Hubs and I recently spent a delightful evening having dinner out with friends, and someone commented on yet another 90-minute Hollywood marriage that was on the rocks, and that both parties were currently in court in a headline-making battle over the validity of the pre-nup (apparently it takes eight lawyers and a judge to determine the actual legal definition of “cheating”).
Amidst much wine-induced hilarity over the fact that our four incomes combined wouldn’t get any of us within 100 miles of a pre-nup zip code, the women began to formulate a list of what we would have included if we’d presented a pre-nup to our current spouses before we were married oh-so-many years ago.
Most couples talk freely and endlessly about the big issues, like whether or not to have children, and if so, how many, religious beliefs, city vs. country living, merging finances, how to handle crazy in-laws, ex-spouses and stepchildren, divergent career paths and whose comes first. But these are rarely the things that topple a relationship. If you disagree on too many of the fundamentals, in many cases this isn’t the person you’re going to marry anyway.
It’s the little things that really matter. The day-to-day annoyances that build up over time until someone comes home to find their entire vintage CD collection out in the front yard and the locks changed on the master bedroom door. Experts say that finances and sex problems are the two greatest causes of divorce. I say it’s continuing to leave your dirty laundry on the bathroom floor and drinking the last of the coffee before she’s even out of the shower, after she’s complained about both for years, that ultimately start to piss her off until she threatens to leave your uncooperative and oblivious ass for the UPS guy.
So in the interest of promoting marital harmony, I’ve compiled a list of 25 Things Women Want in the Pre-Nup that will help keep the waters of marital bliss smooth and untroubled for years to come. You’re welcome, guys.
1. Repeatedly leaving the toilet seat up is the male equivalent of the universal, female “Not tonight, dear. I have a headache.” Ain’t nobody getting any tonight.
2. Borrowing my car and returning it with the gas gauge on “E” tells me it’s been too long since we’ve had a good fight.
3. Drinking the last Diet Coke without replacing my stash is exactly the same as me letting your beer fridge run dry.
4. Three hours of trying to get your attention and actually talk to you, while you scream and yell at the TV during the entire course of the Big Game, is not “spending time together.”
5. No, I cannot stay at my hot pre-wedding weight and eat a big dinner with you every night. You’re going to have to choose.
6. Yes, I know you hate the songs on my iPod. That’s why they call it an “I” Pod. Get your own.
7. Beer is not the only liquid that will quench your thirst.
8. Just because you were born with a penis doesn’t mean you automatically know how to fix my car. Take it to the shop, please.
9. Throwing all my delicates into the dryer on High isn’t “helping with the laundry.”
10. There is no official religious sanction in any recognized church that prohibits putting the new toilet paper roll on the dispenser rather than on the bathroom counter. I checked.
11. Blaring surround sound in a tiny living room is not “way cool.” It’s just loud. I don’t need to hear helicopters behind my head.
12. There isn’t a woman alive, in any country on the planet, who thinks “fine” is a synonym for “beautiful.” When you say “You look fine” or “That dress is fine,” I guarantee you that we just heard, “You look boring and plain, but I’m getting impatient, so let’s go.” And the next time you ask “Was it good for you?” we’ll respond, “It was fine.”
13. After two arm whacks and a swift kick in the shins, if you’re still snoring, I’m sleeping in the guest bedroom. Yes, I still love you.
14. No, you cannot wear your neon, tie-dyed t-shirt from college to dinner with my parents. Or at any event we attend together. Ever.
15. I don’t care if we’ve shared a toothbrush from time to time, when you drink milk directly out of the container, it has backwash in it and I can’t drink it. Same for my Diet Cokes. The glasses are in the cabinet on the left side of the fridge.
16. Thong underwear feels like dental floss in your butt crack, and 4″ stilettos are as comfy as ballet toe shoes. These were invented by men. You wear ’em.
17. Yanking the duvet up over the still-wadded sheets and blankets is not “making the bed.”
18. The distance between your hand and the sink is roughly the same as that between your hand and the dishwasher, so all things being equal, please put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher, not the sink.
19. We will never be married long enough for me to find ball-and-chain jokes funny.
20. If I’m wearing it, it’s because I like it. And if I like it, you like it. Yes, even the boyfriend jeans.
21. A two-minute back rub, followed by your hand down my pants and the assumption of sex , is not “giving me a massage.”
22. If I ever ask, “You look fabulous” is the only correct response. And why did I have to ask?
23. Just because I do all the shopping doesn’t mean I do all the spending. The drycleaning I picked up was yours. The $40 moisturizer I bought at Nordstrom was yours. The dozen t-shirts from Target? Yours. You say “we” need to stop spending? You first.
24. There are many great movies with no screaming car chase scenes, automatic weapons on constant firing, alien invasions, or apocalyptic backdrops. We also like comedies, musicals, or even love stories. And spending the entire movie repeatedly asking, “When does anything happen?” or “Do they have to sing everything??” is virtually guaranteed to have us watching movies in different rooms of the house.
25. A sports bar with unlimited “Buckets-O-Wings” and 27 TVs will never be my choice for date night. Or actually, ever. Go. Have fun. I’ll pick the next one. No TVs, but you’ll love the wine list.
And they lived happily ever after.