Apparently this is an ad on the back of Kentucky’s Leo Weekly.
Stress wears on the body as well as the mind. This week I peaked. And I crashed. Promises of staying up late with my wife for adult..um..conversation were broken. Just before my head hit the pillow, blackness engulfed me. I never felt the pillow. It was as if a blackhole sucked my total being from my body. Perhaps the HLC finally became operational and the world ended.
Our bed is Disneyesque. I don’t mean that it is a canopy bed with glorious antique wood bedposts extending to the ceiling nor a frilly thing with more pillows than bed space. Our bed more resembles Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory or Bedknobs and Broomsticks only we don’t fly ours that often. Typically I hit the sack first as Cathy finishes cleaning the upstairs and readying the children’s backpacks and clothing for morning. One or two hundred pound German Shepherds join me. Cathy comes to bed shortly after the dogs and complains that she has no where to put her feet. She wrestles the covers and nudges dogs hoping they roll over onto me which often they do. Having large dogs sleep on your legs is like having a stack of electric quilts and a boat anchor holding you in bed only without the electricity or the boat. It certainly does not encourage getting out of bed, rolling over, or doing anything conjugal. Next the cat wanders into the bed room. Both dogs stretch their necks pondering a chase but inevitability decide chasing the cat is not worth losing their valuable real estate on the bed. The cat then jumps onto the bed typically settling on top of my head ala Davy Crockett’s coon skin cap. Sometime between midnight and 2:30am, Evan sleepwalks into the bedroom, climbs over his mother, and cuddles up between the two of us. Later Amy comes into the room, shoves a dog more to the center of the bed, takes one of my two pillows, moves to the corner of the bed beneath Cathy’s feet, pulls the hospital corner out and gets under the covers between one dog, and Cathy’s feet. Flipping over, stretching legs, or working cramps out are out of the question.
Last night, that was our bed and I was dead to the world. For all I knew, I was alone. Until the shriek! The dogs and children had managed to short sheet us and it was cold! Cathy whined, no, almost screamed, "Give me a sheet!" I mutter under my breath and pretend to be asleep assuming a grown adult can get her own damned sheet. "AhhhahHHH! Get me a blanket!" she cried. For better or for worse. In sickness or health. For richer or poorer… Where the hell did it say anything about waking me from the deepest, best sleep of my life to walk to her side of the bed and cover her with a blanket?! I glowered at her; she writhed, whimpered, and cried and I caved but not without letting my displeasure be known. I rose with a grumble, squealed as my feet missed my slippers and landed on the cold concrete floor, muttered as I stomped to the chest of drawers on her side of the bed, cursed under my breath as I recovered a blanket, and said loving words as I covered her noting that I was still short sheeted and exposed to the basement chill. I returned to my side of the bed, pulled a dog over me, and blacked out.
Part of marriage is disagreement and conflict sometimes manifested in harsh, carelessly spoken, hurtful words. I like to think that Cathy and I keep these to a minimum but we had a spat yesterday. What threats do you idly throw about during an argument? Me? I told Cathy, "I am going to get an office job!" Is that normal?
Today’s advice: Don’t ever drop your jaw to the floor, bug your eyes out, and say out loud to your wife, "You’re f*&%ing crazy!" You can think it but the words that come from your lips should be, "Yes dear." (Using a British accent doesn’t make it any better unless you are John Cleese…)
I left one out of my Top 10 Ways to have a happy marriage. Marry someone with your same sleep schedule!
- Never let your wives find out about each other.
- Having a twin brother, never telling anyone, one works/one is at home, and the two of you can never be seen together.
- Lots of money. Because money can buy you happiness! And it can buy you love. But if you want happiness in marriage, never use your money to buy love.
- Nannies, babysitters, Mary Poppins, Oh My!
- Two houses. She should be living in the one you aren’t remodeling.
- Date nights! Just because you are married doesn’t mean you should quit dating. Get a babysitter for the children and act like you did before you said, "I do!" And don’t talk about todo lists, appointments, or other issues on your date!
- Remember small things add up. Leave a note, scrub a back, do one of your spouses chores (that is unless she hates the way you fold clothes and in that case just stay away from the laundry!), or knock something off that honey do list you’ve been ignoring.
- Viagra + Zoloft + Depakote
- Read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman and practice it.
- Be married to my wife! (But be aware you’ll have to support me as well as the five children too)
One of the challenging things about marriage is relationship management. In the corporate world, we go to training classes, seminars, mentoring, internal training, and read books on how to get along. In marriage, we wing it. In work, you leave the people you "relate" to at the door at 5pm. In marriage, you are glued to each other non-stop. People are creatures of habit and routine. We come to expect a person to be a particular way with a particular attitude. Vacations wreck havoc on routines, bring a new set of stresses and the unknown. Our attitudes and moods change with a vacation.
This morning I felt rested and relaxed. Evan rose at 6:30am and asked that I rise with him. I thought I’d be nice and let everyone else sleep in. Evan and I enjoyed some time together watching cartoons, playing with toys, and eating breakfast. I was happy. So I thought. When Cathy rose, I noted to myself that she was grouchy but I said nothing figuring that her morning caffeine was not working yet. Then came a moment where she complained about how I was relaxed then became terse and crabby when Evan got up. So who is right? Which one of us is the morning grouch? Doesn’t matter. Once someone declares me grouchy or crabby I turn into an ugly person. My mind decides, "Why try to be nice if when you are trying its not working?" Karma gets me back though. In my exasperation, I went to the porch to get some air and the door sprung back in my face spilling coffee on my most comfortable shorts.
Were either of us crabby? Probably not. We were probably working two different agendas and our moods are different than the usual. Subconsciously we probably assessed the other as off and because the other wasn’t working the same unspoken plan, labeled them crabby.
It’s a beautiful day today. I think I’ll spend it on the computer.
WARNING! Some adult language.