How to be Married

Whatever you once thought about marriage, forget it. People have matrimony all wrong. It’s not about chapels, bouquets, or grooms’ cakes with deer antlers. Marriage is about vowing before God that you will hereby spend three quarters of your life painstakingly fussing about what’s for supper.

Look son, I know you think you’re marrying a girl. You’re not. What you’re really getting is someone with low blood sugar, unable to decide between butterbeans and Olive Garden.

It will go like this: the moment you awake, your wife rolls over, blowing her stink-breath into your innocent young face. “What do you want for supper tonight, dear?” she asks, like Scarlett O’Hara, who’s just polished off a can of oysters.

“How should I know?” you might say. “I just woke up.” Then, you roll onto your other side. There, your dog stares at you with even worse breath, saying, “Did you decide on supper yet, dork?”

The answer is no. It’s always no.

Besides, your wife only wants to hear your suggestions so she can answer, “Aw, I don’t want pizza, we just ate that last February.” And by that time, your moderate disagreement will mushroom into a full-blown discussion.

Which raises another issue. Married people don’t fight, we conduct “discussions.” This is especially true when one of us is about to get his teeth knocked in.

Also, during such “discussions,” you must never admit you’re “angry.” That’s not how married people talk. Explain instead that you’re “frustrated,” or perhaps, “unsettled.” Take Jamie, for instance, she hasn’t been angry in fifteen years. Not even when I backed the truck into the garage. Which unsettled the unholy piss out of her.

Also, within your repartee, refrain from using words like, “always,” or, “never.” Marriagewise, we refer to these as negative absolutes, and they will ALWAYS get your throat slit by a can opener.

A sample sentence not to use: “Jeezus, Jamie, why do you ALWAYS buy me the wrong kind of beer?” This should be retranslated into, “Can I come back inside now, it’s cold out here?”

To which her answer will be: no.

Not until you decide what we’re having for supper.

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