this whole marriage thing. It’s been 4 years and I still have moments of wondering when this person is going to go home. But one of the real joys so far has been getting to truly know this amazing, interesting, textured person.
He’s introduced me to new things about myself, too. I was not fully aware of how completely psychokitty I can be when I’m exhausted. Now, he reads my signs and I see his signals. I start to tired clean, and he physically points me in the direction of the bedroom. He’s kind yet firm, and I realize, “Oh, he means business and I’m too tired to do anything that will end well.” We have a system. A shorthand.
In the past, when I’d broken up with boyfriends, I would mourn the shorthand and the inside jokes. But I had no idea. Dating – and I once dated a guy for 7 years – offers the Cliffs Notes of couple shorthand. Marriage is more of an Encyclopedia Britannica. Do either of this publications still exist, or do they now collectively go by the moniker “Wikipedia?”
At any rate, I will stick with my old-school references and my old-school thoughts about marriage. It’s a privilege. And I married well. And if he does burn somebody’s cubicle to the ground, I will bail him out.
I love that you've identified "tired clean" and the knowledge that no good will come from it. I was just sitting here looking around at my messy, everything-needs-a-scrubbing house and was going to get started on it. But it's 10 o'clock at night, and the only thing that will come from it is that I will get angry and probably stab My Mister when he comes home. So yeah, you basically just prevented a homicide. I think you deserve a medal or at the very least a sparkly tiara. And I just now learned I can't spell "homicide" as I had it all wrong with "homocide," which sounds mean towards gay people which I'm not, so now you're like a teacher and a civil rights agent. See all that you accomplished tonight! Go take a break. You've done enough for one night.
That's a gift, to read one another and be so responsive. What a sweet way to live together.
(and I like your title–Princess Bride!)