Marital advice from a moron
True story: Shortly before I got married in June 2005, I was covering a minor-league baseball game and struck up a conversation with a reporter from the rival newspaper. I told the guy, who had a wife and kid at home, that my wedding was around the corner.
He was eager to offer some advice.
“Don’t get married,” he said (and not in the wink-wink, just-kiddin’-ya-buddy kind of way). “Life is never as good as it used to be once you’re married. You’ve always got to worry about making other people happy. Seriously — stay single.”
That guy was a moron — I dismissed his words of wisdom and got married 10 days later — but as far as this blog is concerned, the moron doling out free, take-it-to-the-bank marital advice is me.
I’m a self-proclaimed moron because I don’t know what really makes a marriage go well. Maybe the secret is being a 5-foot-8, 135-pound version of Ryan Gosling, which I am. (Side note: If you put a gun to my head and asked me if I’d rather spend the rest of my life with my wife or Ryan Gosling, I’d hesitate for 10 loooooong seconds before wishing my wife all the best despite her newfound loneliness.)
So even though I’m not an expert, I’m fairly sure that my 6.4 successful years of marriage are due to the fact that I strictly adhere to the following three rules:
1. Never go grocery shopping with someone who would prefer to make you sit in the cart.
My old roommate, Dusty, and I had grocery shopping down to an art form. Our strategy was this: Go to Safeway, get a cart and fill it with the things we want. The success rate was 100 percent. We never created a list, never forgot anything and never had a fight because one of us wandered away for five minutes while the other one had a question. (That question: “Where have you been?!”)
I would rather swim in a river of lava than go to the store with my wife. If she had her way, this would be me.
Avoid the trouble and tell your partner that you’re happy to be a solo shopper. As for me, if there’s ever a joint trip to the store, I just tell my wife to crack the windows and leave me in the car.
2. Wave the white flag, and wave it proudly.
If you’re married to someone whose memory is as good as my wife’s, then you know the sad, lonely feeling of being legitimately wrong about everything. I can’t remember half of the things I say, whereas my wife has a Rain Man-like mental catalog of what each kid in her first-grade class brought for show-and-tell every week.
Trying to win an argument with a person like that is like trying to chug a beer bong with your eyeballs — you’ll only end up embarrassed and smelly.
Whenever my wife and I are about to get into a verbal back-and-forth about who said what or who didn’t say what, she gets this smirk on her face. It’s a sweet look that says, “How stupid do you want me to make you look right now?”
Once I see the smirk, I know I’m toast. I immediately stop talking, concede victory and carry on eating my Lucky Charms. Giving up never tasted so good.
3. Vampires are indestructible, so don’t exhaust your energy trying to kill them off.
Some things are inescapable as a married person, and the best example is your spouse’s entertainment preferences. My wife and I have very similar taste — with one notable exception.
In the past three years, I have been subjected to four movies in the “Twilight” series, 49 episodes of “True Blood,” 66 episodes of “The Vampire Diaries,” and 145 soul-crushing episodes of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” (I wish I were making this up.)
All told, that’s more than 11 days worth of vampire-related garbage. You might say, “Well, 11 days is nothing in the scope of a six-year marriage,” to which I’d respond, “Up yours, assface.”
In the end, the best thing for your marriage is to let your spouse indulge his or her silly entertainment desires. And maybe if you’re lucky, a real vampire will break into your house and kill you. Win-win.