Monday, June 13, 2005

The Principle of Marriage...

He said:

Marriage. The 'M' word. It may as well have four letters in it considering the way most single men view it. Most single men view marriage as a prison sentence, the complete and utter removal of all of the man-freedom they've spent a lifetime accumulating. Friday night beers with the fellahs, gone. Monday night football parties, gone. All day Sunday football extravaganzas that leave the living room a broken battlefield of empty pizza boxes and tortilla chip shrapnel, long gone.

Say hello to Friday date night with the wife, her best friend, and her husband who you don't even know but have to befriend despite your complete and total aversion to the idea. Open the door, they're here, and oh look, they've brought Scruples. You know, that game which consists of a box full of cocked and loaded spouse arguments for your bickering pleasure? Of course there won't be any beer, Mr. Wifes Best friend doesn't drink, and also sports a bumper sticker on his new electric/gas hybrid jetson mobile that reads "real men don't use porn". Sundays at her families house for family dinner, and in bed at 9 on Monday, regardless of who is winning or what the score is.

Forever is a long time jack, so buckle up, we're goin' for a riiiiide.

It's a false perception. The wife made me say that. Just kidding honey, really. I know, I know, it. This is the stereotypical male perception, as seen in innumerable movies, tv shows, books, cosmo, woman's world, etc...

The truth is, men spend little or no time at all thinking about marriage. Women, on the other hand, train for the event from the time they learn how to speak. From a very early age their in the marriage simulator. Ken comes home from work to the Barbie dream house in the red corvette. There is some dinner thing that happens, some house stuff, wash, rinse, repeat. It's in the repetition that the finer aspects of wedding planning take a firm hold. Years and years of playing house, playing school, Barbies, easy bake ovens, fake stoves with fake eggs and ham, pink bikes with tassles and no crossbar, and prancing about singing and dancing to God only knows what constitutes more training than a Navy S.E.A.L gets in the fine art of killing people.

No wonder they're better at it than men are, men grow up playing cops and robbers, cowboys and indians, tag, capture the flag, and about 1400 different game variants that all settle around some kind of sphere. When we aren't doing that, we're hurling rocks, or flaming explosives at each other because there is NO arguing 'you missed me' when you're gushing blood from above your eye. We grow up learning such things as nighttime camouflage, how best to sneak up on a wary foe, and most important, how to shirk blame when Billy Thompson's Mom comes looking for the 'little bastard that blacked Billy's eye'.

We don't stand a chance! Yet we're expected to exhibit the same amount of enthusiasm picking out flowers as we do cheering number 33 as he cuts and weaves his way from his kickoff reception at the 4 to the end zone for the game winning score. Don't dare exhibit a single shred of indifference when choosing the colors for the bridal party, it's the kind of thing you'll never live down. It's a matter of perspective. You have to put yourself in her shoes. She's looked forward to this her whole life, and it's up to you to deliver the goods. So put on your best face, take a deep breath, and be a soldier. Be sure, however, to log the event way back in the recesses of your mind, and stand firm, brooking no resistance when the 5th annual Monster Truck and Tractor Pull Wrestlepalooza comes to town.

She says:

Marriage. To be honest, I don't remember how I viewed marriage as a child, I vaguely remember playing barbie...but I never had a Ken doll so maybe all my marriages were lesbian marriages. I was a forward thinker back then I guess. I do however remember at 24, thinking that if I hadn't met the guy I was going to marry by the time I turned 25 I was going to move to Alaska, because the ratio of women to men in that state was skewed much more in my favor.

My first marriage was a disaster, he was the wrong guy that came along at the right time (just before my 25th birthday....hah!)

I did however learn alot from my first marriage. Basically this: pick your battles, swallow the little stuff because no one is perfect. Find the person who has the good qualities you can't live without and whose faults are ones you can live with.

I suppose my rebuttle on marriage won't be as witty as Dave's mainly because I don't think it's funny. It takes a lot of work, on both parts, a lot of patience and understanding and forgiveness. There are ups and downs and if you are lucky, as I am, a lot of laughter and joy.

So in reference to Dave and his theory that we spend years practicing for the marriage and that's why we are good at it, in my case, Barbie never had her dream wedding, but luckily, I got my dream marriage.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

On Nerd Night..

He Said:

How many of us can say we have maintained friendships for over 10 years? How about 20 years? I am blessed, in that I can say yes to both questions. I have friends that I've had for 10 years, and I have friends that I've had for 20 years. The truly weird thing about having a friend that you've had for 20 years is by that time, you really cease to be friends and find yourself deeply mired in a brotherhood.

This is the situation that invades my house every friday night. Friday night is nerd night, the night all my nerdy friends descend upon my home for a 6 hour session of whatever role-playing nerdfest pen and paper game we happen to be playing at the time. Generally speaking, we alternate game formats every 3 to 6 months.

The game is the focus that brings us all together, but the night is interspersed with bits of discussion about current events, movies, television shows, books, and any number of other miscellaneous trivialities. The one thing we rarely talk about is sports. We are nerds after all, and if one thing destroys nerd gatherings, it's a burgeoning football discussion.

8 fully grown men, positioned about a table upon which sets miniature effigies of our characters, set about saving fictional worlds from fictional villains on a weekly basis. At times, we get so into character that we actually argue with each other, fight each other, and in some cases, kill each other. Anyone who dared to venture into the basement of doom would be shocked to hear the things being said, particularly if they are taken out of context.

For example:

"We need a plan. Look, we can't just march into the bank and ask for the money, chances are someone is going to get killed."
"Well, that is a possibility we have to be prepared for. When can we expect to get the machine guns you ordered?"
"The guy told me 4 or 5 days, and he'll expect the second half of the payment at that time."
"Cool, you can trust this guy, right? I mean, I know he's your friend, but if he fucks me, I'm shooting him and YOU"
"He's fine, don't worry about it."
"Ok, smoke break anyone?"

When deeply embroiled in the game, distractions are met with glares, and interruptions with disgust. In most cases, outside conversations go unheard and unacknowledged. I'm pretty sure someone could break into the upstairs and I wouldn't be aware of it until they started to move the entertainment center.

Much soda is drank, a few beers are consumed, and occasionally we have tequila. The end result is a disaster area of spent pizza boxes, soda cans in varying degrees of emptiness, and dry erase EVERYWHERE. It's the nerd equivalent of beers out with the boys.

She says:

Friday nights roll around and I know two things. 1. I can watch whatever "chick flick" that I have been dying to rent on 'on demand' and he will be too embroiled in his alternate life to neither notice what I am watching and make fun of me for it (and thus ruin the movie for me) nor bitch at me for adding to our monthly cable bill! AND number 2. I know that I will forever be firmly ensconced in the "best wife ever" seat he has thrust me in because at the end of the day, all my loving game geek wants is his space. He requires quite a bit of it - more than most people in a relationship would be comfortable with I think. Thankfully for me, I have never been the overly needy type.

ON the plus side, I get to listen to 8-10 grown men laughing like small children and when I finally go to sleep at night, it is usually to the sounds of "ARRRGHHHHH, I lift my morningstar and swing" screamed at the top of someone's lungs... followed by the inevitable... "roll a d20" ....."a 6?? dude you TOTALLY missed!" "I RUN AWAY. I RUN AWAY!! .....i run away?" followed by: "DAMN.SHIT.FUCK - what do you mean I DIED????"

As I drift off... I wonder what he would say to me if I suggested that every Saturday night I invite 8 of my closest friends over to play Barbie. - Crystal will bring her Barbie Dream House... I have the CUTEST new outfits! we can so pretend that it's like prom night and KEN stood you up....but it's okay cause like, that new guy JOE moved into town and he has a hot Firebird....and he's a bit of a bad boy."

Boys and their toys... (actually I love all his friends to pieces they are smart and funny and just generally good guys every last one of them...but honestly...I don't think there's a one of them in the bunch that is mentally older than 14 when it comes to D&D =)

Let's kick this thing off..

So, welcome, to a cooperative blog between me, datamonkey, and my wife, Lisa.

Dave and Lisa as we are known.

It is the aim of this blog to showcase our differing opinion about the things that pop up during the course of a normal marriage.

Not OUR marriage mind you, our marriage is anything but normal. Ok, so it has normal moments, but anyone who has read our individual blogs can attest, Ozzie and Harriet we ain't. I think the glue that holds our marriage together is the hilarious honesty with which we stumble through many of the problems two people who co-habitate experience.

Some of the situations will be real, others will not. We'll try to mix it up a bit, and hopefully it'll be interesting to see how differently we see things.

So pull up a chair, help yourself to a beer, and enjoy the show. Contribute if you like, or don't if you're shy, and always remember what your mother told you. If you don't have anything nice to say, fuck off and wait till your father gets home.

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