1 day, 23 hours, 40 minutes.
I get the strangest feeling that the people around me feel a little bit disconcerted.
They are expecting me to feel nervous. They want me to have cold feet. They want me to say things like, “old lady.”
“Ball and chain.”
And my favorite, by which I mean least favorite, ” (make disgusted blocked nasal passages noise) Women.”
Let’s try to to phoneticize that.
Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em. Can’t kill ’em. The best form of birth control is wedding cake. Stupid bitches. Whores. Cunts.
Even one of the managers at work, a woman whom I love dearly, has been leering at me in my cubicle as she counts down my “last days of freedom.”
This, my friends, is a strange phenomenon (doo doo doo doot doo).
When you’re not married, everyone wants to know, “Why?”
When you tell everyone you’re get married, everyone wants to know, “Why?”
People, you can’t have it both ways.
People who are married seem to me like people who have joined this wonderful private club, with all these fantastic amenities and a hot tub and midgets waddling around with trays of bourbon and pot on their heads, but when you pop up and say, “Hey! I want to join that club!” they say, “Oh gods, no. It’s terrible here! I have to sit here with her all the time and this is a terrible club, just terrible! Terrible, I say.”
I’m not new to this, folks. I’ve been married before. Twice, as the record plainly shows. And let me tell you… the reasons for both of my divorces had nothing to do with the actual ritual of getting married. They had to do with bad behaviour and neglect and all those other bad habits that humans fall into when they stop seeing the things around them that are or could potentially be good.
I think every divorce comes down to one thing: one or both of the people involved began taking the other person for granted. Once you let go of that, that treating each other as a person with opinions, ideas and emotions, that remembering that the person you fell in love with is still in there under all the housecleaning and billpaying and sometimes desperate need for sleep, then it is a long swim back to shore.
They say familiarity breeds contempt. I think it breeds boredom. And if that is the case, then the real chore laid out for couples who chose to get married is not to get bored with each other. That means you can’t get bored with yourself. If you aren’t bringing something to the table, something new to tell your spouse or a new experience (hell, even an old experience; take it back, ya porch monkeys!) to share with that person, then it is not time to reevaluate your relationship.
It is time to reevaluate your life. Not the other person’s. Yours.
Sure, when it comes down to the nutcutting, you are responsible for your partner. You promised them you would be. But you are responsible for yourself too.
When I got married the second time, my grandmother gave my girlfriend a little christian pamphlet called, “Are You Fun to Live With?” The writing style was about a half step above a Chick tract, but the question remains pertinent. Gods, I hope I’m fun to live with.
Because if I had to go a day without seeing my Cootie smile, or hearing her laugh, or seeing her do that smirk think where she manages to move her entire mouth to one side of her face, lips pursed, and raise that one eyebrow at me, I don’t know what I would do. I’d have to tickle her or something (hint: behind the knee).
And seeing those things on a daily basis physically requires me to be an interesting person! I think that married people sometimes fall into this trap. I call it the “Jesus Fucking Monkey Christ I Am Married What The Deviled Egg Fuck Am I Doing” trap.
If you are with the person you love… and you really love that person… then you are not trapped. You are in a partnership. You will have good days and bad days… oh, for fuck’s sake, you know all this already, don’t you? The last think I want to do is sound like some kind of shitty self-help book.
We all know it.
We just don’t all do it.
We get to the place where… well, where the title of this entry comes from. Irreparable. Hell on earth.
Here was the best surprise of the day.
Another manager in the department, someone whom I like because he has a sense of humour but one whom I have never worked under, came to my desk today. He asked if I was excited. I said yes, of course, and showed him Cootie’s wedding ring, which I wear around my neck and will until the night of the wedding.
And this man said to me, “I love being married. I love it. And you don’t hear that from a lot of people. Especially women (which drew glares from the women who sit behind me and beside me). But I love it. I would do it again in a heartbeat. If you have found the right person for you — and it sounds like you have, from what I’ve heard… sounds like you have found your soulmate — if she is that person for you, then there is absolutely nothing like being married.”
I will never forget him for saying that. Thank you, David Sellers, for being a positive influence on me. And I can’t even fucking believe I’m saying that.
You can do your own research on soulmates, twin souls or — even more pertinent — split souls, and you will gain some real insight into my relationship with Cootie. I truly believe she is that part of me that I have been missing for forty-some-odd years. Every day with her is literally a revelation. She reveals parts of me to myself that I didn’t even know were there. Or if I did know, I forgot.
And how sad is that?
So… if you wonder why I’m not making ill-tempered jokes about marriage or the wedding… if you wonder why I refuse, even in jest, to say that women are bad, evil temptresses who want nothing more than to lure you into their tender traps… it’s because I firmly believe that I have done it right this time. The fact that Cootie is with me after all the crazy bullshit we’ve been through is absolutely amazing.
And I will not take these things for granted.
I was driving home yesterday and I suddenly became aware of my left hand. I know that sounds odd. But I suddenly became aware of its presence, the functions it performed, particularly in the act of steering an old truck. But the main thing I noticed about my left hand was its weight. It seemed light. And, as I stared at it, slightly detached and in Observer mode, I saw my little finger rubbing against my ring finger. My little finger was rubbing against a ring that wasn’t there yet.
Even subconsciously, I’m already married to this whhhhhhhhhhuuuuuuuhhhhhhhmmmmmmuuuuuunnnnnnnnn.
And I am so glad.
1 day, 23 hours and 40 minutes.