Yes. My wife and I are still together after 30 years.
We got married because I knocked her up. No surprise there since we fucked like rabbits then. She miscarried a week after we tied the ‘forever’ knot and promptly fell out of our maybe-love-that-was-actually-lust the day after. But living with someone you did not love is as American as the flag and apple pie and we did our part to contribute to our country’s stats on successful marriages that had nothing to do with being happy.
For one millisecond, I pursued being single. Took off my wedding ring, hit up a few bars, spoke to a few very enthusiastic young women who were not nearly as disgusted with me as they should’ve been. Younger women who explained contorted sexual positions like the Golden Gate Blowjob (or the inverted 69) and the Backbend in such graphic detail that I’m sure are physically impossible. Sigh. I ran out of the bars. I was raised to being with a wife who barely tolerated me and bestowed sex grudgingly. Fuck. I went back to beer, a wife who counts from 1-100 as I’m doing her and missionary.
What about kids? Well, kid. One. We were so ready for our kid to be lazy, be a mooch, and eventually ask him to bugger off. We were prepared for him to be an addict. Alcohol. Pot. Hard drugs. Women. We prepared for him to move far away from us, get married, never see our grandkids because our kid was an asshole.
Instead, he finished grad school from Caltech, got a well-paying job with Microsoft, married his childhood sweetheart, bought a house down the street from his ageing parents, comes over all the time to make sure we’re still alive. And the grandkids? Fuck. Our kid tells his kids that we are his inspiration. Know what’s worse than preparing for a deadbeat kid? Getting a good kid.
The missus and I tried to split. After 25 years we’d had enough of the hate. I hate that she rolls her eyes when I ask her anything and she mutters under her breath, “When is this ever going to end? I’d rather die.” She hates that I tell the same glorious forty-year-old story of running for a touchdown in my high school football game over and over again. And that I fart. We also never believed in the ‘live and let live’ policy. I wish a rabid dog would bite her and she dies a long, painful and drawn-out death. She wishes that a dump truck carrying human waste would fall on me. No metaphors for my wife. Like, she literally wants me to die with shit on my face.
But we didn’t split after all. Why? Turns out – as much as we abhor each other, just about everyone else in the world loathes us.
Roopa has a regular weekly opinion column on Elephant Journal. Her fiction is published on Eksentrika, Kitaab, Women’s Web and more. She also writes humor and is published on Slackjaw, Frazzled, Greener Pastures Magazine and more. Check out her writing on her personal page at www.themessyoptimist.com
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