Throw a dart out there and you’ll find a gazillion marriage experts and a gazillion-plus articles and self-tests about the secrets to a happy marriage and how yours measures up. After two decades of marriage, I only claim to be an expert on B.’s and mine, but I do have some tips to share about how to keep a marriage, shall we say, interesting. Nope, not what you’re thinking — you’re on our own for what works for you and your partner in that area. I’m talking about some techniques that keep things fresh. Sort of. So, here we go:
Hum. Aimlessly. Or not. Extra points if you hum the song that your partner could not get out of his head when taking the bar exam years ago. If it drove him to distraction then, see what it does now (not that I’d have any experience with that one — wink.).
Move things around. Furtively. See how much fun it is to, let’s say, move a small object from the living room to, say, the bedroom and pretend that it’s always been there. Then, once you’ve got your partner believing that it has always lived in the bedroom, move it back again. And smile sweetly at the look of consternation on his face.
There’s no hear here. Pretend you can’t hear when he calls out to you to please lower the volume on the TV because he’s trying to work in the next room. Time it so that about two seconds before he walks into the living room to ask you in person, you shut the TV off completely and pretend you’ve been napping the whole time. And when he goes back inside? That’s right — turn the TV back on, this time a little louder. Repeat as necessary.
Lock the door by “accident.” Latch the can’t-be-opened-from-the-outside door lock when he steps outside to get the mail, water the plants, or take out the trash. Then head off for the shower, pretending (again) not to hear the knocking on the door that follows. Incessantly. Bonus score if you can manage to unlock the lock really quietly, then open the door a minute or so later saying (faking irritation), “What? It’s been unlocked — and now you’ve made me get out of the shower!”
Invest in the sock exchange. If you’re folding and putting away laundry, roll his socks into mismatched pairs. Great hilarity will ensue for you when he’s trying to get dressed quickly and needs to unroll lots of pairs to find a match.
Understand that there will be a price to pay for this kind of adorableness. You may need to worry about a surprise tickling episode. You may need to deal with his unexpectedly popping one ear bud in your ear so that you can hear the same song he’s listening to. And you may need to deal with his sneaking up behind you and kissing you on the cheek. In public. Causing you to jump out of your skin — and causing everyone around you to chuckle.
So forget the experts. Forget the articles and the tests. Even forget the darts.
Just remember to laugh.
ⓒ 2017 Claudia Grossman