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24 March 2006

To have and to hold, though b***ching and nagging...

One of my co-workers has an annoying wife. His words, not mine. Apparently, he got several calls during the course of the day yesterday and she was nagging him about something. All he wants to do on the weekends is go fishing, but I guess she has a whole laundry list of stuff that needs done.

"This is what you have to look forward to when you get married," he says. But then he's quick to say "Of course, it might be different for you. But for me and everyone else I know, there's the nagging. Always the nagging. He probably still sees you as a girlfriend, but it all changes once you get married." Two minutes later: "Seriously, though, I wish you two the best."

Oh. Kay. Thanks for the encouraging words.

When I met Steven, I was living with my older sister and her two kids in my grandparents house. When I was living on my own, I kept a clean house. Except when it comes to laundry. I'd have the Leaning Tower of Dirty Clothes in my hamper, and when I would wash, I'd end up leaving them in the basket. With the intention of hanging them up, of course. Other than that, I kept a clean house. Living with two kids, the house was never clean. I was on my own again for a year before I moved in with Steven. And even before I moved in with him, I could tell that he was a slob. When I moved in with him, I was in it 24/7.

Oh, I would try to keep a clean house, but it was hard to do when he was leaving his stuff EVERYWHERE. He'd leave workout clothes draped over the chair in the kitchen. He would drape his dirty socks over the bar stools. If he bought something, he would take it out of the bag and leave the bag laying there. FOR WEEKS. I won't even talk about the times he would do his Maul stints, come home and leave EVERYTHING parked in the front room. Near the door. So that anybody who cared to come by would have to wade through it. I would almost panic when my parents would stop by because that entailed the fastest clean-up in history. When I was working a PT job at night, asked him to do something, come home and find it hadn't been done, I wanted to box his ears.

"I got busy doing...stuff," he would say.

What stuff? Surfing the net? Watching anime? Downloading movies? What stuff? Hell, I know what he does when he comes home from work and it's one of those three things. What made me so mad was the fact that 99% of the stuff was his. He was used to living like that--thanks to the woman that raised him: his grandmother--and used to living in a place that looked like a bomb went off.

When I would say "We really need to clean up this weekend", he would see it as nagging. Nagging? You think me saying "we really need to clean up this weekend" is nagging? "When are you going to clean out the bathroom sink after you blackened it washing off your make-up?" That's nagging. "When are you going to get that shit off our back porch? It's a friggin' fire hazard out there." That's nagging. "Get your smelly workout clothes off the damn kitchen chair. How many times do I have to tell you?." That's nagging. It was the way I was saying it, he told me one time. Apparently, I would deliver that line with a little bit of 'tude. Gee. Wonder why.

So, finally, I just stopped. I didn't say anything, ever again, about cleaning up. One day, our house looked like a hurricane had come thru. Twice. It was mostly his stuff and I wasn't going to pick up a damn thing. He's almost 30 yrs old, I shouldn't have to treat him like a little kid. He looked around and said, "I'm sorry, babe. I know the majority of this stuff is mine" -- by that time, ALL the crap was his, "I'll clean it up this weekend." And he did. Now, our house doesn't look like a hurricane. More like someone just sneezed real hard. But it's a major improvement.

*stepping down of the soap box*

Ahem. Now that I've gotten that off my chest, let me get to the point that somehow got lost in the shuffle. My co-worker and his wife have been together for 12 yrs, 4 as husband and wife. She had their son when she was 16 and he was 18.

Steven and I have been together 5 years, no children--and no future plans to have any.

When I get home from work--because Steven gets off an hour earlier than I do--he stops whatever's he's doing, gets up, gives me a kiss hello, a long hug, and asks "How was your day?"

Do they do that? My parents have been married for 30-40 some years and they still kiss each other hello.

Before I leave for work, Steven gives me a kiss goodbye, a hug, and says "I love you."

Do they do that? Again, my parents kiss each other goodbye.

If we're doing separate things--hangin' with the girls, hangin' with the guys, other events--we'll call each other and say "I'm on my way home." No matter how late.

Do they do that? And--shocker--my parents still do this as well. Although maybe not the late call thing.

It seems to me they lost this somewhere along the line. Or never had it in the first place. "This" meaning all the above. The little moments where you remember why you love this person, wanted to spend the rest of your life with this person. Maybe they never had the time to make the connection once they became parents at such a young age. I can tell you what I was doing at age 16 and it definitely wasn't birthin' no babies, Miss Scarlett.

I knew what I wanted in a relationship--in a marriage--because I had, and still have, a great example: my parents. So I waited. I waited 31 yrs, to be exact. No matter how many times he irritates me, doesn't understand the business of writing and being the owner of a small press, says or does something dorky and stupid...I will NEVER forget how he came into my life. I will NEVER forget why I fell in love with him. And I will NEVER forget why I wanted to marry him.

I feel very lucky to have him in my life and I hope he feels the same about me.
posted by GeminiWisdom @ 3:14 PM |

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