Our friend Ammo Grrrl offers advice in an autobiographical mode this week in MARRIAGE: A VETERAN SPEAKS. She writes:
Awhile back two sweet Commenters kiddingly asked about Ammo Grrrll’s marital status while making kind remarks about my work.
My neighbor, the slightly-paranoid Texan, was agin my blogging in the first place because he thought it might attract “weirdos.” But my logical husband (Mr. Ammo Grrrll, who is much more macho than that sounds…) reminded him that your prudent stalker would tend to avoid a lady with a nickname that mentioned bullets, despite the attractive picture that Scott dug up on the Internet. A picture, by the way, that is every bit as current as the picture of Queen Elizabeth on Canadian money. Which I believe is her high school graduation picture where she was elected Homecoming Queen for practice.
So, yes, Ammo Grrrll is married. And has been married for a very very extremely very long time. We’re already on our third bottle of Tabasco Sauce. Seriously, in 3 years we will celebrate our Golden Anniversary, God willing and the creek don’t rise.
“How did you stay happily married for almost half a century,” you ask? “And, while we’re at it, isn’t ‘happily married’ an oxymoron like Over-eaters Anonymous?” Hang on, and I will give you some valuable marital advice which I feel qualified to dispense having been married since I was a teenager.
They tell trial lawyers never to ask a witness a question they don’t already know the answer to. It’s similar in marriage – never ask a question you don’t WANT to know the answer to. For example, I have never once asked “Do these pants make my butt look big?” Or, “Who among my friends do you think is most attractive?” Nothing good can come of this.
Avoid hypothetical discussions like the plague. There is no point in fighting about what you would do with the money if you won the Lottery. First of all, your chances of winning the Lottery are identical whether you buy a ticket or not. Secondly, every article I’ve ever read about Lottery winners says the money ruined their lives; and thirdly, why waste a night sleeping on the couch because you would refuse to pay off my siblings’ mortgages and don’t want to buy a houseboat just because you get seasick? Hypothetically.
Outside of a structured therapy environment, trying to have a “You tell me one thing that bugs you about me and I’ll tell you one thing that bugs me about you” discussion is far less productive than one might imagine. It never ends with “one” and somehow the offenses never seem equivalent, such as, “It bugs me when you leave the toilet seat up,” versus, “It bugged me when you gave that Nigerian guy your cellphone number and our bank account number so he could get those gold bars out of Nigeria. Also, your family is insane.”
Ha ha. That last one was a little joke. And that is the real advice: love, forgiveness, respect, patience, and most critically, a sense of humor. Oh, and also a compatible spice tolerance level is helpful. Ammo Grrrll likes Curried Szechuan Jalapenos, and Mr. Ammo Grrrll cannot handle Mint Dental Floss. But somehow we make it work.