The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Marriage, Boiled Down to a Checklist

I’ve been thinking about the statistic about how 50% of all marriages end in divorce and I’ve decided it has to be inflated. HALF of all marriages are successful? I really think that sounds high.

When they calculate this are they including ones where one spouse murders the other? Because while I agree they technically adhered to the ‘till death do us part’ portion of their vows, I don’t really think it’s fair to put those in the win column.

My point is just this: How can you possibly know all of the things you’ll need your spouse to be over a lifetime on that day in your early 20s when you say ‘I do’? There should really be some sort of checklist that’s handed out at the county court you’re required to sit down and evaluate your partner based on before you are issued your marriage license. It could be a list of qualities your partner must have before moving on to the next stage of the relationship. You must be able to check 4 out of 5 boxes or you won’t successfully make it through to the next level. Like this:

Stage 1 – Initial Attraction

□ Cute

□ Makes me laugh

□ Not racist

□ Seems to know how to read

□ Likes me

Stage 2 – Cohabitation

□ Smart and funny

□ Makes up for inability to replace the empty TP roll by expertly squeezing the toothpaste from the bottom

□ Snores at exactly the same decibel level I do so no one is disturbed

□ Willing to let me watch Jersey Shore even though he’s morally opposed to its existence

□ Kind of an artistic genius

Stage 3 – The Wedding

□ Can deal with me bursting into tears every time the wedding planner calls for 6 months

□ Understands how vital it is that we both love the same flavor of cake equally

□ Willing to hand address 150 invitations without my help because his handwriting is nicer

□ Realizes that the time I woke him up at 5:30 AM by pouring a pitcher of cold water on his head was about stress and hormones and not really about him

□ Still wants to marry me even though I refused to speak to him in the 3 days leading up to the wedding

Stage 4 – Married Life Before Kids

□ Is willing to turn over rights to his credit card when it’s discovered he has an online shopping addiction that’s gone unchecked for years

□ Doesn’t need rage counseling when the company he’s worked at for two years inexplicably and without warning closes its doors and refuses to issue paychecks for time worked

□ Brings home takeout and consoles me when dinner is ruined because I don’t know how to remove skin from a chicken thigh (bonus points for fishing skin I was able to remove out of the disposal I didn’t know it couldn’t be put down)

□ Still making me laugh

□ Lets me snuggle with him even though it makes him sweat

Stage 5 – Married With Small Children

□ Screw smart, funny or talented; will he change diapers?

□ Willing to let a child streaming with snot and infested with cold germs sleep on his chest, inches from his face

□ Able to fish a fully formed log of poo out of the bathtub before it disintegrates without vomiting

□ Can still find me attractive even after he’s seen me: give birth, with pink eye, after 2 days of no sleep and a crazed look in my eye

□ Lets the three year old who threw a sippy cup at his flat screen TV effectively ending its broadcasting career live

Stage 6 – Married With Teenagers

□ Really excellent insurance

□ Can awaken from a dead sleep merely to the sound of a front door being unlatched

□ Understanding that even though we’ve been married almost 20 years I will always need to be reassured regularly he still likes to be around me

□ Able to tolerate assholery and insubordination without bloodshed

□ Can strike fear into the heart of a 17 year old even thinking about illicit activities with merely a look

Stage 7 – Empty Nesting

□ Still interesting enough I want to be around him minus my children who want nothing to do with us

□ Resistant to the charms of certain younger women who find silver foxes sexy

□ Immune to the normal resentment that years of raising children together builds

□ After all this time, makes me laugh

□ Inexplicable and obvious desire to still be married to me

Stage 8 – Super old and Crotchety

□ Knows what meds I need to take and cares enough to count them out for me

□ Doesn’t mind too much when I tell the story about when our middle son peed in the shampoo bottle for the 8429 time… which he was there for originally

□ Still pats me on the ass and says ‘Looking good’ when I walk away

□ Over his moral superiority regarding trashy reality tv and willing to watch it with me now

□ Is glad he spent the last 50 years with me, even though I’m a crazy bitch

The law should be: If you can imagine your spouse-to-be passing this checklist then you are allowed to get married. Then maybe the divorce rate would be legitimately close to 50%. Being married, for life, is not easy, is all I’m saying.

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