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Thursday, March 19, 2009

On Marriage

I haven't made nearly as many dumbfuck decisions as a married man as I did when I was single.

This could be attributed to the "two-heads-are-better-than-one" outlook, but I'm pretty sure there's more to it than that.

Marriage does a lot to temper idiocy, at least it does in my case. This is not to say that all the decisions I made pre-Mrs. Apron were to the left of retarded, but some of them certainly were.

I certainly never took a joyride in a SuperFresh shopping cart, nor have I ever tried to white water-raft naked, or intercourse a wall socket. But I've done dumb shit, like all dumbshits are wont to do.

Like that time I decided to enter the police academy-- yeah. That was obviously a pre-Mrs. Apron idea.

Not only was it not a mess of her own making, but, upon entering into a relationship and learning of this insane desire, she supported it, and me.

"This is who you are," she said.

(It wasn't really, though-- but we didn't know that at the time.)

I can remember going for a pre-academy run with my father at the track of my old high school, and he and I had a real heart-to-heart about my decision to become a police officer. His own objections were moot by this point, and he had long forsaken them and, instead, threw his support behind me-- helping me out at the track and at the gym-- even enlisting the help of a trainer who taught me a trick to "fake" the weight-lifting portion of the physical agility exam.

"Listen, mummy," he said, in between huffs and/or puffs, "you're living for two now." He was referencing my rapidly developing relationship with the future Mrs. Apron. "This isn't just you anymore. She's the one who's going to have to sit on her fuckin' ass and wait to see if you come home every night. She's the one who's gonna have to answer the door when it's the fuckin' priest or whatever if you get killed. This is something that you're gonna have to decide together, if you can do. You're two now."

He was right. When I made this decision, I was single. Now, as the start-date of the academy approached, I wasn't. I knew she was behind me and my decision, but I couldn't help but think, if I had started all this nonsense when we were together, would she think differently about it? And, whether she was on-board or not, was this a fair thing to put her through? To do to her?

It ended up not mattering a damn. I failed the weight-lifting portion of the physical agility test on the 2nd day of the academy. My ginglygangly armtwigs just couldn't lift that barbell, and no amount of "faking" it could raise that thing all the way. The commander called me into his office. He thought I should stay till the end. I left that day. It wasn't until long after Mrs. Apron & I said our wedding vows until the police ghosts came calling again.

Two months ago, I stumbled upon a notice that my hometown police department was hiring. This time, you had to get hired by them first, and then they would pay to put you through the police academy, as opposed to the ass-backwards way I tried to do it before, (pay to go through the academy, and then hope you get hired by a department). The salary was excellent, as were the benefits, and the probability of getting killed here is low, relatively speaking. I broached the topic with Mrs. Apron, summoning up all my bravery.

"You know," she said, "part of me wants to say, 'What the hell-- put in for it and see what happens...'" her voice trailed off. I imagined the second half of that sentence: "... and part of me wants to jab my fingernails into your jugular and stom on your fucking balls, you insane motherfuck."

I can't say I would have blamed her either. After all, I had just completed a Master of Education degree-- and the abandonment of such a valuable and, dare I say expensive degree would have been a questionable move. At the very least, it would have been a pre-Mrs. Apron move at best.

After all, we are two.

I met Mrs. Apron when I was twenty-three. From the time I was sixteen to the point where I met Mrs. Apron I had been the owner of seven cars:

1966 Volkswagen Beetle
1990 Ford Crown Victoria
1989 Volvo 240 DL
1994 Ford Taurus
1997 Ford Crown Victoria
2001 Chevrolet Impala
2001 Volkswagen Beetle

Call me fickle. When I met her, I was tooling around in the Beetle, which I had painstakingly painted and vinyl decaled in "53's" and red, white and blue stripes in honor of the best car in the world. I had to get rid of Herbie two years into our relationship because its reliability was basement-quality, and I could no longer afford the steep monthly payment coupled with the habitual repair bills. So I got a Ford Focus. It's predictable, boring and extremely reliable. Not only that, it gets 34mpg on the highway, and not terribly worse around town. The monthly payment isn't so bad, and it's actually kind of peppy if you've never driven a V-8 before. I've had it since brand new and now there's 65,000 miles on the clock and lots of bumper-stickers on its ass.

So, when I toyed briefly with the idea of getting rid of it for a fifteen-year-old used car to rid us of a monthly payment, Mrs. Apron rightfully freaked on me. Well, she didn't freak, but she rationally explained her objections and intelligently argued against my latest dumbfuck scheme, the development of which has not been totally ameliorated by marriage. Stunted, maybe. As I listened to her talk, I realized, "Wow-- you are saving me from myself."

And that, friends, is why marriage is better than Jesus.

3 comments:

  1. awww i like your thoughts on this! you ARE two in a marriage (or any committed long-term relationship..) and sometimes people don't get that, even during a relationship, so you are notsomuch in synch. my ex chalks it up to not being good at the "love thing". but whatever, i'm not going to say i suck at it. you know what, i did a lot of things i could have done better, but i can do the love thing just fine.. with someone who is willing to be TWO with me.

    sorry to get on a rantpool, but i really believe it's not a fault of my character. i have to think that. it's what keeps me going. what makes me happy single.

    and yeah, i definitely agree that there are some jobs/professions that are best suited for a singular life. i know people who have marriages based on a guy's profession that has him traveling for half the year or more while the woman is on her own and i gotta think, what did she sign up for? is she REALLY happy? is he just selfish? etc. eh, i don't know. work and love is a give and take too. as long as people are on the same page then more power to em.

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  2. I think I have a new geeky role model.

    Really, Herbie?

    Because of Lindsay Lohan, RIGHT? (Does Mrs Apron read this? I guess she does...)

    Are there photos of your completed Beetle? (Too lazy to look for them, and too busy trying to read through these lovely stories of love -- well, lovely and sad in equal measures :)

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