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Early Marriage Tactical Error #1 (From Re:member)

December 14, 2013

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Early Marriage Tactical Error #1

(DuQuoin, Illinois circa 1984)

Melissa and I married young.  She was nineteen going on thirty-seven and I was twenty going on twelve and a half.  Despite our despairing maturity levels, Melissa had learned little about some of the basics of living.  We were married almost a year before I discovered she threw our bank statements and cancelled checks away with the junk mail.  Thinking back, it is clear we failed to negotiate responsibilities around the house.  I used my parent’s (Leave it to Beaver) arrangement as a default but since she grew up in a single household, she had no template at all.  We both had a few holes.

I had a teaching job interview coming up and had picked out my favorite outfit to wear.  Dress to impress.  It was a button-down light blue shirt and a pair of Levi’s Dockers.  For some odd reason, I assumed she knew how to do the laundry and the ironing; since my mom was particularly skilled in this area, I had high expectations.  No one had ever taught Melissa to iron, but to her credit, she did the best she could and when my favorite brownish-tan khakis were laid out for me to wear, there were two crisp creases, both on the left leg.  This would be a sensitive situation for even a mature person but that had little to do with me.  Thinking I was hilarious with my quick wit, I quipped “Melissa, most people only wear one crease per leg.”  I don’t remember her response at all but what I can tell you is we celebrated our thirtieth wedding anniversary on May 21, 2013 and she has never again ironed a single thing for me in those thirty years.  On the one or two occasions I have asked her to do so, she responds, “No one likes to do nice things for complainers.”

It doesn’t seem so hilarious now.

Copies of “Re:member” and “Exactly As I Remember It” can be ordered on-line at the link below:

https://sites.google.com/site/exactlyasirememberit/order-now

 

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