5.02.2006

Honey I love you, now hand me the Charmin

Furry’s parents are getting divorced.

Yes, midway through a relatively calm week, right after dinner and before deciding which tivo-ed program to watch, his dad very matter-of-factly mentioned that he “didn’t really love” his mom anymore. He also mentioned (and I do mean mention, as these statements were made like mere asides as he watched tv) that he would be moving out the following Sunday.

Yeah, Furry’s mom had all the same questions you might be asking. Things like, “We were having problems? Wha?!” and “Why didn’t you ever tell me you were unhappy?”

As reality sunk in the questions quickly became louder and more aggressive. “What the hell are you thinking?!” and, “Is this a fucking joke?!”

It does not really matter what else was said during the following period of shrieking and tears. The bottom line was that the marriage had ended without any warning. Not with a bang, but with a very annoying heavily accented British whine.

See, he claimed he did not “feel passionate” about the marriage or family anymore. Yeah, and since he is such a passionate guy he needs to be constantly inspired and overwhelmed with…er…passion? Or something.

It all sounded like a bunch of bullshit to me. I have been married and it is not exciting all the time. I mean, c’mon, once you have seen someone’s laundry up close and personal, or become privy to their grooming habits, or even just been called on to deliver a fresh roll of toilet paper to a smelly bathroom occupied by your beloved... Well, after that, the romance does not come so easy any more.

Oh, and let me clear up one really big misconception that Brit Boy seemed to have: Feeling secure in a relationship and trusting that your spouse is going to be beside you for the rest of your life is NOT the same as taking them for granted.

Okay, if you never acknowledge how wonderful you think they are, or if you never say thank you (and mean it) or if you forget to talk to them much at all that might be taking them for granted. But for gosh sakes, after a few years of marriage is it not kind of a given that you love them so much you want to share the rest of your life with them? You were so committed to them that you pledged said commitment in a big ceremony in front of all your family and friends. So committed that you actively took measures to bring a child into the world thus starting a family. So committed that you supported every hobby, cheered at every victory, bit your tongue when they did something stupid, held their hand through medical procedures and screened their calls when their grandmother died and they were too overcome with grief to talk. What more can a person do? Sure she did not ask him every morning of he truly was coming back home to lucky ole her that night. She did not squeeeeeeeee when he walked past her line of vision. She did not jump his bones the moment he got into bed every night. But who does after 8 years of marriage? Really?

So, if Furry’s dad is unfulfilled by all means he does need to go. Because what he does not get is that the life he had with Furry and his mom was precious. It was his opportunity to be a hero and he did not find it rewarding enough to bother. That was what never quite sunk in with RB. HEE-ROE, dudes! To your sons you are like Batman and Superman and the Cat in the Hat all rolled into one! You are the strongest, the smartest, the bravest and the most handsome guy they know. And it is fleeting!

Eventually the baby will turn into a toddler and then a kid and then a pre-teen and THEN you will no longer be the schizzle of their wizzle. Oh yes, do not kid yourself, because our kids? They eventually do see our faults, but when they are young, they idolize us. They watch us, listen to us, mimic us and attempt to please us. All these incredible stages are so very precious that I do not understand how a man can walk out of his child’s life without so much as a backwards glance.

A male friend of mine once told me that there “wasn’t much [he] wouldn’t put up” with to maintain his position in his kid’s lives. “Sure sometimes I feel under appreciated,” he said, “I’m sure my wife has moments like that too. We annoy the hell out of each other at times, but at the end of the day when I look at my kids I see everything I ever loved about my wife reflected back at me. I fall in love with her all over again on a regular basis because of that.” (Gads, why didn’t I marry this man first?!)

Do not get the wrong idea, I am no advocate of “staying together for the children.” I am just saying that a lot of people seem to be forgetting that marriage is not all about them. Too many people divorce because they are bored, or because they think there is some great passionate “something” out there that they are missing. Those couples who manage to be passionate about the very family they are creating; who learn to see and respect their partner in these somewhat mundane roles; who can laugh even when the money’s tight and the job sucks and someone has gained some weight and someone else does not seem to be as neat any more – well, those are the people who truly “get it.”

Marriage is not all hearts and flowers. It is not always fun and it is not always easy. But that person who brings you the fresh roll of toilet paper? Hold on to them tight because it is a very lonely world out there without them.

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Having limitations on your lifestyle is NOT the same as being poor.