Married or not, many relationships require each partner to make sacrifices at some time or another. In our recent session on the couch, we drummed up thoughts about things we tend to give up to make the other person content and keep a peaceful marriage. Thus, the following is a recount of things we each want, but cannot have thanks to each other. It really is a vicious cycle.
She Says: There Is Always A “Yes” Somewhere Behind a Man’s “No” … So I Keep At It
Compromise. When I first got engaged, everyone told me that it is compromise that makes the marriage work. What a little piss ant of a word for such a ginormoous responsibility.
Every morning, noon, and night I have to be – er, I mean, get to be – conscious of my husband and his needs. In the olden days, when I was single, I would walk around the house buck neked after a shower. Today, the blinds are slammed closed as I am lectured about the dangers of peeping toms. In the olden days, I could manage a lazy Sunday going about my own business watching Dirty Dancing (R.I.P. Johnny Castle) or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off at my leisure. Today, Sundays are preoccupied with a husband pacing the living room floor in his Vikings jersey as he either curses or applauds his team.
More often than not, I rarely hear about the perils of sacrifice from other married couples. But because I am not a member of any of those other married couples, I will proceed to share (aka bitch) about the top three things that are off limits now that I have a life partner. And yes, these are in order of things that I throw the biggest tantrum about due to my high level of desire for them:
1. A miniature pot belly pig. I mean, have you seen these things?
First off, I have allergies and have never had the luxury of smooshing my face into the soft fur of a cat, or wrestling with a brand new puppy. I break out in hives and wheeze like a big loser. So when I saw these little porkers a few months ago, I fell in love knowing that a miniature pot belly pig would perhaps be my only chance loving a pet without dying – literally.
However, one mention of it to my husband and it was all over. I tried everything. I named the potential pet Lolly to try to get him more attached to the idea of a new family member. I begged for three days straight. I even said I would suddenly end up “accidently” pregnant. After all, if he didn’t want a pig, I’d need something to love.
The only response that I continue to get? “The only pig that will be in this house … the bacon I eat for breakfast.” Sad, I know.
2. The remote control. Now, before you say “get over it, it’s a remote,” let me shed some light on my complaint. If my husband is watching TV, alone or with me, the remote absolutely 100% must be in his possession. His obsession with the remote is so bad, I actually had to wait until he left for work one morning to sit down and learn how to use it and our DVR. Before that day, I can honestly say I didn’t even know what it looked like. And even though I know how to use it, I still have to make requests to him to watch a certain show, to turn the volume up or down, or to record Oprah for me most of the time.
Now perhaps this doesn’t sound so bad. And to be honest, it isn’t the end of the world since I’m not a big TV person. But the mere fact that my husband demands I hand over the remote every time we sit to watch a show is pretty damn annoying. I mean, what does it matter that it lays on the table closest to me? But what has become even more annoying is that he wouldn’t always just hold the remote. Some days, he – brace yourself – actually chews on the end of it while watching TV. Still not that bad, you say? Well, what if I told you he tends to use the button side to scratch body parts? Face. Foot. The back of his neck. You name it, our remote buttons have seen a lot of action.
Don’t believe me? Just last week I got so fed up with knowing our remote was basically a petri dish of god knows what, I sprayed the hell out of it with Lysol. Later that night, as we sat to watch an episode of Family Guy, my husband takes one look at me – tongue hanging out of his mouth, eyes squenched like he’d just eaten an whole lemon – and said “did you clean the remote or something?” Yes, he’d once again shoved the end of it in his mouth only to be met with the raunchy taste of cleaner. I laugh just thinking about it.
3. Shoes. I have to be nice on this one because I still do purchase shoes. Just not in the quantity and frequency that I’d like to. At one of my most proud moments, I owned over 300 pairs. My mother called me Imelda Marcos. I beamed every time she said it.
My husband, however, just shakes his head. That shake alone lets me know that bringing home a new pair of shoes is better left unmentioned. Therefore, I now know the importance of the three p’s of shoe shopping: purchase, protect, and produce. As in buy ‘em, hide ‘em, and then sport ‘em when there’s little likelihood they’ll be noticed. Soon enough, I’ll have worn them enough that they’ll be just like any other shoe.
After all is said and done, sure, these things pale in comparison to what some people may want out of their partners. But the day I get a pig, new shoes, and am allowed to hold the remote any time I want will be the day hell freezes over. Which makes me want all three of them that much more.
He Says: Allah Forbid You Should Have!
When my wife proposed the latest blog topic, I was stumped. I couldn’t think of anything. I racked my brain and could not think of one thing that I wanted, but couldn’t have because my wife wouldn’t let me. Now don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of things that I would like to have, but don’t. There are also a large number of things that I would probably have if I wasn’t currently married, but the decision not to have them are a mix of joint decisions, wise financial insight, and a realization (with some help) that I am probably better off without them. And I know what some of you meat-head males are thinking: “There’s nothing you want that you can’t have now that you have staunch monogamous attachment?” Well, ignoring the redundancy of your question, the answer is no. Nothing. Not even a threesome course dinner prepared the moment I get home from work or an anally retentive clean house. There is nothing. Really.
(Quick aside: If you got the reference in the blog title, then you’re a bigger Disney movie dork than I am. My favorite movie of all time? Robin Hood. Hands down.)
Again, there are plenty of things that I have given up in order to make this relationship become as wonderful as it is, as I know there are also countless things my wife has sacrificed as well in order to remain blissfully in love. But in my mind, these things are different than that which we set out to write. Our intention was to write about the three things we want that our spouse won’t let us have. And truthfully, there is nothing that I want that my wife has put her foot down and said no. There is no breakfast bacon named Lolly that I can’t have because of the morganatic life I now live. (And no, I have not read “She Says” yet. But I am positive ugly old Lolly is on that list. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that Lolly is the sole reason this entry has been created).
Where does that leave us? I have nothing to say about this topic because there is nothing in my life that snugly fits into the criteria. Well, what kind of attorney would I be if I couldn’t carefully contort the words into a form more befitting? It’s all semantics right? (I think Einstein coined that phrase). So, rather than the three things I want that my wife won’t let me have, here are my two things that I would have if, god forbid, my wonderful wife had never entered into this joyous pilgrimage with me. Oh, and if I started Google.
I know; I am simultaneously a nerd and a prudish snob. What can I say? I will someday have this office. There will be a floor to ceiling bookcase with one of those rolling ladders used to grab the books that are really, really high. There will be an eye-level 48-inch flat-screen in order to watch the game, the news, or Best Week Ever (one of my sister’s favorite shows). There will be a wall mounted TV in case another game is playing at the same time. (And you didn’t have to ask. Of course this office wouldn’t work for Sundays in the fall or Thursday through Sunday in March. There will be a man cave in the basement with a fully stocked bar for those days. We’ll get to that). If you stop by my office, you will be invited in to sit on my leather couch. If music is your cup of tea, I can quickly consume the room with the majestic sound of Canzonetta sull’aria or Single Ladies. To make sure you aren’t left wanting, I will immediately offer you a glass of 1982 Château Lafite and a Cuban hand-rolled in-house by my personal torcedores. How dare you call me a prudish snob.
Due to the economy, the need to be fiscally responsible, and the fact that the Vikings are so good this year they’re on national television practically every week anyway, the Buri’s Couch is no longer playing NFL Sunday Ticket. However, if I was somehow unfortunately single, my basement would be a magnificent sanctuary to enjoy the sporting world. Four TVs would adorn the far wall. To your right would run a 15-foot bartop. Behind it a fully stocked bar. On the left wall runs a full-length shuffle board table. A dartboard with metal-tipped darts immediately to its right. Directly in front of the TVs are a wide assortment of the most comfortable couches and chairs imaginable. Behind those couches are two high-top tables with chairs and a poker table. Sitting on the wall next to the poker table is a telephone. Pick it up. It’s connected directly to my Vegas bookie. Immediately behind these tables is a perfectly level and oiled foosball table and beautiful pool table. What’s that smell you ask? Oh, that’s simply the house chef cooking up any meat you could possibly dream of. Burgers, dogs, brats, chicken, turkey, ham, pepperoni, beef, steak, pork, sausage, ribs, salami, wings, rinds, goat, frog, kanga, scorpion, bat. He does it all. (And yes, I have had every kind of meat just listed). This wonderful Elysian Fields will be able to provide any sports game imaginable. You want to catch the Dockers play the Geelong Cats? We got it. Nowhere to watch the All Blacks match against Papa New Guinea? Come on over. Dying for a place to show the World Footbag Association championship? You know it. And to top it all off, all guests will be offered their own headset in order to listen to the television of their choice. While everyone is enthralled by the First Round upset of IUPUI over top-seeded UNC, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to listen UCLA’s 40-point blowout of FAMU.
So there you have it. Those are the two incredibly small things that I have always wanted that my wife forbid me to have ever since we entered into this nuptial peregrination. The shackles run deep.