A few weeks ago, I was thrilled to have a post reprinted on a wildly popular blog. My post was called "25 Things Women Want in a Pre-Nup," written simply as a lighthearted list of things men do that drive their wives crazy. It was a compilation of hilarious comments (taken from a boisterous and merry group poll over two pitchers of margaritas at the local cantina), from a diverse group of girlfriends who, like me, are all happily married. It was also my first post that got trolled.
For my non-blogging readers, "trolls" are people who post mean-spirited, inflammatory comments (often simply a character assassination of the writer) on a blog, deliberately intending to provoke an emotional, online debate. Basically, my trolls said I was a "whiny bitch" (maybe true), in serious need of psychological help (probably true), who hated marriage (absolutely not true).
Experienced bloggers tend to agree that the best way to handle trolls is to ignore them, so I didn't respond. But it got me thinking about what I loved most about being married, so I began a new list. Another shout-out to girlfriends for their contributions resulted in immediate, enthusiastic responses. Here's what makes us happy:
1. He makes me laugh. Every day.
2. I get to sleep every night with my best friend.
3. We're past that awkward first-time sex. No guessing required.
4. I don't have to date anymore.
5. Kisses. Lots of kisses.
6. Someone misses me when I'm gone.
7. I always have a plus-1.
8. I have someone on my side, even when I'm wrong.
9. Every fight doesn't make me wonder if he's changed his Facebook status.
10. I'm loved.
11. We can have sex anytime we want. (And if the kids are gone, anywhere you want.)
12. He knows exactly how I like my steak. And my coffee.
13. We can have entire conversations without actually speaking. A look or a touch can say more than words.
14. I can go out with the girls without having to deal with bad pick-up lines from strangers looking for one-nighters. "No thanks, I'm married" is the best douche-repellant ever.
15. I can be silly. Often.
16. I can be selfish. Occasionally.
17. He's a great snuggle-buddy after a bad dream.
18. He ages with me.
19. He holds my hand when I'm getting a scary diagnosis. And doesn't let go.
20. He shares the joys and worries of parenting.
21. He's seen my crazy. And he's still here.
22. I no longer have to explain my family members. He knows all the key players and where all the bodies are buried.
23. I don't have to know it all. (I proofread all his emails. He keeps me posted on world events.)
24. I don't have to do it all. (He cooks, I clean.)
25. I don't have to dress "Do Me" all the time.
26. He doesn't say a word when I've been avoiding carbs for a month, then toss a box of doughnuts and two frozen pizzas in the shopping cart at Safeway.
27. He's my best cheerleader when I need encouragement to keep going or applause at the finish line.
28. He's a great dragon-slayer when I'm hurt.
29. He gets me, even when the rest of the world doesn't.
30. He understands my love of cold cereal for dinner and Pop Tarts in my glove box.
31. He tells me I'm beautiful. Even after an ugly cry.
32. I always have someone to play with.
33. He knows me, and loves me anyway.
On a recent evening, Hubs and I were sitting out on the deck, sharing a fabulous bottle of Cabernet and quietly enjoying the warm sunset together. Hubs looked over at me and said, "I'm so lucky to be married to you. But sometimes I think you're too classy for me."
My mind did a quick replay of the energetic, epic fails I've subjected him to over the last 15 years, and I burst out laughing, knocking over my full glass of wine. The red liquid arced up into the air, then splattered squarely down the center of my white t-shirt.
Hubs got up to get me another glass (and a clean t-shirt) and grinned, "Then again, I think we're good."
It doesn't get any better than that.