Last Saturday, the wife came down the stairs from the bedrooms where the children were milling about, damaging another piece of furniture or testing their theories with gravity on neighbors walking by our home. I'd just served breakfast to your guests at the B&B, taken a shower and read to tackle the day.
"Merry Christmas!" To my wife I exclaimed. Walking by me without even a glance, she said sternly,
"It's not Christmas." With a pause, I thought through my response very carefully, then stated, "Merry Christmas Eve!" hoping to spread this positive embrace I had for the day.
That didn't work. She proceeded to pour herself a refill of mediocre coffee we insist on torturing ourselves with everyday. She turns around, looks at me, "this place is a mess, we have to clean it up."
I looked around, and like a good husband responded appropriately, "I think it looks OK. Who cares, no one's coming over."
Did you get that? There was no "yes dear" or "you're right, we should spend the next four hours before church cleaning 2,400 square feet of sticky fingerprints, spilt sopita and removing hundreds of Lego's forcefully lodged into unnatural crevices in all the furniture." And no, I don't have a death wish or enjoy flying dishes. Let me explain.
The wives Rule the home. It's that simple. Review the fine print of your local County Clerk's marriage application. You think I'm wrong? Ask your grandmother, mother or sister. Or even better, ask your wife. I double-dog-dare you.
Keep in mind this didn't just happened on the happiest day of your life - or the second, or the third. It was actually more like the 750th day. Remember that one Monday morning you woke up and she wasn't in a great mood? It wasn't that she under-slept or that her mother called again last night to discuss her new dog's sweater collection. It's all you - she'd finally reach the breaking point of you not following her daily suggestions including how to properly fill the dishwasher, mixing the colors with the whites, separating the bottles from the cans, vacuuming with the grain of the carpet, brushing in a circular pattern, not east-and-west. She's reached the boiling point.
What happens next? I call it the Coup. For some reason, women can remember everything - every action, comment, conversation whether sober, mildy inebriated or even in your sleep when you were having a discussion with Papa Smurf about existentialism. And so, when your wife reaches her breaking point, your perception of this domestic bliss is over. Be prepared for the List - she will, with exceptional memory recall, begin the Monologue.
So now think back, was there ever that moment when you were crouched over the bathtub trying to remove that 1/16 of an inch of dis-coloration that your wife insists is mold and you look up, look around and think to yourself, "when did this happen?" Now you know.
Let's steer this conversation back to why I responded to my wife in what could be construed as sado-masochism. Either I'm exceptionally stupid and don't know better, I enjoy a good fight no good reason, or I'm a low-level officer in the underground Husband Independent Movement (H.I.M.). I'd like to think the latter. But to be fair, it's more a combination of the first two options. Will I ever learn? I doubt it - being married for a man can mean many things; a good and dutiful husband, a caring and observant father. But what makes a marriage fun? Well, for me I think I've already explained. I wonder if anyone else feels the same way.