Even nearly four months after our wedding, the number one question people still ask is, "How's married life?"
Absolutely, positively, unbelievably, FANtastic! It’s been better than watching the Red Sox win the Series, better than cheese dip at Casa, better than twelve hours in line for Star Wars Episode I, better than Hillary losing in 2008! Heck, even better than actually getting a rebate back from Best Buy!
Having reunited last spring and gotten married so quickly, we're able to enjoy a lot of Firsts as husband and wife: First Halloween together, first Thanksgiving together, first Christmas together, first New Year's together, first new season of "24" together, and now, our first Valentine's Day together.
You might remember that my history with this day hasn't been on friendly terms. You would consider us spurned, even. If Valentine’s Day were a woman, I would have been calling her at 3 a.m. and hanging up when she answers, and making a mix tape consisting of nothing but R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts."
Since Val has also never had a true Valentine, I’m fairly sure that this will be the one we'll remember for the rest of our lives, until we die in a tragic parachuting accident at the age of 125 in Mongolia on Valentine’s Day. It’s not that our parachutes didn’t open. No one told us that landing in a field of tiny horses was so dangerous.
In the short time we’ve been able to enjoy having someone there to go to bed with every night, wake up next to every morning, talk back to the television with you on the couch and let you know when every single gray hair grows in, here’s a teeny tiny sampling thus far of What Marriage Means To Me:
- Letting her pick off my soft french fries.
- Muting commercials that annoy her (especially the Geico ad with Vern Troyer, horror movie previews and any of the scooter ads during "The Price is Right")
- Getting Chick-fil-A after work knowing it will pick up her day
- Telling her to call her parents and spend as much time as she wants on the phone, 'cause I know she misses them.
- Killing bugs without shrieking and crying (me, not her)
- Finding surprise love notes in the strangest places
- Opening jars and being made to feel super manly by her cooing
- When she reads the jokes from Reader's Digest during trips
- Her forgiving nature of my blog posts
Nearly four months into married life, I feel qualified to give my secret to a long and happy marriage: I'm always sorry, she never has to say she is. Val will say that it’s my rule, not hers, and sure, I’ll own it. (*wink)
Also in our short time as hubby and wifey, I’m quickly learning that marriage is about, well, learning.
For instance, the "what should I wear" trap is so beloved by comedians and columnists because it defines a major area of marriage: Making decisions. Sometimes, she really wants your opinion; she's stuck trying to figure out which of her six white turtlenecks to wear under one of her seven brown sweaters. Other times, she knows what she wants but wants YOU to figure it out. (Stand back! It's a trap! Quick, tell her to go with one because it reminds you of her big blue eyes; she'll wish you'd picked the other shirt, but be disarmed by the compliment!)
I am also learning (or, I should say, being taught without my consent, mostly by other men) that wives don't nag. After all, she asked me to clean the guest room and take out all the boxes to the trash. I agreed to do so. Nay, I volunteered to do so. If I haven't done so and she mentions my lack of finishing the task, she's merely reminding me of my obligation. Now, on the other hand, if I mention that we haven't finished writing thank you cards from the wedding, she knows she needs to but doesn't need me to remind her, and thus I am nagging and hey hon, do you need a foot rub?
I also discovered that spending time with other couples is fun and you begin to see single friends so little. Now I see why as a desperate single man I felt so left out around perfect pairs. They didn’t want to exclude me, but didn’t have anything to talk about with me and got tired of my constant "woe is me and why do potato chip crumbs stick to your shirt all day long" whining. Now I’m part of the club, and Team Valfrey has been welcomed as a valued, if amateur, member by friends and family.
Being married also has its perks, namely the power behind the rings when trying to get respect and attention. For instance, in public, referring to “my friend" doesn't sound so cool. "My wife" sounds dramatic and important. If you're at a restaurant and try to call for the waiter, saying, "My friend needs a drink," the server doesn't care, ignores you and wishes you hadn't eaten the garlic appetizer. But if they try that with, "My wife requires more water," then they know you mean business and don't screw with me and oh yeah, bring some extra frakin’ sauce for our chipotle chicken o'tenders, too.
All joking aside, most significantly, I’m learning that I really, really, enjoy being married to my darling Valerie, and taking on the job of husband and head of household has been extraordinarily fun and fulfilling.
February 28 will mark one year since we were reunited after nine years away from each other. The way a casual friendship turned into a great love story is far more than I ever imagined could happen, and it’s amazing to know that my newfound luck in love will never run out.
Happy Valentine’s Day, sweetheart!
(Hope you like this as your gift!)
(Crap. Now I need to get a bigger card. Probably one that sings, too. If you find one that has "Happy Together," I'll pay you back in triplicate!)