What I’ve Learned

My husband and I recently celebrated our wedding anniversary. After sixteen years, I’ve discovered a few things about him and marriage in general. Namely, that I started out married to a perfect stranger. The following are ten things I’ve learned about my spouse in sixteen years.

1. Do not, under any circumstances, wake him up even if he asks me to. I naïvely agreed once and it was clear that he needed sleep first. I would rather wake up hibernating bears because I don’t have to live with bears.

2. It’s better to give than receive; the short version anyway. He doesn’t appreciate the details the way I do. He prefers that I get to the point quickly. Not because he’ll lose interest, just his patience in waiting to hear the end.

3. Know where the car rental insurance is at all times. When we were newlyweds we had rented a vehicle on a trip and ran into trouble on the freeway. The worst kind; the rental insurance paperwork was missing! It was my fault because…I was the passenger, but when we returned to our hotel, I caught that “look” on my groom’s face. The “busted” one. We locked eyes and he mumbled that he found the paperwork. It was underneath his seat the whole day.

4. He doesn’t like barbeque sauce after all. For several years I thought my husband liked it. I had no reason to think otherwise since he suggested we eat at KC Masterpiece’s barbeque restaurant while in Kansas City. Years later he said he didn’t like the stuff. When I mentioned the barbeque he ate at KC Masterpiece, he explained he only thought we should go there because they’re famous for their barbeque sauce.

5. Do not dump major problems on him when he gets home. He needs transition time to get his bearings and explains why I’m usually lost whenever I get home.

6. It’s not necessary to tell him everything. This is a challenge for me. If a ranch or house problem arises that he isn’t around to fix and I manage to resolve it on my own, he doesn’t want to hear the play-by-play of the dilemma. When I start explaining, he assumes I’m telling him because it’s unresolved.

7. The fancy gifts I received during courtship were solely for the purpose of wooing. The maintenance gifts (cards, flowers, etc.) sounded appealing to him, so he proposed marriage in order to save money, and reserved pricey gift-giving for special occasions, like our child’s braces.

8. If I ask what he thinks about a meal I’ve prepared and he says, “It’s okay,” that’s politeness code meaning I made a dish he’s not likely to request.

9. He’s a man of his word. When he casually talks about doing an unusual project, I believe him. Especially after he cut the top off the Explorer SUV to make it into a pickup and I didn’t take him seriously.

10. My secret weapon to dissolve an argument is to comfort him. His favorite comfort food is hamburger with pork and beans, and a side of cream corn from a can.

After spending 5,840 days together, I’ve gotten to know my husband pretty well and he doesn’t seem so strange. What’s strange is finding a stash of expired cans of cream corn and pork and beans. Must’ve been a good sale.

originally published June 20-26, 2010

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *