worms and dirt

Dead Things and Worms and Marriage: A Love Story

The other day, I got a phone call from my husband, because he found worms in his ice cream.

Disclaimer: This one is about marriage. If you’re going through a divorce right now, please don’t read for two years. Come back next week. <3

So, I was married once before to a great guy, but it just didn’t work out– let’s just say there were complications that both of us were too young to know how to deal with. The whole situation left me a little gunshy. Honestly, for about seven years I was convinced I’d never get married again; live with a guy, sure, but that marriage thing was Right Out. I guess that changed at some point. Probably around the time Honey proposed (for the third time.)

Anyway, being gunshy, I kept waiting for the Other Shoe to drop. When was he going to show his True Colors? When was I? And then I read an interview with Jeff Bridges about marriage advice. (Did you know he’s been married to the same woman for over 30 years??? In Hollywood, that’s a friggin’ miracle!) Basically, his advice is to keep the lines of communication wide open and to love each other.  I thought about it: I have grown a LOT since my first marriage, and communication was at the top of the list: I try to be as clear as possible in my needs and expectations. There’s very little, “Whatever you want, dear” anymore, unless I really don’t care what he chooses.

“But is that really enough?” I asked myself. A lot. What if … What if we’re still not compatible? What if he changes his mind? What if….

And then I read another article with signs that your marriage is going well. And, like, we do all of them: communicate, check in, listen to each other’s stupid shit, and making sure the other feels heard. But what surprised me was that one of the biggest significators was giving the partner attention, regardless of whether you’re interested. You don’t have to do it all the time, but doing it more often than not is really healthy for the relationship.

You know, every night when we walk the dogs, I tell Honey everything that happened to me that day, sometimes in really ridiculous detail. We call it my Daily Download. It’s not that he doesn’t care, per se, it’s just not his life, but I need to know someone cares about the little ups and downs. And then Honey tells me a little bit about his day, and a whole lot about the latest game he’s playing: what the rules are, how it’s different from other games, and what the gaming community thinks of this. I know oh, so very little about games (but I am learning!), so it doesn’t always mean so much to me, but it makes him so happy to tell me, to work through it. It’s his version of a Daily Download, and as such, it is sacred.

It’s kind of like having a cat. Cats bring their hoomans presents, and from what I understand, often those presents are in the form of Dead Things. I think the logic is something akin to, “You poor hooman! You do not pounce or chase or hunt. Here is something I hunted. You can practice with it until you can hunt live ones for yourself.” It’s nice, because they’re thinking of you. It’s less than nice, because OMG! You put it in my new SHOE? Where’s the disinfectant?!!!

So, two weeks ago, Honey and I were getting ice cream from our ice cream shoppe right across the street. (Are we lucky or WHAT?) I ordered myself some hot fudge with a little ice cream on top, and he got his usual berry thing. As we were sitting down to wait for our orders to come up, he suddenly shouted, “Wait! They have worms and dirt here? I want that!” It was a little weird actually, until he pointed to the poster of cookies ‘n’ cream ice cream with gummy worms on top.

“You want worms and dirt?”

“No, just the gummy worms on the berry thing. Wouldn’t that be AWESOME?”

And that was that.

So this other day, I was hanging out with friends on a really hot day, and of course we ended up at the ice cream shoppe. Honey had to work, even though it was a Saturday, so I brought him home a berry thing with gummy worms on top. By the time I got home it was getting pretty soupy, so I popped it into the freezer before heading out to my next appointment. On the road, I got a call from him. The conversation went like this:

“Hello?”

“THERE ARE WORMS ON MY ICE CREAM!!!!”

“Didn’t you want them?”

“I LOVE YOU! Okaygottaworknowbye.”

That listening thing. It works. Way better than Dead Things In Shoes.