I know I usually start off the year with a recap, but who's really grading me on consistency anyway?
There was a flurry of posts about marriage a couple months back--I believe spurred by backlash against Seth Adam Smith's "Marriage Isn't For You" piece. A large majority of the pieces I read (including Mr. Smith's) were written by people who'd been married for a short period of time. Baby marriages, baby families. They seemed simultaneously full of hubris and desperately naive. They asserted a variety of viewpoints (marriage changes you! Marriage doesn't change you! Marriage is for your spouse and your children! Marriage is to honor God! Marriage is absolutely for you!), but all of them were in earnest. All of them made me uncomfortable.
The Boy* and I have been married for a year and five months. Marriage has changed our relationship in some ways--being 100% sure feels amazeballs--but the majority of changes and lessons and "hardships" have been borne from the mere fact that we didn't cohabitate until we tied the knot. Hopefully, a year and five months will be a mere 2% of our marriage, and I absolutely don't feel qualified to be giving anybody advice or announcing that I've learned any sort of actual lesson in this short amount of time.
And so I bring to you, Interested Party, "Lessons I've Learned From Marriage: It's Great? 10 Small Domestic Annoyances That Actually Have Nothing To Do With Marriage, Just Co-Habitation":
10) He left wet towels on the floor when he would come visit. He leaves wet towels on the floor now. This is an annoyance that will not change.
9) He picked up after me when he would come to visit. He picks up after me now. He never expects thanks, but I thank him anyway, because this is a quality I greatly appreciate.
8) He uses my shampoo, which makes him smell like a girl. I guess I've learned I don't mind. He always buys new stuff that I like, because he is thoughtful, which is another quality I greatly appreciate.
7) His shoes smell. Marriage stinks.
6) Despite showing him the proper way to fold t-shirts, he continues to fail to do so to my satisfaction. I've learned to stop caring about his t-shirts, and only worry about my own.
5) No one but myself, my mother, and my sister can load a dishwasher properly. This doesn't mean that when he does it "wrong" that the dishes won't get clean. Unless they don't. Because large bowls do not belong on the bottom rack.
4) He plays way more video games than I ever imagined. Men need time to themselves, you see. I probably read more blogs than he ever imagined. Women need time to themselves, you see.
3) He hates Christmas. Which isn't true, but he doesn't express the same sort of joy and does not celebrate in the same ways I do. A proper lesson would be that we should grow our Baby Family into having our own traditions. Reality is that I'm just going to force Christmas cheer down his grinchy throat until he learns to celebrate properly.
2) His little beard hairs get everywhere in the bathroom. If only I had been properly forewarned about this hardship.
1) Annoyingly, I've learned very little, other than that I have a lot to be grateful for. The Boy is great, marriage and cohabitation have been a breeze, and I am very happy. He's the best dude I've ever known, and it's a privilege to get to be his partner and live with him. Some people have a rough time of it, for all kinds of reasons, and we've managed to avoid those somehow. We're blessed in that way.
*At some point he should probably grow into a more mature title. "The Man" is dramatically patriarchal. "The Dude" is a moniker taken by a dude in a bathrobe. "Hubs" makes me want to vomit. We call each other "Buddy", that might work. We'll field test it.