Out with a group of girlfriends, chattering nonstop over wine and a variety of appetizers, when the conversation inevitably turned to the current state of our marriages. One woman commented that her husband had recently walked in front of her into a local drugstore and let go of the door, completely oblivious to the fact that it closed in her face. He insisted it wasn’t intentional and they laughed about it at the time, but her story sparked another round of drinks and a hilarious discussion at our table about the small signs that the honeymoon phase of our relationships might be waning.
1. Polite requests have become terse commands. “Please turn the TV down” is now “Turn it down!”
2. You both agree to stop celebrating your anniversary because you “don’t want to spend the money.”
3. Your fights are no longer resolved with makeup sex.
4. You can’t remember makeup sex.
5. Sweat pants and a tattered, favorite college team t-shirt have become his weekend uniform. Every weekend. For all occasions.
6. The only underwear you currently own are granny panties. In beige. Which you buy in bulk at Costco.
7. When he walks into your bathroom and sees you naked, he simply asks to borrow your toothpaste. You vaguely remember “naked” being all it took to be late for work.
8. If you have to choose between sleep and sex, guess who wins?
9. Your wedding DVD is “somewhere.”
10. He loudly releases pent-up internal air pressure (commonly known as “belches and farts”) at the table, without missing a beat in your dinner conversation.
11. You stop fantasizing about the unattainable, and therefore safe, Ryan Gosling and start dreaming about his best friend. A lot.
12. You’re on the toilet and he’s brushing his teeth. In the same bathroom. The only mystery left in your marriage is which idiot made the purchase that overdrew the checking account.
13. You share graphic descriptions of your IBS or other bodily malfunctions as part of your daily conversations. Because foreplay doesn’t get much hotter than a 20-minute, 4-color visual on your uncooperative bowels right before bedtime.
14. Wake-up sex is no longer an option until morning breath has been taken care of, the dogs have been let out to pee, the thermostat has been turned up to warm up the house, and you’ve both had coffee. Now it’s called “brunch sex,” and the moment has passed. Again.
15. If he tells that joke one more time, you’re going to snuff him in his sleep.
16. He feels the same way about your office workplace stories.
17. When you get all fabulous looking in your sexiest LBD and his only comment is, “If that’s what you’re wearing, you better take a sweater. It’s supposed to get cold tonight.”
18. Previously adorable habits and quirks are now just annoying. The way he salts his food “just so,” with exactly three shakes, every. single. time. (But if you asked him, your insistence that the guest towels are hung exactly right all the time quit being cute by the third year of the marriage.)
19. You spend an evening together at your favorite restaurant and get through the entire meal without speaking. And you’re not fighting.
20. Your spouse goes away for the weekend guys’ trip, and you’re positively giddy about being alone for three whole days.
21. Uninhibited, randy sex, any time, anywhere, has been replaced by careful consideration of the mood (as in “Are you in it?”), comfort, and physical capabilities or limitations of the participants. “Hey baby, do you want to try Kama Sutra #16 on the dining room table?” hasn’t been asked in your house for a long, long time. Thank God.
Last week, Hubs and I had to make a Safeway run during a torrential downpour. We have a shopping system where I hand him the cart contents and he tucks everything into the trunk, then I run the cart back to one of those parking lot stalls and he picks me up. Within the two minutes it took to get our cart unloaded, we were both soaked. Presuming his natural gallantry would kick in, I started to hop up into the warm, dry truck. He jumped in on the other side, pointed to a cart stall a half-mile away, and said, “Hurry up and take the cart back. I’ll swing around and get you over there.”
Seriously, buddy?? It was raining in deluges out there, with gale-force winds. By the time I got done, I looked like Grumpy Cat after little Suzie had tossed him into the patio hot tub.
“I can’t believe you made me take that cart back in this rain.” I grumbled, “15 years ago, you would have done it instead.” Hubs burst out laughing and replied, “15 years ago, you would’ve been wearing stilettos.”
He had a point.
So as we drove home, both soggy and chilled to the bone, clutching three DVDs and a great bottle of Cabernet, we agreed that the first one in their sweats got the big couch. I can live with that.