If I could go back to myself on my wedding day and give myself one bit of advice, it would be this: keep a quote journal. Granted, other sorts of wisdom would have helped me to navigate our marriage with fewer bumps in the road. But I want more than just to avoid the pain; I want to recall the blessings and the silliness with vivid detail. Isn’t it the memories of the good stuff that sort of slip away when times get tough? I should have been keeping a quote journal to remind me of all the moments that left me feeling like I was on some sneaky sitcom, to remind me of Brian’s sweet and unexpected compliments. On some of my more average days I hope to remedy this error by blogging some of my favorite marriage memories. Poor Brian.
You see, Brian’s charm has always been in his inability to hear himself before he speaks. There’s a definite lack of filter there. Most of us never wonder, “What’s Brian thinking?” And it’s not that he’s constantly blabbering on about his opinions, loving the sound of his own voice. He doesn’t need to use that many words to sum up what’s on his mind. And at this point, I’m not sure I’d enjoy him as much if he did have a filter. This quality was one of the first things that I appreciated about him. While many men would hold their tongues, watch their language or apologize, “Pardon my French,” Brian never held back. His colorful and offensive vocabulary just proved that his intentions weren’t to pretend his way into my heart.
This precious quality, however, didn’t seem quite as precious one week into our marriage. Prior to getting married I let my gym attendance slip to the back burner. (There’s not much time for step aerobics when you plan your wedding in one month.)
(Don’t we look like children?)
Yes, one week into being married Brian looked at me from across the room and inquired, “ Soooo… When are you going back to the gym?”
Me, “Why? Do I look bigger?”
Obviously the answer is no, right?
Brian, “Well… I can only tell in one spot.”
Me, “My stomach?” (It’s always the first thing to go.)
Brian, “Okay, two spots.”
Now, don’t forget, Brian doesn’t hear himself before he speaks. Any careful man would have stopped this conversation before it started. But Brian is a brave, brave man.
Brian, “It’s the sides of your legs.”
Me: *taking a sharp breath*
Brian, “They’re kind of looking a little bigger.”
Me: *now holding that sharp breath*
Brian, “…kind of cottage-cheesy…”
Me, “Yoooouu NEVER. Use the words. Cottage cheese. In reference to a woman’s body. Ever.”
Being born a sensitive soul, you would think that I was hurt, embarrassed and headed back to the gym. Not quite. You see, I felt sorry for Brian. I felt sorry that no one had ever taught Brian the rules. So one week into being married, I developed a strategy.
There was no nagging. There were no tears. I just mulled over this little incident and waited to retell it…
…until the first night that we had dinner with his parents.
I mean, really, why waste your breath nagging and crying when you can get other people to point out that cottage cheese should clearly never be mentioned outside of the context of meal preparation?
Did I mention that my mother-in-law adores me?