What To Expect Your First Year – Part Three

Dear Husband,
Since you should it is said “start as you mean to go on”, you should then of course actually go on as it were so I thought I would elaborate on some of month three’s concerns. These were not sleeping through the night, sharing a room, sharing a bed and roughhousing. Taken slightly out of context, they look kind of interesting together. Or perhaps that was suggestive and to a certain extent, if you’d merely raised an eyebrow at me I’d know exactly what you mean so you may have a point. But once again these things struck me as subjects that I have considered previously.
Like the sleeping through the night thing. Basically because you didn’t regularly do it. Or rather I would consider that there was an above average occurrence of you not doing it. Everyone has nights when they wake up for no reason and I have had a couple of nightmares in my time sure, but that is more like a small number in my lifetime, or maybe in the last decade. Not the last fortnight. You are a lot better now than you were then though (either that or I sleep a lot deeper) because its not often anymore that I wake to you tossing around in bed and mumbling to yourself in a distressed fashion. I wish I could help more though.
Apparently however, sharing a bed and indeed the room actually does help you. Something about your subconscious adjusting and knowing that you are not alone maybe? For myself, the adjustment in sharing was more accepting I no longer have anywhere that I can legitimately kick you out of if I want “me” time. Except for the bathroom which doesn’t count. Not that I spend a lot of time either in the bathroom or kicking you out of places (or even having the desire to do so) but on the odd occasions when we are totally pushing each other’s buttons, the only real escape is outside and that usually causes more problems than it solves anyway…
And then after I had noted several of the listed “concerns” there was the “important to know” section for this month under which was listed “corporate day care”. Which I must say that I am largely in favour of in your case. Especially because when you scoot off to your global organisation each day, I know that they will occupy you for a large number of hours during which you cannot call me just to “chat” because you’re bored. Not that you chat really, as there seems to be more dramatic pauses than conversation over the course of our phone calls but I dislike personal calls without any real purpose whilst at work (in an open plan office) so keeping you occupied so that you don’t make them is a big plus in my book. It also saves money because your mobile bills are smaller and hey, they pay you for turning up as well. Awesome.
Perhaps selfishly yours,
Your Loving Wife.
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Common Courtesy

Dear Husband,
Can I just say thank you? Thank you for being someone that shows common courtesy. A trait which oddly enough, is not all that common nowadays. Thank you for being the kind of person who opens doors for women (because I do not subscribe to that feminazi bull crap about this being a statement on the frailty of women by a patriarchal society that thinks they can’t do it for themselves). Thank you for being the sort of person who will give up their seat on the bus for the pregnant and the elderly. And thank you for being the sort of person who thinks that “man-sitting” outside of your own home is completely inappropriate (and sometimes in the home for that matter). I wish one of the guys on my train thought that…
Honestly, there should be no reason for you to sit with your legs splayed out at 90 degree angles no matter what sex you are. Especially on the train in peak hour when the action involves you taking up two whole seats worth of space instead of one. Are your balls on fire Mister? Are you constantly trying to cool them down because they cannot possibly be that big. Not that I’ve tried to look, ewww, but I’ve seen you walk off the train at the same stop as I and I swear you would be having a lot more trouble walking straight if that was your deal. Maybe the stance is in preparation for you being able to quickly get your head right up your….well lets just say allowing for a completely introspective nature…Even so, I think you should grow up.
And don’t ever wear stubbies in summer. We have decency laws in this country!
So I just wanted to say thank you husband. Thank you for having manners and style and taste and for not being a complete pillock in public.
Gratefully yours,
Your Loving Wife.
PS. Thanks to Catherine Weaver for the image which I shamelessly stole from Gothamist because it was perfect.

What To Expect Your First Year – Part Two

Dear Husband,
So when reading the contents of What To Expect Your First Year, there were some “concerns” in month two with which I could sort of identify. Month one seemed to be taken up with dealing with a new situation in general, which is quite understandable really because this is one of the most stressful things you can go through in life. Month two however was a little more geared towards actually relating to someone in that situation including a “difficult baby” and how do you “talk” to that baby. And Baby, can I just say now, you is sometimes way totally difficult and you makes me sometimes full on frustrated! And no, I didn’t just turn the grammar checker off. That sentence is grammatically incorrect on purpose because occasionally as you are aware, that’s pretty much how we might speak to each other.
I’m not quite sure how it happened but it seems we don’t even need a baby for baby talk! When we met, I think I used to sound reasonably intelligent most of the time but then we got together and something went slightly pear-shaped. Instead of doing the whole adopting horrible kitsch names for each other though such as Sugar Pie or Honey Bunch or worse yet, Snuggle Muffin (why are so many of these related to food!?!), we have started occasionally speaking to each other like three year olds who haven’t quite grasped the comprehensive use of verb conjugations or the correct application of the past participle. Its not that we can’t do these things (since your mother is an English teacher, I think she’d have shot you by now if you couldn’t) but often, we just don’t. I think that our marriage must be at least somewhat responsible for the apparent and ongoing retardation of our linguistic ability in relation to each other. Not that I really mind so much because I do think its kind of cute in an obnoxious sort of way but occasionally I forget that we’re in public and we start getting a few weird looks. Have we become one of those annoying couples that are way too comfortable amongst company? Is it bad that we dided that?
Ungrammatically On Occasion Yours,
Your Loving Wife.

What To Expect Your First Year – Part One

Dear Husband,
So. Here we are, 52 + weeks down this path called marriage, but very much still at the beginning. I’m sure that some erudite scholar would deem that what we have together is still in its infancy stage and on that note, I’d have to agree. Especially since I have also found that being married to you has made me feel at times as though I have an infant. Albeit a big one. But that’s another story. In regards to our marriage though, I was warned I’m sure of certain things to expect going in, but like so many other aspects in life, you really just have to figure it out when you get there. There are occasionally however some guidebooks around to help you along the way. Out of curiosity and boredom the other day, I came across What To Expect Your First Year. Which would have been quite useful I’m sure if it actually had anything at all to do with matrimony, which it doesn’t. It is quite clear once you have gotten past the title that this book has precious little to do with marriage itself yet looking at the index, there are some curious correlations…
For the first month, some of the “concerns” listed were sleeping patterns and positions. In hindsight I can definitely identify with that. After we got married, all of a sudden I was sharing my bed with someone else every single night and I couldn’t just go back to sleeping by myself to get an uninterrupted night’s sleep. We each had to re-negotiate the long term positioning of limbs and figure out how far we could stretch out into someone else’s personal space before we were likely to cause a physical injury. Which doesn’t mean that I won’t still kick, slap, hit and thwack you every once in a while with a knee (unconsciously!) in a slightly inappropriate place thrown in for good measure of course (as you have delighted in telling me). Or that you don’t in return bean me in the head occasionally with your elbow (as I enjoy pointing out to you – how I have survived so far without a bruise I don’t know!) but I like to think that it doesn’t happen now as often as it might if we weren’t used to sleeping together.
Some other concerns for the first month were exposure to outsiders and coping with crying which oddly enough also struck me. Your social development seems to change once you get married. Its not the same for every couple I know but there is usually something that shifts. I am not the sort of wife who wants her new husband to stop speaking to other women and in fact I encourage you to maintain your personal friendships (whatever the sex of the other person) but when one or the other of us makes new friends, they quickly seem to become “our friends” to some extent and we often end up entertaining as a couple, if not with couples. That’s not to say that we don’t know some great single people but by tacit agreement, once we become married, its like we joined the ranks of some secret club. Now we know. I’m not sure what exactly we know but it seems whether you’ve been married for 50 minutes or 50 years, the jokes and insinuations start and you tend to gravitate towards those with whom you can share. Maybe theres just an identification with other people whom you know are living the promise to willingly stand by another that they understand will completely and utterly at some point in time try their patience to the point of distraction. Maybe that’s what you know?
As for the coping with crying thing, well I don’t think I have ever cried as much as I have since I got married and I’m pretty sure that you haven’t either. Which probably sounds quite horrible really although its not actually that bad. Although sometimes its not actually all that good either because not all the crying jags are brought on by those fluffy Hallmark or Huggies moments where you are supposedly emotionally enriched or deeply honoured. No, sometimes they come about when one of us just feels quite inadequate or we think the other is being a complete and utter tool. Or maybe that was when one of us feels inadequate because the other thinks we are a complete and utter tool? These occasions are usually when there is a lack of sleep involved or other pressures around as well but nine times out of ten in these situations, we have one of those pivotal discussions afterwards and we’re both better off and stronger for it. The rest of those times I’m probably just being overly susceptible to emotion or a big girls blouse and I’ve been coping with that just fine for the past 30 years.
And that theme has continued on throughout the previous year of marriage for us I think. Not the big girls blouse bit or even necessarily the coping bit because I don’t think of our marriage as merely something that has existed but the communication followed by the moving on to a better place bit. That is what I remember about our first year. That and I feel like I should have been running around with L Plates on my back. You, dear husband, frequently insist that I am the best wife ever but even though I think you’re biased and you don’t really have much of a frame of reference, I’m not sure how you can possibly think this. Its flattering nonetheless however and I hope that you never stop thinking that way.
Totally yours,
Your Loving Wife

Month Twelve

Dear Husband,
Well its been 12 months now. 1 year. 365 days. 525,600 minutes…how do you measure a year in the life? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee, in inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife? You know, as the song goes..? I believe I originally intended to have Seasons of Love playing as we entered the reception venue on our wedding day because it seemed like a nice sentiment at the time but like so many other things that Friday, it just flew out the window. What never flew out the window though and what I don’t want to ever let go of, is the conviction that I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Even if you do annoy the crap out of me sometimes. And this month there were moments…
This last month contained all of the usual aspects of daily life such as work and home and sharing the balance of those with each other. I think we have been enjoying a good run at the moment too, being able to enjoy both which is always a blessing. The big event this month for us though was the Christmas in July. This was the first time that either of us had celebrated the un-holiday and despite only inviting 6 other people to share it with us, it was pretty huge if not slightly overdone. I think everyone had a great time but I also think we created slightly more headaches for ourselves than were necessary.
For starters, I am not afraid to admit it, you were right. For eight people, we did not need shortbread, mince pies, gingerbread, dips and cheese to feed people on top of turkey, ham, roast vegetables and steamed pudding with custard. The fact that I couldn’t get the size of cupcake tray that I wanted was not a big deal and I should have made it abundantly clear that I wanted to have certain ingredients more than one day in advance of the evening to prepare. Getting snippy at you certainly doesn’t help the situation or get anything accomplished. On the other hand, I do think that the 4 kilos of turkey plus the 4 kilos odd of ham was somewhat like overkill. 8 people do not need as much as a small African nation. Plus, if we ever do something like this again, you might want to remember that webbers always take longer than you think and therefore putting meat on to roast at 6pm is a bad idea because then you don’t eat until 9! Luckily for us, there was enough booze and food lying around beforehand such as the dips, cheese, shortbread, gingerbread and mince pies that it didn’t look like we were trying to starve our guests…
And I’m sorry for insulting Bing and his buddies who were warbling out Christmas carols as the pregame entertainment or background music, whichever way you want to look at it. They really weren’t that bad, I just would have liked a bit more of a mix with the other carols we had on CD. Leading up to the evening, I approached the subject of music several times and asked you specifically to put something together or let me do it and we didn’t end up with what I was looking for at all which was a bit disappointing. As for the Christmas lights and furniture layout etc., well I guess that didn’t quite work out exactly the way you wanted it to beforehand either. Not because you didn’t get to have everything the way you wanted cause you did but because I wasn’t overly enamoured about your decisions. You didn’t ask me what I wanted but what I thought after the fact which I though was rude and I said I liked it the way it was but I was fine if you left it rearranged which was just ungracious. We’ll both know better next time I guess. And I hope there is a next time. For all that were sniping at each other like cats and dogs leading up to the celebration, it was really nice to cook for friends and have them share an evening with us. It was a very grown up dinner party.
And speaking of all grown up, we just celebrated our first wedding anniversary. Which is perhaps not quite as grown up as celebrating your 30th anniversary but its still up there and I think ours was a day that we won’t soon forget. I knew leading up to it that you were obsessing about making it the best day ever. Ensuring that we would have a terrific time no matter what and really enjoy every aspect. The day would be fun, the hotel would be great and dinner would be fantastic. Or else. We eventually decided to stay somewhere we have stayed before so that was fine and through the hotel, we got to do a meet a cheetah experience which involved a visit to the zoo so that was all good too. Any day I get to wander round a zoo taking photos is a good day. The dinner part however was a little trickier.
When you were researching venues on the net (which was way more effort than I was initially considering) I submitted to you that as long as I got to spend the evening with you, I didn’t care where we were or what we ate. Which is a nice and romantic sentiment in theory apparently but it didn’t go down all that well since what you interpreted that to mean was I don’t care enough about what is important to you and I’d rather do things my way. We did make plans to head to a tapas and wine bar however for which you had high hopes although the evening itself did not have a terribly auspicious beginning.
After realising that we had forgotten our evening clothes for the weekend but not wanting to be stuck wearing jeans and t-shirts, we needed to solve the problem of clothes. A sister the same size solved my issue but last minute shopping was involved with yours. Which is a pain in the backside when the bank account is practically empty. Then I nearly dropped my bundle when I thought I had lost my wallet and wouldn’t be able to pay for dinner and would have to spend the next half hour cancelling all my cards. You calmly held it together for me though and managed to find the wallet for me. Then, when we got to the Parlour Wine Bar, there were a lot of dishes on the menu that weren’t really to my taste. This was almost the icing on the cake for you and you looked as though you were about to give yourself a thorough beating for a handful of things that weren’t really a problem. Despite all this however, what followed was one of the best meals out that either of us have ever had. It was in fact awesome, filled with fine food and wine and the best damned sherry I have ever tasted. I must admit that I was a little sceptical as the glasses were being poured because sherry has always seemed like something you cook with or need an age prerequisite of 60 to imbibe in but the waitress assured us that it was Christmas pudding in a bottle and not to be missed and it totally was.
Which is kind of like you really. Dear husband, you are like all best Christmas presents all in one package and not to be missed.
Happy Anniversary!
Your Loving Wife
* Photo taken at the Meet-a-Cheetah experience we did on our anniversary.