Even those of us in the best of matrimonial arrangements would likely agree that marriage can often be hard work. And my marriage is no exception. Only it’s a breeze for me. The hard work, it turns out, is all Caroline’s. Because I’m tough to stay hitched to. If for no other reason than a series of well-intended quirks that make me a bit…
But here’s thing: Caroline used to love these quirks. Sadly, now she doesn’t. See, this pregnancy has made my wife increasingly irritable. (In a sweet way, honey.) As such, she doesn’t have the patience she normally has. Which is bad news for me and my, um, proclivities. For they’re no longer deemed quirky and endearing. They’re deemed annoying. And here are the top 5:
- 1. I’m a Loser: Yep. It’s true. I lose stuff. A lot of stuff. Constantly. Sunglasses, cell phones, keys, credit cards. Even hair. I’ve been losing that left and right. Can’t find it anywhere. Anyway, at one point Caroline thought it was kinda cute: like “Oh, ha ha. The poor dumb boy needs help keeping up with his stuff.” But now she cannot stand it and is even convinced that my absent-mindedness is rubbing off on her. (Of course it is, honey. I’m sure it’s not the pregnancy or anything.)
- 2. King of the Recaps: After virtually every single thing we do, I have one question for my wife: Was that as fun, less fun or more fun than you were expecting? I could be asking about a dinner party, vacation, or even a dentist appointment. Generally speaking, I’m just curious. But she thinks it’s because I’m neurotic. Which I’m not. At least I don’t think I am. Oh my God! Wait! What if I am? Noooo. That’s silly. Of course I’m not. Right? I mean, am I? What do you think? Seriously, tell me.
- 3. Grill Insecurity: Actually, when it comes to grilling out, I’m anything but insecure. Because truth be told, I gots skillz on the grillz. It’s just that I like to get feedback. So whenever I cook dinner, I first go for the recap approach: Honey, was that chicken as good, not as good or better than you were expecting? But once she answers that with an I don’t know — leave me alone, then I pull out the ol’ 1 through 10. Okay fine, then just answer this. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being high, what would you rate the chicken you just ate?
- 4. Sports obsession: On our way down to Hilton Head for spring break, I literally spent 45 minutes on the phone (which, incidentally, is hard to do when you’re driving four kids and a pregnant wife through the mountains) in order to get XM radio set up in my wife’s car. You see, I would be in that car driving all night and Tennessee was playing Arkansas at 8:00 in the SEC tournament and it was only available on satellite radio — thus the need for XM. Later on that week, I got busted for planning various activities around the NCAA tourney games of interest. And Caroline was amazed at both of these things. Again, at one point, she was tolerant of such shenanigans. Now? Let’s just say she’s, um, not a good sport about it. (Sorry. That was horrible.)
- 5. The Name Game: If I ever meet you, there’s every bit of a one in three chance that I’ll call you by the wrong name. Multiple times. With the confidence of a game-show host. The sad thing is that I’m not very confident when it comes to names as I know I have a propensity to butcher them, but the way I see it, if I’m gonna call you Stacy instead of Sarah, I may as well come off all Chuck Woolery while doing it.
You know, now that I review my list, I think I better understand why it is that these things bother her so. Number one is obvious. Caroline’s starting to lose things, too, so whenever I do it, it’s extra annoying. And as far as the recap thing goes, who wants to revisit any activity done while pregnant? Very little is “fun” for Caroline these days. Similarly, the last thing my wife wants to do is to rate whatever it is she’s just eaten on a scale of 1 to 10. Especially since no matter how much she may have enjoyed it, it’s virtually guaranteed to give her heartburn later.
The sports deal makes sense, too. Caroline’s altered her entire world just to carry this baby. Therefore, she probably wonders why it is that I must continue to alter that world to make sure it coincides with various sporting events. And she has a point.
And the name thing? Well, that’s just flat-out embarrassing for her. Not to mention the fact that it likely brings out the frustration she feels with regard to our naming endeavors. (Incidentally, coming up with baby names would be easier if Caroline weren’t pregnant.)
So I get it why these things bother her now that she’s pregnant. But I do have one question: will they still bother her after the pregnancy? Because if so, I could be in trouble.
Oh well. I know one thing’s for sure. She’ll never leave me. Nor will I ever leave her. You see, we made a deal: whoever leaves gets the kids!