Monday, December 7, 2009

All the Small Things

I had a great column idea all planned out for this week.

It was going to be hilarious and poignant and insightful, basically it was going to be my best work yet. I was so confident that I had already started jotting down some notes for my speech for the inevitable columnist of the year award I was surely going to win.

Being the perfectionist that I am, I have a very rigid routine when it comes to my writing, or as I like to call it, “Josh’s Genius Time”. I have to have complete silence around me (I’m talking Get Smart cone-of-silence silence) and there can’t be any distractions (I find it legitimately bizarre that the older I get, the more easily distracted I get).

But I’m beginning to comprehend the reality that living with my Wife in our cozy one bedroom apartment, circumstances are not always as accommodating to the ideal writing conditions that I am used to.

As I sat down to write my award winning column, my lovely Wife started cooking in our kitchen. She is an excellent cook so this was not immediately a negative; until she pulled out the onions.

My mom always cooked with onions and her mom always cooked with onions and it was never a big deal. I don’t know if it’s just because our living space is smaller, but any time my Wife cooks with onions, the smell overpowers the house like we’ve been bombed with tear gas.

I could not even see my laptop screen through the burning water that kept filing my eyes. Since I was in the living room right next to the kitchen, I originally thought I was just too close to the onions, so I moved to the bedroom and closed the door.

No help.

I even tried moving to the bathroom before I gave it up as a lost cause and volunteered to run to the grocery store just to get away from the paralyzing pungent aroma.

As I walking through the aisles of the grocery store, I could not stop tearing up. How was it physically possible for the onions to be haunting me from so far away? I took a quick whiff of my jacket and realized that the onion smell had baked right into my clothes.


And that’s just one example of the two of us getting used to living together. My poor DVR is currently getting therapy for the gender identity crisis my Wife is putting him through. When it was just me living here, the DVR was only responsible for sporting events and my masculine-driven shows. Now it is not uncommon to scroll through our recorded events and see a Sophie’s choice of programming geared toward the female demographic.

Since the DVR can only do two things at once at this point in technology, imagine the life support measures that were needed a couple of Tuesdays ago when my Wife was working late in the evening and I was unable to watch ANY television because the DVR was recording “90210” and “The Biggest Loser” at the same time.

We now keep one of those at-home defibrillators nearby at all times.

To be fair, I know that I’m no picnic to live with either. I guess the cliché is that most women have to deal with a messy husband, but my Wife gets to deal with that problem in the opposite extreme. I freak out when our place gets too cluttered or disorganized – and my Wife is not an untidy person by any stretch of the imagination. I just get so obsessed with cleanliness and order that I become this cranky tornado of sanitation. I gotta believe that gets exhausting for her.

In all honesty though, I know that neither one of us would have it any other way.

I used to think it was the major issues (i.e. politics, religion, money, etc.) that trip couples up – and I obviously know that they can – but now I’m starting to see how it all really works. You try to find someone that shares the same views as you on those big topics so that you can establish a solid foundation that will hold against all the small things (i.e. onions, DVRs, cleaning, etc.) that pop up from time to time.

Just the other day, I was telling a buddy of mine how married life has changed the dynamic of the relationship between my Wife and I for the better. I noted that when you’re dating someone, you’re always stressed because you constantly feel the need to be on your best behavior. I’m finding marriage to be great because it provides both of you the freedom to finally just be yourselves.

For better or worse.

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