January 1, 2004
It has been said that a man is not complete until he is married. Then, he is finished.
Well, I got married.
When last we visited these pages, I was on my way to the altar. My long-suffering girlfriend -- lets call her Alison, although I can't see why we should, when her name is and always was Amy -- agreed to the terms. She has since told me there was nothing in the ceremony about "obey," and you can only imagine how much I wish I had paid more attention before the rings were exchanged.
The wedding was lovely. Not a lavish, all-night affair, but very lovely and intimate. Thirty-five people at one long table. The pictures look great.
I would tell you about one of the funny toasts, but then if certain unnamed people who were not invited knew that a certain other person was, there would be trouble. I don't understand any of this, but Amy says so, and she usually knows what's what, so I'm keeping my trap shut until she gives me the go-ahead.
The honeymoon was short but sweet. We went to Lanai in Hawaii. I figured if it was good enough for Bill Gates, it was good enough for Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Smith.
We had a wonderful time, but the hotel was a little frayed around the edges. We wrote a letter to the hotel manager voicing our several complaints. We hoped they would reward our keen sense of observation with a free stay at another one of their seedy hotels.
I always think that getting twice as much junk is not any better than having a little less junk, but it didn't work anyhow. No dice.
We've been busy little honeymooners since our return. Amy had a career change -- not a big one, and a good one at that, but it's been a little anxious.
She sold her condo. You've got nowhere to go now, honey. Now we're really, really married, and you're stuck with me. Ha!
We had a bit of a tiff over something one day, and I, predictably perhaps, found it funny. "What's so funny?" she said.
It occurred to me that we were going to probably get over every tiff, disagreement, dispute, fight and contretemps over the next 40 or so years. There would be no winning or losing, some I'm sorrys, some tears, some giggles, some hard feelings, some regrets, but we would get over all of it. You gotta. You just gotta. It's part of the deal. (Sometimes you can't tell when I'm paying attention.)
We've been together almost two years now, and we've both noticed that it is entirely possible for a person to tell the same story on more than one occasion. I've asked her to please try to seem like she hasn't heard the same old crap before, or we'll run out of things to talk about in year two. Just pretending is a big part of a happy marriage.
My wife (I love saying that: "my wife") likes to do the laundry. As a guy, it's never been much of an issue with me either way.
Alison, or Amy or whatever her name, is could survive well with only one set of undergarments -- that's how often she does the laundry. I thought the name of the game was to see how much stuff you could save up and fit into a single load. The things you learn when you get a wife.
One slight caveat on the laundry front, however: It seems that my wife is not terribly good at doing the laundry. She's like a guy who cuts himself shaving every morning. Oh well, at least I don't have to do it.
Although the name Smith is quite common, my wife has not quite mastered its pronunciation yet. When we show up at a restaurant for dinner, the maitre d' can't seem to find us in the book. "I don't see a Smith here, but you're in luck: there is a Sniff party which hasn't shown up yet for their 8 p.m. reservation -- I could seat you at that table."
One day she turned to me and said, "Are you surprised we're married?" I knew what she meant; that we were total strangers not so very long ago, and now look at us. But the answer was a definitive "no."
I went to a lot of trouble to get an engagement ring made to spec. We spent a lot of time planning the wedding. Then there was the wedding and the honeymoon and everything, so, no, I was not surprised we were married.
A week later, I looked at her with a puzzled expression on my face and said, "You're still here?"
We've been married about five months now, but it doesn't matter. It's a drop in the bucket. We ain't going anywhere. Please don't tell anybody, but I'm pretty happy with the arrangement.
We agreed that we wanted 40 good years together, then I can do whatever I want. In 2043 I'm going to start riding a motorcycle and take up smoking. Until then, I'll be home with my wife. Â
J.D. Smith is finished at www.carteduvin.com and elsewhere.