Tom and Jerry: Defenders of All Things Right and Good

Monday, January 28, 2008

Things They Don't Cover In Marriage Prep Class, Installment #4

Besides the shower, another change in store for you will be waiting for you when you come home from work. When you first walk through the front door, the change from single to married life is definitely an improvement. You get a hug and a kiss, and you really have nothing more to say than “Fine” to “How was your day?”. You then plan to lumber off to the couch or the computer for some “Decompress Time”. After a long hard day of oppressing women and minorities**, all you really want to do is relax in silence at the computer or the TV for awhile, recharging your batteries. The most taxing thing you wanted your mind to process during this time would be how to watch two TV programs at the same time.

As of February 2, those days are over.

** - According to such luminaries as Betty Freidan, Jesse Jackson, and Noam Chomsky, as a white male, this is what you do, being part of the white patriarchal hegemony and all. I don’t get to get to do this too much; it’s not that I don’t want to oppress women and minorities, it’s just that as a software engineer, I don’t get that much of an opportunity.

The first thing you will notice is that you are being followed as you set about to lumbering toward the couch or computer. Since this is a new sensation, you will turn around and ask “Yes, dear**?”. The reply you will get, in a semi-soft pleading tone, will be “I want you to talk to me…”

** - “Sweetie”, “Pumpkin”, “Shnookielumps”, etc.

This marks the end of your relaxation for the foreseeable part of the evening.

You, not wanting to be insensitive to her feelings, will sit and attempt to carry on a conversation. You hope that after a few token minutes of effort, she will appreciate that you tried, and leave you in peace. This is what I hope and pray for every night with Lynda. God a) ignores my pleas and b) must derive great pleasure from watching me squirm. Lynda starts to talk. And she talks

And talks.
And talks.
And talks.
And talks.
And talks.
And talks.
And talks.
And talks.
And talks.
And talks.
And talks.
And talks.
And talks.
And talks.
And talks.
And talks.

I cannot believe that a person can talk so much. I can’t help myself but to allow my eyes to wander about her anatomy, looking for an “OFF” switch. As to holding up my end of the conversation, I can’t just ‘mail it in’, so to speak, like I would when listening to my 8 year old niece regale me with the latest scoop about all things Pokemon. Nope, that would be insensitive to her feelings. So I’m stuck, and I just have to gut it out.

Eventually, though, she will cover every topic that she can possibly think to cover with me. At this point – blessedly – she will wander off, leaving me alone to see if my mouth still has sufficient strength to chew food. She, however, is just getting warmed up. She will now get on the phone with either

> her best friend
> her ex-roommate
> her cousin
> a wrong number

and talk for another 45 minutes. She will talk, loud enough for me and everyone in our zip code to hear, about a) everything I just talked to her about and b) a whole new batch of subjects, up to and including the most intimate details of our marriage and intimate life:

Lynda: “Yes, my NFP mucus levels have been somewhat slippery lately…”
Me: “Who are you talking to?”
Lynda: “What was your name again?”
Phone: (inaudible)
Lynda: “He says his name is Bob…”

She will continue talking until the batteries on the phone run out, or until dawn, whichever comes first. She will then put the leash on the dog, and leave to take the dog for a walk. Halleluia!! While she’s excercising the pooch, I get some peace and quiet. I don't know how long it will last, so I try to enjoy it while I can.

Of course, after a few minutes, I realize that I can still hear her voice talking. This is not due to any dementia (not yet, anyway) but due to the fact that she and the mutt made it less than a half a block before she started talking to one of the neighbors. While the dog looks on pleadingly, Lynda will stand and jabber for another 45 minutes with one of the elderly ladies that lives on our street. By the time good-byes are said, it’s getting late, so the dog is lucky to get even a block’s distance out of this foray outside.

When they return, the dog jumps in my lap, looks at me with sad eyes, and I pet her very lovingly. Lynda will complain “She loves you more; you’re more lenient than I am…”

Nope. Just quieter.



  • I didn't see a single mention of Lynda beginning her talking 2 seconds after the lights turn off at bedtime.

    You are a blessed man.

    By Anonymous MS, at Thursday, January 31, 2008 7:11:00 PM  

  • That happens, too. The lights go out, she snuggles up to me, and just when I begin to believe that this means that there will be some lovin', she will initiate what she hopes to be a long conversation about "feelings" or "the relationship", which will make "me" want to put my "head" through a "wall".

    This actually started when we were still dating, and one episode produced my first "insensitive to her feelings" moment of our courtship. We were be playing snugglebunnies on the couch, and instead of the anticipated huggy-kissy session, she decided that it was a good time for "feelings" talk. After a few minutes, in a moment of frustration, I blurted out:

    "You know, I like it best when you're snuggling and not talking."

    I may someday hear the end of that one.....

    By Blogger Jerry, at Monday, February 04, 2008 12:19:00 PM  

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