Last night, Steve and I had some friends over for dinner and drinks. This couple has been married for over twenty years. The following is part of a conversation I instigated with this very blog in mind. For the sake of anonymity, the man will be M and the woman, W.
Me (I will be me) to M: What do you like best about being married?
M (W was on the phone and not listening): The best thing is that I don't need to worry about things anymore.
Me: What do you mean; give some specifics.
M: Well, things like, ahhh, balancing the check book. Getting the wash done; mind you, I do the wash, too, but if I don't, I know it will still get done. And I don't have to ever answer the phone....or...ahhh...make the bed in the morning. And she is our social planner; takes care of all of our family and friends plans.
Me: Ahhhhh, well, ummm, anything about, let's say LOVE? What is the best part of marriage in regards to love?
M: Well, she completes me. She is the other half of me; she is what I'm not. She executes my dreams.
Me: Great, M, that’s really sweet. Now, what is the worst part of being married?
M: (Pause. Thinking.) Not doing my own thing. Like today. I really need to clean the garage and we did other things she wanted to do. I've got a lot of work to do. I wouldn't be here if I would have had my way. I'd be working on the house.
Me: Well, I'm glad she convinced you. I'm glad that you're here. You know M, sounds like a pretty good deal you have going....in return for not cleaning your garage today, you get your bed made, your wash done, and you get to complete yourself. Not a bad pay off! He laughed, and agreed.
So, on to W.
Me: W, what's the best part of being married?
W: Well, this is my family. He's my family. I love having this family.
Me: And what is the best part of that?
W: What do you think? (looking at me like I’m dense: another woman, hello?!) It's living with someone you love and respect. Look, if I were single, I wouldn't have this family, this love. And by the way, it's pretty good to have sex with a partner you completely trust.
M: (interrupting) Can I say something else?
Me: Of course.
M: W colored my hair yesterday out on the deck.
Me: Another perk of marriage?
Back to W.
Me: What's the worst part of being married for so many years?
W: We are both humans with our own ebbs and flows. We both have our own issues. You know, usually it’s our own issues that are the problem, not the relationship (Wow). You know, I think a lot of people have affairs to get away from their spouse’s annoying shortcomings. But of course that doesn't work for the long haul either, because we all have them. The human condition.
(Sometimes drinking inspires the profound.)
W: Can I just say about dying the hair? He won't spend money dying it at the salon and I wanted to even out the streaks. I left some grey, can you see? Come closer.
Interruption by M: How many words can you have in your blob? (on the other hand drinking can.....)
W (continuing): I thought that the best chance of non-salon success at hair coloring was for me to try my hand at it. And it looks really natural, don't you think? That’s why I left some grey; to look natural.
Me: It looks great. So, M, another perk of marriage: you get your hair dyed for free.
M: Yes, marriage is really great that way.
This concludes another view from my (well, M and W’s) married life.