Marital Strife & Dead Fish

Fourteen years ago today, Baby Daddy and I took each other for better or worse. We’ve had both. When we were first married, people told us the most common fights couples had were: religion, sex and money. I’d have to say Baby Daddy and I do reasonably well in those areas.

We pretty much agree on religion. The stuff we disagree on really doesn’t come up that often, so I’m perfectly willing to let him be wrong on such minor things. We both enjoy sex. We’d probably enjoy a little more of each other if we could. But after 14 years and a small child, sometimes a good night’s sleep is a higher priority than “whoopie.” We make enough money to be comfortable. I spend more on frivolous things than I should. We’d both be perfectly willing to accept more money if someone would like to fling it at us. We’re human after all.

None of this is to say we don’t fight. In my experience of marriage, there are the fights you win, the fights you lose and the fights that sort of flop on the floor like a dead fish. We have two dead fish in our marriage: toilet paper rolls and trash bags.

empty toilet paper roleI have what can only be described as a pathological fear we will run out of toilet paper. I stock pile it… as in preparing-for-the-end-times stock piling. It’s concerning. I make sure every bathroom has a cupboard or basket with plenty of roles for refill. But I am dreadfully bad about replacing an empty role. This makes Baby Daddy insane, like almost lose his mind. I will hear him in the bathroom over the fan ranting, “Why is it so @#$%& to change the paper roll?!?” It’s kind of impressive he’s capable of such emotion, actually. He’s calm. Very calm. He’s the kind of calm you want him standing next to you during the zombie invasion, cause he doesn’t get ruffled. Ever. Until he sees that empty roll. He’s not wrong to wonder why I’m not capable of changing the roll. I can’t really explain it. It’s not that I make a decision to leave an empty roll. It just never occurs to me to do anything about it.

trash canBefore you start feeling too sorry for how difficult it is for Baby Daddy to live with me, may I bring to your attention: the trash can liners. We made a sacred compact within the first week of marriage he would be the one to take out the garbage on trash day. He has done so faithfully for our entire marriage. I have never once had to ask or remind him (except on holiday weeks, which doesn’t really count, cause the schedule is off.) Here’s the glitch: he NEVER puts a liner back in the can. So later in the day when I go to throw away some trash, oopsie daisy, can’t throw it there. So I have to put down the garbage, (dog cuss him) go get a liner, put it in the can, and THEN I can throw my trash away. I tried to leave him a “hint” by piling my trash beside the can, but he just piled his beside mine. Passive-aggressive wars always end in stale mate around here.

Truth be told, we could do a lot worse, and I suppose there have been moments we have. But we’ve also managed to get through some pretty terrible stuff, and we’re still together. That’s the magic he’s brought to this marriage: even when I hate him, I will always stay here, because I know I won’t hate him for very long. I can never manage to sustain any real anger toward that man. He makes me laugh. He makes me cuss. He makes me better.

Overall, I have to believe if these are our dead fish, we’re doing just fine.



Filed under The view from here

7 responses to “Marital Strife & Dead Fish

  1. I love the dead fish concept and I agree – You could do a LOT worse:)

    14 years is quite an accomplishment – Congrats!!! Enjoy your special day – maybe hit Costco and get some more TP and Trash liners:)

  2. Pat

    Our union has similar dead fish issues. The liner is one. His argument is that if he has to empty the trash, I should have to put in a new liner. To me, it’s still part of the same chore. I don’t clean the toilet halfway. I always put the seat down when I’m done.

    Our other dead fish is the toaster. Steve pulls it out from under the cupboard to use it but fails to put it back, claiming it’s “cooling”. I argue that once the toast has toasted, it’s cool enough to put back. No dice.

    Congratulations on your long marriage. Sounds like you have it made.

  3. Pam C. Pruett

    Love it! Happy Anniversary šŸ™‚

  4. Congrats! Sounds like you guys have a good thing.
    At our place, we have the ‘he takes out trash, I put in the trash bag’ arrangement. Although sometimes I will take out the trash and he refuses to put in a bag. Humph.

  5. Jennifer Reed

    Congratulations. You were pretty damn smart to pick the right one as young as you were — I needed a bit more seasoning. šŸ˜‰

  6. If two dead fish are all you have, you’ve got the marriage thing licked! Wow, just two?! I thought of five right off the top of my head, and I refuse to go any further.