Saturday, December 20, 2008

There's No "I" In Team But There Is In "Married"

My lovely wife Robin and I entered the state of Holy Mortal Wedlock about two and a half years ago. This is her second trip, having two beautiful and ridiculously intelligent daughters with her first husband. This is my first marriage. Not too many men get married for the first time at 50, unless they lead the Warren Beatty life first. I did not lead the Warren Beatty life.

We met online. Okay, I hear the howls of derisive laughter from here. Tell me again how meeting at a club or party or even a wedding is better than meeting online. With online dating, one can sort through a few pics and write some letters, leading eventually to talking on the phone. If all systems are go, meet in a public place. Bring a wingman if you're still nervous. Your wingman can sit nearby at Norm's or House of Pies with the other party's wingperson. Perhaps they make a connection and start seeing each other as well.

Despite living only seven miles apart, there's no other way our lives intersect. Online dating is a great way to break out of one's normal crowd, especially if one finds oneself meeting the same type of person over and over again.

Sure, there are pitfalls. People do lie. Women sometimes lie about their appearance. Men have been known to lie about their circumstances. Do people lie more online than they do at closing time in a bar with the beer goggles on? Most people are sober online unless it's 2:00am and the beer goggles are still on. At that point, you're more apt to write the Stupid Drunken Email to your ex.

Besides, savvy online daters can read between the lines. We all know the true meaning of words and phrases like, "curvy," "has curves," "creative" and "athletic." Besides, what is an athletic build really? If a guy's gut looks like a basketball, that's athletic, right? From what I hear, the answer is yes.

Some people don't lie outright but they give the truth a good beating. For instance, I learned "average" height for an American man online really means 5 feet 4 inches. I was once rejected by a tallish woman because she told me over the phone I "sound short." I insist my real height is in fact the 5 feet 11 inches reported in my profile. She replies if I admit to 5 feet 11, I am probably 5 feet 6.

Online dating facilitates identifying crazy people before meeting face to face. If a person writes a 12,000 word profile outlining their desire to be understood, chances are good you won't understand them either. If a woman's photo shows big hair and high-waisted jeans, chances are 1987 was the last time she was happy.

One time I get to the calling point with someone who spends the last half of the first call bagging on her ex. The next time she bags on her ex for an hour. The third time it's ninety minutes. After that, I suggested we might change the subject. She told me I was just like all the other men who never listen.

Get my point? Online dating is also a public service. Another potential murder-suicide averted.

Say what you will. Since I entered the state of Holy Mortal Wedlock, I no longer dwell on the circumstances of our meeting. I'm married, I like it and work to stay that way. Now I try to understand exactly what it means to be married.

My wife insists we are a "team" but sometimes we both act like we're alone. Let me know if the following rings true:

My wife is in the bathroom applying eye makeup. The door is open. I walk in and say, "Honey..." Now she's shrieking and I have to peel her off the ceiling.

"You scared me, " she replies shakily after catching her breath.

"How? by walking in and saying, 'Honey...?'"

"Well...I didn't expect you to walk in."

"Okay, let me get this straight. We're married. We share the house, yet you don't ever expect me to walk into the open bathroom? Ever?"

Here's another: I'm entering the shower. Halfway in, I realize my wife removed the freshly laundered washcloth I placed in there previously. Now I'm dripping wet and fuming because I must drip over to the linen closet to retrieve a fresh one. My wife inquires about the tirade later.

"What was all the swearing about?'

"You took the new washcloth out of the shower. I was forced to walk through the house dripping wet to get another one."


"What do you mean, why? There was no washcloth...."

"Why didn't you just get in the shower and call for me to bring you a fresh one instead of stomping around all mad?"

Hmmm. She had me there. However, I ignored Newton's Second Law of Marriage (pick yer battles ya eejit) and put up a front.

"Because...Because...I am a man. A man always provides for his own washcloth."

Yes I said that. Looking back, it doesn't make sense to me either. My wife endures this logic on a daily basis for two and a half years now. Truth be told, I forget for a moment I have a teammate.

Teammates pick up the slack for you sometimes when your "A" game deserts you. When your shot's not dropping, you compensate with more hustle and tenacious defense. Encourage your teammates when the day isn't theirs. Cajole them for sloppy play.

Little by little, I get the picture. Marriage most resembles basketball, though a good argument can be made for doubles tennis, ping-pong or badminton.

1 comment:

Rach said...

hahahahaha. i loled.