Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Marriage: The Great Equalizer

The second amendment is alive and well in our house, and that’s because my dutiful husband has started working out again. That means that he exercises his right to walk around the house, bearing his arms, flexing his biceps, asking me if I knew that the gun show was in town.

“BOOM!” he shouts at the top of his lungs, flexing both arms and holding a one-man pose-down in the kitchen. I’ve learned not to react, not to encourage him. I can’t even say something like, “Put the safety on and come to dinner, please.” Doing so only leads to statements like:

“Do you have any duct tape? Because I’m ripped!”
“Do you have any dirty laundry? Just put it here on my washboard.”

Give me strength. (No pun intended.)

There was a lot of this going on during our recent vacation together, which is another blog post entirely, as the painful emotional and mental machinations we go through to get through a flight or a road trip without my trying to leap from whatever vehicle we’re in will no doubt make for some good reading. In short, by the time it’s all over, one of us decides we’re not speaking to the other ever again. Don’t we sound like a lot of fun?

So we were sitting on a tarmac, delayed (as usual) from Chicago to New York, which is always a long, boring story. Alex had already regaled me with talk of his muscles to the point that even he was bored with the whole schtik. And we had already perused the SkyMall magazine, making fun of it throughout, and asking the same question we always ask: “Who actually buys this stuff?” (If it’s you, please write in and tell me how you’re enjoying your Deluxe Jewelry Chest in acrylic, your Embossed Jean Jacket, or your Wonder Woman Cuff Bracelet.)

Switching to the in-flight magazine, I saw Alex flip to the Sudoku puzzle, a first for him. Twenty minutes later, I looked over at the same, blank puzzle. Twisting his pen, scratching his face, he was obviously pained about the whole thing. I took a look over his shoulder and casually entered some numbers—in pen, an event that irked him so that that veins in his forehead were blocking the exit rows.

“Wait!” he cried, snatching the magazine away from my reach. “How do you know that’s even right?”
“You don’t, it’s just an educated guess based on the rest of the numbers.”
“But it could be wrong.”

I left him to his self-torture for another twenty minutes, at which point I had to look again. Still no numbers. “If they had seen you doing these puzzles, they would have called them Slowdoku,” I said, tickled at my own joke. There it was: the point he stopped talking to me for the rest of the trip.

And this is basically what sums up our relationship, ourselves. Alex is afraid to make guesses, fearing they may be wrong, thus rendering the whole thing a failure. And I insist on just going ahead with the guessing, damn the consequences, because at least then you can go on to figure out if you’re right and fix what isn’t. I ask you, which is worse: A blank puzzle, or a messed up puzzle?

Am I oversimplifying everything? Probably. Is it kind of accurate? Absolutely.

It’s just anecdotal proof of what I already knew: That between the two of us, we’re almost a sane person. Without me, nothing would ever actually happen, and without him, all hell would be breaking loose. The silver lining is that we met, and that we both equally hate the Albany airport. It’s a start.


Laura said...

I think we should get our husbands together, so they can trade lame jokes.

They're moving, honey.


My bowels! Hahaha!

Did you hear they're staying together?


My balls! Hahaha!


Elfie33 said...

Your blog had me laughing, because I can so relate. My other half isn't speaking to me either. He thinks he can fix things...the word here is thinks. He can't...I still have dryer parts laying around after 2 yrs ago. This morning our water heater *died*...He got out his tools...I suggested he call a plumber...any plumber. He didn't, I have water leaking all over the kitchen..he isn't talking to me because I asked him if he knew what he's doing...I got the look...he's not talking to me and I'm gonna start building an ark.

Laura said...

I'm sorry--but you win with Slowdoku. That's the best joke--well, almost ever! xo

(PS--As you know, PB spends much time exercising that particular amendment in the driveway. The jokes aren't as good, though.)

Black Hockey Jesus said...

Your husband's funny. I like that kinda macho muscle humor. Guys are tough.

Verna Wilder said...

I love the line, "...between the two of us, we're almost a sane person." You still make me laugh out loud, Jody.

amy said...

i hearted this entry, jody. mostly because i think i'm alex and my husband is you. but this is just the nature of our relationship: i'm the one who sits on the couch with a beer in one hand, and the other hand down her pants (watching HGTV, yelling at the designers: "What?! Petruse?!?! Who the hell paints a whole damn bedroom in PETRUSE in the 21st century!!") and he's the one in the kitchen emptying the dishwasher, trying to find something to whip up into something gourmet-like, grumbling about how he has to do everything (EVERYTHING).

Actually, i think the only difference here is that (a) neither my husband or i walk around bragging about our body weaponry (neither of us have any) and (b) we both try to see how many cute but loving insults we can think up for each other.

though not on planes or other types of road trips. because usually, on road trips, i'm just a bitch. a flat-out, how-many-annoying-people-can-i-possibly-run-into-
living-hell bitch. and then he chastises me (like my dad), and then i have to remind him he's acting like my dad, and then we stop speaking.

you guys sound like you have way more fun getting to that point.

i've never been to the albany airport, but i have been through chicago's o'hare, atlanta's hartsfield-jackson, and the phoenix airport many times. none of which i'd use the term "relaxing experience" to describe. there's a conspiracy amongst airport companies with that, i just know it.