It’s one more random than 10!
Today is the 16th wedding anniversary for myself and The Lovely Becky. We’ve beaten the seven-year itch twice and have change to spare.
I apologize if this sounds a bit smug, because for a lot of people marriage is work, but being married to TLB has been the easiest experience of my life. I am one of those fortunate people who found the person they are supposed to be with. I don’t necessarily believe in the idea of soul mates. Had TLB and I never met, I think we could have found other spouses who would have made us happy. But I am convinced I found the person I would be the happiest with.
The reason why being married to TLB has been so easy is because I am so at ease with my wife. We spend so much of our lives putting up fronts. Even with close friends, there are often barriers between who we really are and who those friends see. I don’t have to do that with TLB. I get to be myself with her, and that is refreshing. In fact, I am probably more myself with her than I am with myself, because I have an exceptional ability to bullshit myself, whereas she sees right through that.
We have that level of comfort where it’s like we share each other’s brains, without the socially awkward requirement of having two heads on one body. Over the years, we’ve gotten to know exactly what the other person is thinking. In fact, it’s gotten to a level of comic specificity. We might be at a park with lots of other parents, and I’ll lean over to say to TLB, “You know what’s an awesome look? Having your camouflage T-shirt tucked into your jeans so that we can see your cell phone holster.” TLB will smile and say she was just about to say the exact same thing, because our ideas of what looks ridiculous and how to mock said ridiculousness are perfectly synchronized.
Some men have trouble with marriage because they miss the excitement of the new (see Woods, Tiger). And that’s certainly a trade off. At this point, there are probably few surprises left for us. Every once in a while TLB uncovers some new wrinkle to my personality that she didn’t know existed, but it’s often just a bigger reveal of a pre-existing neuroses that she’s known about for years. I think about it like a favorite movie, like Pulp Fiction. Sure, when I first saw it, it was immensely fun to experience the twists, turns, and lines for the first time. However, the reason Pulp Fiction is my favorite movie is because I am so familiar with it. I revel in knowing every line, every scene, because knowing what happens on the surface of the film allows me to dive deeper into why I love it so much. I also have more fun watching it now because now I can anticipate the parts I like the best—OMG, Travolta’s about to stick the needle in Uma Thurman’s chest, I love this part!
That’s why I love being married to TLB. Do I know the story now? Sure, more or less. But it’s also my favorite story, which makes every day with her like seeing my favorite movie. Minus the crazy rednecks trying to sodomize us, of course. And TLB is also the only one who knows what’s in the case.
1) “Take It Easy,” The Eagles. Another reason for making my marriage work is that I was built for monogamy. I have enough trouble trying to drive with one woman on my mind, let alone seven. TLB sometimes jokes about me having an affair, and I tell her a) she would know instantly if I was, to the point where I may as well arrive home with a t-shirt that says “Yes, I’m having an affair,” and b) I’m not interested because an affair would cut into my video game time. When would I be able to save the princess?
2) “And I Will Be With You,” The Mr. T Experience. I am convinced that if I had not met TLB when I did, I would have gone through my 20s writing stuff like this. The funniest band to every sing about unrequited love.
3) “Revolution,” Bang Camaro. TLB loves me despite my love of hair metal, both the real thing and imitations like this. This sounds more Def Leppard then Def Leppard does these days.
4) “Pressure Drop,” Toots & the Maytals. I’m not sure if it makes me more white or less white that this is my favorite reggae song. I dig the combination of the urgent vocal with the laid-back rhythm.
5) “Experiment IV,” Kate Bush. TLB’s two musical calling cards when we first started dating were ‘Til Tuesday and Kate Bush. I am glad she introduced me to them.
6) “Catholic Pagans,” Surfer Blood. Probably an apt description for us. The two of us are irrevocably Catholic in our mentalities, even if as we find ourselves more unreconciled with the church than ever. There is no way either of us would ever convert to another religion, including atheism. We just find exorcisms too fascinating.
7) “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now,” The Smiths. Did Morrissey intend for us to laugh at this? Because that’s the reaction I’ve always had. It’s a stack of flapjacks made out of tears and pining, covered with a sticky syrup of sighs.
8) “Letter From an Occupant,” The New Pornographers. I have always been jealous of the way TLB sings. She has a heavenly singing voice, whereas mine is more like deleted scenes from Dogma in quality. I like playing any Neko Case songs because her voice is right in TLB’s singing sweet spot.
9) “Video Killed the Radio Star,” The Buggles. And MTV killed music videos.
10) “Situation,” Yaz. In the early days of synth pop, what was it like to write on a synthesizer, before one had a bevy of preset sounds available at the touch of a button? Did groups like Yaz sit around discussing the sounds as the keyboard player tried them out? “Nah, too boopy. Nope, too blippy. No, no, no, way too farty. Hold on, hold on, give me slightly less farty but just a touch more blippy. Okay, now add just a smidge of boop. Perfect!” This also reminds me of going to this under 21 New Wave dance club with TLB, where we would go and shake our groove things. Never underestimate the power of farty synths, electronic drums, and a masculine-sounding female singer to bring two crazy teenagers together.
11) “Since I’ve Been Loving You,” Led Zeppelin. In honor of TLB, I will make this Random 11 un-Led-ed. Let’s try again.
11) “Master of Puppets,” Metallica. Goddamnit. Stupid iTunes, I need more love of my life, less metal up your ass. Take three.
11) “The Winner Takes It All,” ABBA. Sigh, the things we do for love.
Happy anniversary, baby. I will play ABBA for you to the ends of the earth.