Last Valentine’s Day, the Man I Married and I celebrated the 25th anniversary of our engagement, when MIM put my own ring—inherited from my grandmother—on my finger while we camped in a borrowed tent on a free beach. To celebrate the quarter-century millstone, I mean milestone, we foisted the Little Monster off for a night onto The Agitator and Kansas (my brother and his wife). MIM and I hadn’t had a night together without the Little Monster in almost three years, when his Ohio grandparents watched him while MIM and I had a wild and woolly night in Toledo after an Ohio Turnpike scenic drive (the same scene for the entire length of Ohio). Unlike in Seattle, where you can’t throw a hemp grocery tote without hitting a Prius (although it’s usually a Prius hitting a pedestrian, since nobody can hear them coming as they make forays to purchase medical marijuana or hunt for mushrooms), we saw exactly one Prius, a vintage model, the entire cross-state trip and back. Other than that observation, much of that weekend is a pleasant blank, as Toledo and the Turnpike tend to be.Read More »
Recently I said something to the Man I Married, and he countered that he was about to say the same thing.
I said, “We’ve been married too long. Maybe we should split up.”
He said, “You first.”
I shrugged while unloading the dishwasher. “Nah, I’m not splitting up.” I couldn’t imagine the effort that would involve.
He looked up from his magazine. “Me, neither.” He blew his nose.
This hotbed of passion is just one of the many reasons why we remain husband and wife.
I said, “We should try something new, though. How about if we respond nicely and respectfully to what the other one says?”
He said, “Wow, that’s extreme.”
You see, last month the Man I Married and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary, as well as the 24th anniversary of the day we met. After nearly a quarter century together (at the half our lives point), we do tend to forget our manners with each other.
Then he said, “Well, okay. But what if the other person doesn’t?”
I said, “Then we say, ‘Would you like to rephrase that, please?’”
He gave it his usual, doubtful. “Huh.” He uses this one a lot, along with, “I am confused,” which translates to, “I think that what you’ve just said or done is really stupid and I want you to know it without coming out and saying it.” Which I suppose is a courtesy of sorts.
Although such drastic measures could lead to us splitting up (this would be like having an affair with someone else), we decided to give it a try.
A month later, though, I realized we’d never once tried it. I would have forgotten about it if I hadn’t written it down. So here’s to another quarter century, since it doesn’t look like we’ll be rocking the boat with new behaviors.
By the way, what do you suppose we did for our 23rd wedding anniversary?
We went to Mac’s Pear Orchard, of course. After giving me detailed instructions on what to do if the one million bees now living there attacked me (something realistic , like “Stand still and don’t move”), MIM weed-whacked, I read a book, and the Little Monster ran free. Then we ate pastries in the sun. I was told that the water main to the barn had been turned off, so we drank warm tonic water, the only liquid we could find (if push came to shove, I would not mind warm tonic water with warm gin, but on its own, not so much). MIM had set the coffee on an old truck bumper, and the Little Monster accidentally lowered the tailgate, smashing the coffee cup flat. MIM held up the accordioned cup and said, “I am confused.” Which is exactly what I said later when I turned on the tap in the barn sink, to be greeted by a nice, steady flow of fresh well water that we could have sipped with our pastries.
MIM said, “Huh.”
As far as the bees go, I guess the Wassail chant, “We need more bees, please!” that reverberated through the orchard on the spring solstice worked (see 4/1/11 post). There are now about 80 bee boxes containing 80,000 bees each. Kind of makes the 100 mason bees in my salad drawer last year pale in comparison.