Friday, August 31, 2012

A Beautiful Mind (is a Terrible Thing to Waste)

My husband hates Michael Buble so much that simply being in the same room with him makes him physically ill. Two years ago we attended one of his concerts and my beloved GAR spent the entire time puking in the bathroom, no doubt the result of his hatred for smooth crooners with a voice like liquid velvet. Or it could have been because he had a terrible migraine and perhaps a touch of food poisoning. I suppose that’s also possible.

Nonetheless, I blame it on the music and his immense desire to avoid the concert in the first place. While GAR and I generally have the same taste in music, and even had a rock & roll inspired wedding due to this commonality, there are a few areas where we diverge. For example, his lack of knowledge for, and respect of, the 80s music genre is flat out unacceptable. But his distaste for Michael Buble? Well that I do understand. I have no idea why I like him myself. But knowing that I wanted to see him in concert regardless my GAR was generous enough to buy us tickets for the show and surprised me with them as a Christmas gift. And I THOUGHT this was a sweet gesture … a real sacrifice on his part … until I learned the truth.

For months we planned to attend the show, which was in Tampa. When finally the night of the concert arrived we made our way to the arena. When the door guy scanned our tickets this terrible buzzing went off and he informed that we, in fact, did not have tickets to the Tampa show but, instead, had tickets to the show in Ft. Lauderdale … which had already taken place the night before. Ah-ha! The truth comes out! GAR’s scheme had fooled me good – he only made me THINK he was taking me to see Michael Buble when really he planned to “forget” which concert he bought tickets for, leaving us SOL due to the fact that the Tampa concert was sold out. Well played GAR, well played. And he would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for the fact that the box office manager offered to sell us tickets in a skybox that was otherwise empty that evening, which we did.

So GAR had to suffer through it after all. And as soon as the music started the puking began as well. He only emerged from the bathroom long enough to catch the end of the encore – which featured such lovely tunes that the other people in our skybox stood up and sang along, angering the people in the skybox next to us who threw bottle caps at us and, eventually, dumped water all over one poor lady in our box who screeched at the top of her lungs “My cashmere!!! She ruined my cashmere!!” It was, all in all, an unforgettable evening.

Which leads me to the point of this post (What, those other four paragraphs before this one weren’t part of the point of this freaking long post? No. No they were not.) – My husband is not perfect. I know, you’re shocked. I bet your spouse is totally perfect in every way. But it’s true – he isn’t. And I love him anyway. While it always makes us chuckle, that Michael Buble concert is a perfect example of how, try as he might, GAR can be a pretty forgetful guy. I read recently that being married increases a man’s lifespan. And I totally get that. Because of me (and my incessant nagging) GAR eats healthier, buckles his seatbelt more often, goes to the doctor when he’s sick (sometimes), lives in a house free of mold and other airborne germs that were living in bachelor pad, and, most significantly to this post, shows up at nearly every appointment he makes. How he stayed alive for the 31 years he didn’t know me is beyond my realm of knowledge (though I’m guessing I can attribute his first 18+ years of livelihood to his mother), but I do know that now, in 2012, he is completely dependent upon me for a number of things. And one of those things is being his walking, talking appointment calendar, complete with reminder messages.

Our daily discussions go something like this:
(Him) What have we got going on Wednesday night?

Or …
(Him) I’m going to go golfing on Friday.
(Me) You can’t, you have a meeting with the Dean at noon that day.

Or …
(Him) What day are we going to Atlanta?
(Him, 5 minutes later) What day are we going to Atlanta?
(Him, the next day) I made plans to have dinner with Mike on the 21st.
(Me) You can’t, we’ll be in Atlanta.

You get the point. And, see, as promised – it just reeks of imperfection. I find it both hilarious and completely frustrating. And that pretty much sums up marriage altogether, doesn’t it? But really, who am I to talk about marriage as if I’m an expert? I’ve been married less than a year. Actually, it will officially be one year on Tuesday (Sept. 4). And that time has really flown by. Some people say the first year is the hardest but I don’t think that’s true at all (unless you are really, truly just living together for the first time) – our first year was nothing short of wonderful, flawed husband and all. No, the hardest year is the one where something truly horrible happens – a major death in the family, bankruptcy, serious illness, etc. That is when your marriage vows are truly put to the test (although GAR and I recently realized that our vows, which we picked out ourselves, promised nothing to each other, so ha!)

As we move closer to the end of our first year of marital bliss, GAR and I have spent serious time discussing how to celebrate this inaugural anniversary. Are we really going to eat that year old cake that’s been sitting in our freezer since our wedding day? Are we going to order the same menu items we served our guests a year ago? Are we exchanging gifts? We’ve plotted and planned and got ready to celebrate – just like we did on our wedding day. Except for one little problem – the other night GAR forgot all about it. Well not ALL about it. He didn’t forget that our anniversary was happening, or even that it was happening on the 4th, he just didn’t remember what day of the week the 4th falls on (it’s a Tuesday this year, even though we got married last year on a Sunday – damn that Leap Year really screwed up the calendar with its extra day). And so he says to me: “I moved that interview I was going to do Monday night to Tuesday night instead.” Sigh… oh the imperfection never ends!

And isn’t forgetting your anniversary just such a cliché anyway? And that’s what really irks me. Come on, we’re better than that. We hate clichés. Not that I don’t know his heart is in the right place – he’s been totally psyched about ushering out year 1 and saying “hello” to year 2 with a bang. And I’m sure he would have sorted out the date for himself by the time Tuesday actually did roll around. He’s not a jerk after all, quite the contrary. He’s generally the model husband who goes to great lengths to find new ways to surprise and delight me. In fact, just a few days ago he asked for feedback on how he could be an even BETTER husband. At the time I didn’t mention the fact that he’s “schedule impaired” (and we’re still working on his ability to tell time too … I don’t mean he’s often late, I literally mean his ability to read a clock that isn’t digital. Baby steps), but perhaps I could have offered that bit of criticism. After all, as his wife, I have to say that this is the one time my role as his mental calendar works against him. Perhaps as his anniversary gift I should buy him a nice thick appointment book – that would even fit with the first anniversary theme of “paper” gifts – but I know that won’t help whatever mental block keeps him from knowing what day of the week it is. He’ll still turn to me every Thursday night and say “So what are we going to do tomorrow?” and I’ll keep having to remind him that tomorrow is Friday and I work on Fridays. “Oh right!” he’ll exclaim, 52 times per year, every year for the rest of our lives – calendar or no calendar. And I’ll continue to love how simultaneously infuriating and funny he can be (though I’m guessing that slowly it be less funny and more infuriating each time until finally we’re old and gray and I kick his cane out from underneath him and pretend it’s an accident. Hey, I said that men live longer when they’re married – not that the whole process doesn’t still eventually kill them).

So no calendar, but we are still exchanging a “paper” themed gift (though, really, who adheres to these old fashioned gift giving rules anymore?) – concert tickets. Later in September we’ll be heading to Atlanta (whether or not GAR remembers what date we’re leaving on) for a 2-day music festival full of bands we both enjoy – not a smooth crooner doing old covers in sight. It’s the perfect way to truly celebrate the anniversary of our rock & roll wedding. We can’t wait! And, thankfully I planned this trip, not GAR, so we’re sure to have plane tickets, a place to stay and, of course, tickets to the right concert on the right date at the right venue. Because, of course, unlike my husband I am perfect. And GAR is such a great husband that I bet he wouldn’t even disagree me on that point. And THAT is how I know we’ll make it to anniversary #50 (which will still be held on Sept. 4 darling, which is on a Sunday that year, right at the same time as the next Halley's Comet, in case you need a reminder).

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