Friday, January 15, 2016

Questions for the married

So I recently got engaged. Yay!

Excited about a future wedding, I asked my officiant-of-choice if she would do the ceremony. She would! Yay!

Within five minutes, I thought: Crap! I forgot to run this decision by my future husband!

Luckily, when informed post hoc, he thought it was a great idea. But the incident was a sobering reminder that I was no longer in Single Mom Mode.

Single moms don't have it easy: They are one person doing a two-person job. As a consolation prize, their title at home is Queen of Everything.

No one points out their mistakes, oversights, and small hypocrisies ("You guys can eat dinner in front of the TV just today, okay?"), because no one knows or cares what they do except children, who have few standards. The single mom's home is a black box in which she operates with near-total impunity. And if the kids are fed and clothed and seem happy? She's doing great!

I function well in Single Mom Mode, because I like efficiency and lack of fuss. After my first marriage ended, I learned to trust my own snap judgments. I relaxed into a semi-responsible parenting style. The bar was low, there was only one of me, and I didn't care much about most things anyway. It was a non-match made in heaven!

Yet by 2016, I had taken Single Mom Mode as far as it could go. Dave and I both were ready for something new, a shared life richer and more challenging than bumping along on our own. In video game terms, we were ready to Level Up. (In fact, foreshadowing my son's proposal to his future wife, the actual words used were: "Would you do me the honor of Leveling Up?")

So I love the idea of being married again, but I'm a bit rusty on the details. It's hard to recall how married people behave -- or should behave -- if I ever knew. Questions arise about how the thing operates in day-to-day life. Help me out, marrieds, by clarifying a few key topics:

Subject: Brangelina

Q: Is it possible for a married person to "commandeer" the living room on a Friday night in order to watch the new Brangelina movie, in total sincerity, without anyone saying anything about it?

Q: What if they are wearing a pore-refining mud mask? Could the situation still pass without remark, and even engender a respectful silence?

Q: Is said married person entitled to only half the leftovers in the fridge during this theoretical Brangelina-thon, even if she cooked them herself, and God knows the kids won't eat them?

Q: Could a married person plausibly remark  -- as the credits roll for By the Sea or whatever -- that while they enjoy Brad Pitt as a character actor, they find their spouse far more attractive and that Angelina, while beautiful in a severe way, seems like a real handful?


Those actually are all the questions I have.

Thank you.

(Image: AJ and BP at the Cannes Film Festival, by Georges Biard [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons)

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