Kate and Lydia are both married. There have been three weddings between the two of them over the past thirteen years, so do the math. We are fascinated with what makes a marriage work and how things have changed over the years. What did people do before divorce became more common? Were they just really pissed off for forty years? If your husband cheated, were you allowed to hit him with a bat? As opposed to now when that is unfairly categorized as assault? Or did everyone just find a way to be happy? And if so, how does that work? We decided to find out.
But we also want to learn how to cross-stitch. We think we could put these notions -- unbelievable nosiness, marital harmony AND playing with sharp objects -- to good use.
So we accosted politely queried all the lovely women at church and in our neighborhoods and in the grocery store and Starbucks and hair salons [Editor's Note: They get the idea, Kate. Move along. - Lydia] about their perspectives on what makes a happy marriage. And we wanted these words of wisdom to be quick and pithy - the kind of thing you could stitch on a pillow. Also, because we are stupid* and can no longer fully comprehend long or complex ideas.
*We were smart before we had kids...and had nice boobs.
We got some very interesting advice. And then we got a little more when we asked them to explain further. We didn't make this sh*t up. We aren't that clever.
"Spray each other with the hose" First we were like: Whuck? Then we realized that it makes sense and puts a little fun back in the marriage. And, if you're mad at your husband, you don't have to use the rain-like spray. You can use the really powerful one that hurts. Just pretend it was a mistake.
"Don't hold grudges." Apparently, hammers weigh less...and no one is afraid of a grudge. [Editor's Note: Unless it's that movie. Then, everyone is afraid. - Kate]
"Marry only for love" Unless he dumps you and marries the town tramp...then you go ahead and marry his brother instead. Then laugh 40 years later when they're miserable. She was the town tramp. And now you're surprised? [A very nice geriatric lady actually told us that. Really.]
"Paint your toenails"That's all she said. We have no idea, but she is like 800 years old and her toes were adorable. We think maybe her hubby had a fetish.
"Tell her she's beautiful every day. Even when she's not" This was followed by a sly smile and he tapped the side of his head. And then she walked up and he kissed her and told her she was beautiful and she smiled. Then he goosed her. And winked at us.
"Pretend you don't think he's as stupid as he sounds" Men say stupid things sometimes. But you know that. They say stupid things to woo a woman, to kiss her, to marry her and to get her to bed. They really aren't stupid, most of them, but we make them that way. It's because of [whispering] s-e-x.
"Eat Whatever She Cooks" Even if it's something that might not really be food. There's a good chance it was food until she got her hands on it. You'll be fine.
"Visit Each Other's Bedrooms At Night" We were too scared to tell her that we already share a bedroom with our husbands. She had a cane.
"Do You Wanna Be Right, or Do You Wanna Be Happy?" This is always a toss up. But usually a big glass of wine served by a happy - albeit smug and self-righteous - husband tends to put me in a better mood than a big empty glass of f**k you by the guy watching yet another inning of baseball with his hands shoved down his pants. Oh, and after I smile, kiss him and say thank you, I still mutter under my breath that "you were still wrong, jackass." Mmmm, wine...
"Don't Keep Score" You'll win some, you'll lose some. Point is, you'll win more. So, no need to keep score, because he'll never, ever catch up.
"You Keep Him Happy; He'll Keep You Happy" They're pretty simple creatures, with only a few needs. Food. Shelter. Adoration. Nooky. Your job: Sometimes you cook. Sometimes you clean. Be nice. Show him the jugs. Let him have it. And, in turn, you can ponder on this... how often is he a grouchy bastard when you follow these guidelines? Right. Just checking.
"Just Fake It" At most, it's seven minutes of your life. See above.
"Whenever You're Right, Shut Up." Someday Kate will learn this. It'll be right after the day that Lydia calls her and says, "...so I was at Saks today buying those new Manolo's..."
And, if all else fails..."Divorce...From The Latin Word Meaning To Rip Out A Man's Genitals Through His Wallet." We think that about says it all.
And now we're off to buy pillows. And yarn. And needles. Woot! We'll keep adding to this list, so send in your best advice...