Monday, February 17, 2020


Angie and I have been married about nine months.  We've both been previously married, so although I guess we're still technically newlyweds, we've also both had some marriage experience.

We just celebrated Valentine's Day, adapted it to our new blended family of dogs and cats and children, pregnancies and autism.  And in advance I think we agreed not to buy gifts, just go out to dinner and spend time together.  And this was a LITTLE different...a bit of a babymoon (yeah, I'd never heard of it either), a bit of a celebration of a year since I'd proposed, a hint of Valentine's I got her a little something.  Very little.

No big deal, but she and I had looked at these illustrations by this artist she followed on instagram, Yaoyao Ma Van As, and they were really cute.  It was mostly this woman and her dog doing different things.  She has a neat style though, and so we looked through the instagram feed and she told me which ones she liked and I told her which ones I preferred.

Here's the illustrator and her work, for reference:

I'm getting forgetful.  These days if I don't strike while the iron's hot, or put a reminder in my phone, I'm forgetting.  So I bought a couple prints from the website and a couple frames from Amazon, and when they arrived I hid them in my special hiding place that I cannot reveal here lest it no longer be special.  Or hidden.  It wasn't a big expediture, just something I thought she'd like.

I'm a pretty good husband, I think.  Mostly.  There are times, however, that I nitpick.  And I recognize (after the fact mostly but sometimes as it's happening) that I'm doing it, but in the moment I'm helpless to stop myself.  I try to learn from it, try to recognize how petty it is, and stop doing it before the NEXT conversation, but sometimes it just bubbles up anyway.

Some past examples:  Paper towel roll tears off the wrong direction on the vertical rod, vegetable peeler belongs in a different drawer, toilet lid shut sounds like it's slamming, and many many more.  I'm not saying I'm constantly peppering her with these things.  I'm honestly not.  But I see old married couples do this all the time, and as a bystander it annoys me, so I KNOW I need to chill the fuck out about it.  Also, for the most part I think I'm pretty good about recognizing it and apologizing for making a big deal out of nothing and trying to do better.

And on Angie's side, she typically hears my ridiculous "complaint" and does whatever unimportant thing I took issue with "my" way because she really doesn't give a shit, and one way is just as good as another so what's the harm?  And honestly thank god for her and for that, because it would be super easy for her to be pissed about it and then we'd be arguing about the least important shit and I'd have to apologize.  And I'd hate to let our streak of *checks notes* two years and five months without an argument go to waste.  From her perspective, she's been living alone long enough that she isn't concerned with things like "making too much noise closing a toilet lid".  So she says she recognizes not every habit adapts perfectly to living with three other humans, her dog and a cat.

So we've lived together for 11 months, and I'm getting used to her habits and she's getting used to mine.  And if you're worried that perhaps Angie is getting steamrolled in this relationship, bullied into doing things the Jim Walter way, please don't.  Angie holds her own just fine. 

I got her two inexpensive prints for Valentine's Day and we had dinner together and spend the night downtown and explored Lawrenceville the next day and it was so much fun.  And Angie wasn't caught flat-footed by my gifts despite my springing them on her at the last minute.  Not to be outdone, I had my own gift to unwrap on Valentine's Day.

A soft close toilet seat.

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