By Ann Brown
Thirty-two years ago (this Friday), Robin and I had a huge fucking fight about something stupid. And by “stupid”, I mean it was possibly my fault. At the core of the fight was an issue that continues to plague us to this day: I think it is hilarious when I fuck shit up, and Robin prefers to arrive at our wedding destination and not be informed that I have forgotten his shirt. And when I helpfully point out the humor in the situation (by way of telling him, “oh, lighten up, you big baby. You are harshing my wedding day mellow”) he refuses to let it go and just wear the three-piece wool suit sans shirt in the 103 degree September LA weather. I mean, it’s not like I forgot his pants. For fuck’s sake.
He can be so uptight. Sometimes I have no idea why I married him. He really doesn’t share my upbeat outlook on life. I might have to start sneaking my happy pills into his morning granola. Be like me!
If only I could marry myself. I am an ideal spouse. Ask anyone but Robin.
We didn’t speak, or even make eye contact, all that afternoon. Not even when we were walking down the aisle. Not even when we were assembled under the wedding chuppah, not even when we put the rings on each other’s fingers. My noble attempt to make detente by complimenting him on his very manly hair shirt during our vows was met with staunch resistance. Really, what’s a bride to do?
Our freeze began to thaw only when we both laughed during the ceremony because – having our wedding on a hill overlooking a golf course on a Sunday afternoon – a voice on the loudspeaker announcing that “Stevenson, your golf cart is ready” obscured all other sounds and finally, someone at our wedding yelled down the hill, “Stevenson, go get your fucking cart already!”
Which is why I maintain that yelling the word “fuck” at a formal event is never NOT funny. You can take that to the bank.
Anyway, Robin and I managed to get – and stay – married thus far. I have a tiny “To Do” list for him, however, which he must complete if he wants another thirty-two years out of me. The list includes “empty the trash in your bathroom.” And, “change everything you do and are, and recreate yourself in my image.”
To celebrate our 32nd anniversary, we are driving up to Seattle for the memorial of a dear friend’s mother. This will be perfect because Robin and I will have three hours together in the car with no distractions. Or, as Robin is calling it, “captive.” He is concerned that the drive will pretty much be a three-hour verbal intervention on him. Which is ridiculous, of course.
I have a written list.