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Things I Love About Being Married

A man dies and goes to heaven.

When he gets to the pearly gates, he sees two lines. One line is marked for "Men Henpecked by Their Wives" and the other is marked "Men Not Henpecked by Their Wives."

The line of henpecked men stretches as far as the eye can see. Thousands - no millions - of badgered husbands stand in line waiting to meet St. Peter.

But the newly deceased man notices that the non-henpecked line only has one, lonely figure standing in it. The non-henpecked man's shoulders droop with resignation; he stares balefully at the ground and winces at every sudden noise. He shuffles his feet and plays nervously with the bottom on his ill-fitting sweater.

This lone man fascinates the new man in heaven, so he approaches. "How is it that you are the only man not bullied by your wife? Why, you're the very picture of henpecked; weak, wimpy and sniveling. Even I feel like picking on you. Tell me, why you, of all people, would be the only man standing in the non-henpecked line?"

The lonely man looks up with weak and watery eyes.

"This is where my wife told me to stand."

Here, then, are the things I love about being married.

1. Arbor Day.

Having a date on national holidays rules. No more suspicious stares from homophobic Grandma when I show up stag to yet another Christmas. Nobody calls the police anymore when I wander around the neighborhood in Spiderman Underoos on Halloween with my wife at my side. And I love no longer being volunteered to pick up holiday shifts, "because he ain't got nobody anyways."

2. Creepshow.

I'm no longer the creepiest creeper in the coffee shop because my manic and bitter desperation is gone. I can read the paper and write shitty poetry without the resentful lust of my wild-eyed staring bugging out the cute girls. Now, I live in a town with a women's college, so it's not like I don't notice the undergrads around the neighborhood. It's just that security no longer escorts me out because I won't stop staring at some poor girl while writing the word fuck on my arm with an Exacto knife. (Incidentally, I met my wife while she was a barista at my favorite coffee shop, though there were no razors involved.)

3. Form 45W29A.

If it's not between my elbows and my ass I can't find it. I once spent 17 years looking for my birth certificate. My important legal papers get filed on the passenger-side floorboard of my car. Meanwhile, my wife filed our taxes in two states, managing to keep the paperwork straight for four jobs, a new marriage, grad student status, student loan interest payments and six months of 1099 freelancing. She had 27 clearly marked documents and she knew what to do with them. Her organization was so incomprehensibly complex, fluid and beautiful to me that I felt like I was watching a virgin birth.

4. Felix da Housecat.

If there is an Odd Couple Theorem to describe the most opposite things in the universe, then you might be able to capture where my wife and I meet musically. I like thrash metal, early-90s rap, the Rolling Stones and Chicago Blues. My wife listens to Eastern European pop, house and Justin Timberlake. Road trips are long silent stretches between NPR stations. But once in a blue moon, we discover an album or an artist we both like. It is a magical moment when we can both say, "Hey, this ain't bad." The happiest time in my life was the Some Girls stretch my wife went through.

5. Fourth Down.

Being married has made watching football sweeter. I never really cared much for football until we cohabitated. But being camped out with a beer and some nachos on a Sunday afternoon while being reminded that I should be doing something else - anything else - multiplies the pleasure quotient. Bears, Schmears, all I know is that I am not organizing whole grains in the pantry.

6. Commiserating with My Married Buddies.

It was so hard to sympathize with the marital problems of my homeys while I was seething with a lonely rage. "Dude, that sucks your wife wants you to pick up your socks. I HAVEN'T HAD SEX IN THREE YEARS YOU ASSHOLE. So yeah, maybe you should pick up your socks." My married cousins all think that I am way less of an uptight asshole now that I am married.

7. Three Hots and a Cot.

As a single man, I ate out of tuna cans at midnight, had ketchup sandwiches for breakfast and thought giardeniera was an essential mineral. Don't get me wrong, I ate and I ate well - that third chin didn't come from eating light - but I didn't eat off of plates if I could help it. My wife has civilized me; she's taught me how to properly season my food, eat at a regular hour and what shirtsleeves are (and are not) for.

8. Happy Birthday.

I don't have to plan my own birthday parties anymore. Once, I threw myself a huge bash that only Timmy and Steve showed up to. We sat in Welles Park, ate slices off paper plates and went home. My wife makes a big production out of making my cake every year and it makes me feel like I am 10 again.

9. Chicken Soup.

The worst part of being single for me was getting sick. There was no lonelier trip than going to Walgreens, stricken with the flu, to get myself soup and medicine. Being sick and not having the help I needed always made me realize just how fucking alone I was. When my wife serves me soup and tea in bed, I feel so nurtured that those lonely years just melt away.

10. Bust a Move.

I don't have to do any of that awkward dating shit anymore; no dancing, no talks about "boundaries," no hiding my strange dental obsessions. I don't have to pretend to like things I hate. I don't have to go out when I want to stay in. I don't have to be what I mistakenly thought a boyfriend should be. I can just be my sloppy, toothbrush-hating, cartoon-watching, dick joke self and be comfortable in my own skin. (Wow, re-reading this, I can't believe she actually married me).

11. My wife is hot. That's all there is to it.

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Comments welcome.

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Other Lists By Drew Adamek:
* Today's Syllabus
* Shit My Dad Says
* Work Weirdos
* Things I Miss About Chicago
* 20 Albums I Wish I Had Never Bought
* Their Chicago
* Cities I've Slept In
* My Favorite 1980s Chicago Radio Memories
* Why Milwaukee Rules
* Why I'm Glad I Don't Live In D.C. Anymore
* The Beer Goggle Recordings
* A List Of Reader Comments To Drew's Lists
* Life's Little Victories
* The Worst Jobs I've Ever Had
* Jobs For The Zombie Apocalypse
* Lemme Get A Bite Of That
* Lists I'll Never Write
* Things I Miss About My Imprisoned Best Friend
* Things I Miss About Being Single

Plus:
* Fan Note: Me & Metallica



Permalink

Posted on April 9, 2010


MUSIC - They Flirted With Disaster.
TV - A Quincy Top 10.
POLITICS - The Traitor Who Is A Great Patriot.
SPORTS - Gambling At The Grate.

BOOKS - Scientists Gone Rogue.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - A People's History Of Uptown.


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