This weekend my husband and I celebrated our seven year wedding anniversary. Well, actually the anniversary occurred earlier this month, but amongst the craziness of our lives we postponed the date night celebration to this weekend.
I still feel like a married rookie in some ways. But when it comes to verbally communicating, Chris and I have definitely improved, and we’ve developed a sense of humor about those specific questions that require specific answers in a male/female relationship. After seven years of married life and nine years together, for many situations we have implemented a system not unlike a dance with choreographed steps.
Take getting ready for a date night together. This used to be a long process if I were stressed or unorganized and Chris tried to allay my discomfort with unsolicited advice or honest answering of my rhetorical questions. Now I can admit that I need a total Mars/Venus gender stereotype dance, based upon female insecurities and masculine validation. And now we/I possess the ability to get ready and out the door for a date in about 30 minutes flat.
That’s 30 minutes from turning on the shower to buckling the seat belt. Not bad for a neurotic girly girl and helped in part by a very patient dude.
The Date Night Getting Ready Communication Pact
- I have promised to never ask Chris if I look old, fat, nasty, trampy, tired, bloated, frumpy, or other negative adjective when getting ready.
- If I do break this agreement, Chris has promised to simply answer, “No, you look great!”
- If the event for which we are preparing is a high pressure situation (formal attire, bitchy persons in attendance, event occurs during or one year following a pregnancy and consequent ass-size doubling), Chris will modify his answer to, “No, you look beautiful/gorgeous/stunning/thin!”
- I promise to never ask Chris for clothing/accessory/shoe selection assistance.
- If I break this agreement and ask Chris for advice while clothed, he promises to never attempt to offer up any suggestions other than what I am already wearing. (Even if he knows current shoe choice will result in a 10 city block long piggy back ride at 1am or current outfit conjures mental comparisons to Tara Reid or Ma Joad.)
- If I ask Chris for clothing/accessory/shoe selection help while undressed, Chris will feign confusion and offer no suggestions whatsoever.
- Conversely, Jessica is free to disclose any and all dress code advice while Chris is dressing to avoid potential over- or under-dressed event discomfort. Said advice will be straightforward and masculine in delivery, e.g. “I think most guys will be wearing jackets to this thing.”
- If Jessica’s advice is patently wrong, she attains designated driver status, regardless of male height/weight/alcohol tolerance advantages.
Deviation from the above agreements could result in exponentially longer getting ready time, pre-event huffiness and general lowering of merriment.
I’m not proud to be a living episode of I Love Lucy, but for the good of the relationship I’m willing to own my stereotypical needs and admit them in the spirit of better communication.
It just makes for a quicker arrival at our date destination.
Happy Anniversary Chris. You’re a prince for putting up with me.
And happy date nights to all of you.