People talk about how to keep a marriage fresh. My suggestion, after almost 30 years of marriage?
This way, you two can keep arguing about the same things, just as bitterly as you did when you were kids!
In our case:
Whether it is hot in here, or cold in here.
Whether or not I will be able to fix any given broken thing around the house.
Whether or not I am “cheap,” even though we have spent exactly every cent we have ever earned.
Whether or not I am a “bad driver,” even though I’ve been the near-exclusive driver on countless cross-country road trips without a single accident or even memorable near-accident.
Which route to take anywhere around Chicago (and, whether it’s worth it to second-guess the driver).
On a short ride, whether or not it’s okay not to buckle your seatbelt and to let the seat belt warning ring insistently for a minute or two.
Whether or not I like chicken.
Whether or not it’s okay to put ketchup on a hot dog.
How much onion “looks like too much” onion, atop a gigantic pile of other ingredients.
Whether or not I could sneeze (or barf) more quietly, if I wanted to.
Whether or not we need a souvenir from every homely hamlet we visit.
Whether or not it is necessary to throw the extra internal door lock at the Hampton Inn in Galena, Illinois.
Somehow, she “hates” Dire Straits. Somehow, I have had about enough of Stevie Wonder. Who is more in the wrong?
Whether or not it matters that our college-age daughter’s room is an unmitigated shithole. And whether it’s possible to teach a young person these days “the value of a dollar.”
Whether or not I should wear hipper dungarees.
The merits of zombie movies, dystopian shows, “housewives” type shows.
Avatar. Or is it, “Those boring-ass movies with the blue people”?
Whether or not I would benefit from reading more fiction.
Whether or not spouses should tell one another what to read.
Whether or not we need a new dog.
Whether or not we need a gym membership; whether or not we would use a rowing machine.
And so on and so forth.
Look, I realize this litany gives you the sense that we don’t agree on anything. Quite the opposite! If I can sit here and identify these specific things we disagree on, try to imagine the number of sensibilities we’ve come to share. And people we love in common. (And those we loathe.) And other mutual no-brainers, like never going to anyone’s house for dinner on a Sunday night and never saying “bless you” because it’s not the Bubonic Plague.
And ultimately, we each operate on the same theme: After being married to me all these years, how could you still be so goddamn dumb?
But seriously: How do you hate Dire Straits?