This month my parents will celebrate their 37th wedding anniversary. That’s a long time, no? I think my mom would want me to let everyone know they’ve been married way longer than I’ve been born. That’s very important to her. Probably because neither of her daughters can say the same about their marriages (Okay, fine, I forgot to marry the baby daddy. Whatever.). The point is, she and my daddy have been married for almost 40 years and that’s just unheard of in this day and age. Spending the last 34 years watching my parents’ marriage, I’ve learned a lot about relationships and what goes into a marriage like theirs. In honor of their anniversary, here are a few of the things I’ve learned:
- No matter how hilarious you think it is, your spouse will not find nicknames such as Fartacus, Gripe and Growl or Big Ole Mean Pudd endearing. It may, however, make her hold a pillow over your head until you stop breathing.
- If your husband is in his mid-30’s at the time you marry him, he’s probably figured out how to park a car, where to set the groceries when he comes in from the store, how to dress (that one might be a stretch) and what sort of jelly he likes (since he bought it and all). Yelling at him how to do all those things and making him take the jelly back and “get the brand he likes” is going to make him decide it’s totally worth not reporting you missing for a few days should you ever get the dementia and wander off. Expressing your undying hate for your mother-in-law and blaming her for all the things you hate about your husband-even after she’s been dead for 13 years-is kind of beating a dead horse at this point. Not that she was a horse. She was actually a very small woman. These actions may lead your husband to consider buying you a plot right next to her grave just for grins.
- Your daily affirmations that you hate the state and everyone from the state from which your wife (and the smartest, prettiest and most talented of your children) hails are not necessary anymore. We got it. Like, 30 years ago. You better hope your wife dies first, cause if not, guess where you’re getting planted when you die. Having the same fight over the same exact issue for almost 37 years might be an indicator that you’re never going to find a resolution, so maybe it’s time to drop it. It probably should’ve been dropped after year two.
- Don’t stay together for the kids. Seriously, the “kids” will grow up to be bitter and jaded about relationships and marriage and have no idea how normal people act. This may lead to the demise of her own marriage (well, this and other issues she won’t share since she and her ex-hubby are now good friends) and a string of failed relationships that make Elizabeth Taylor look like she’s got this whole “lasting love” thing totally figured out.
- Don’t call your youngest, prettiest, smartest and most talented child and tattle on each other. Daily. Because all she’s going to say is: “Really? Cause y’all have been married for almost 37 years and you act like you’re just now figuring this out about one another, yet you’ve been complaining about it for as long as I can remember. Don’t tell me, tell your spouse. Or get divorced. Because staying together for the kids? Is so not a valid excuse anymore. Plus, I’m the baby and the only reason I was put on this earth was to be loved and adored by my family and older siblings, so y’all are totally dropping the ball here.”
Yep, that’s right, my parents’ marriage has been a big guide of what-not-to-do. While it does make for some entertaining blog material and now I can look at them and laugh cause they’re in-freaking-sane, I sometimes wonder why they think it’s been worth making someone’s life a living hell for 37 years and why no one has ever left. Maybe somewhere deep, deep, really deep, down inside they love each other? Or maybe they’re just holding out to see if the other one will die first?
From time-to-time, they’ve tried to offer me relationship advice. The most recent tidbit was from my mother. She told me to act like the lady she knows I can be and not act like a “Yankee street woman” (whatever that means) with the man I’m currently dating, because what he needs is a good Southern lady. All I could think was, “Hmmm, were you acting like a good Southern lady when you threw that two liter glass Coke bottle at daddy, but missed and put a huge dent in the side of our brand new Buick?”
Yeah, whatever relationship advice they give me? I’m doing the opposite.
**Candance writes over at Crazy Texas Mommy. She is the white trash, southern belle single mom of two kids. She blogs about all the things you want to say about parenting, relationships and life, but have far too much couth to let pass your lips.