There are a lot of great things about marriage and being cut loose from parental support, you know the support I am talking about.
Disclaimer 1: Having spent less than five months in a marriage, I have a lot more to discover about it, but that can’t keep me from now offering up commentary on the experience thus far.
Disclaimer 2: I love my parents, and besides from the recent aid Kate and I received from them, we are financially independent.
- A big shock when you get cut loose is realizing how expensive living in this world is. There is health insurance, car insurance, utility bills, rent, gas, food, and any other additional bills like cable, cellular, or internet to pay for. Once over the initial shock of all that stuff (I am over that shock), it sort of feels good because I know where every single penny of ours is going. Since I am the one that doesn’t work 60 hours a week around this joint, I do all the bill-paying, a healthy chunk of the grocery shopping, and a majority of the financial monitoring. It is sometimes very stressful to see how expensive just living can be, but being cut loose and realizing that you can survive just fine away from home is a good feeling.
- Grocery shopping. Often it is an annoying errand, but I get in there with that shopping cart and there is no one keeping me from buying anything. That’s a beautiful thing. If anything looks good, I can put it in my shopping cart.
- That leads us directly to coupons. Before, well before I didn’t have to grocery shop, and I didn’t have to buy my own food. So, when I see a coupon for a dollar off any General Mills cereal in the Sunday paper I cut it out, and I use it on some cereal that I haven’t had in 15 years, like Apple Jacks. I think the stuff is going to be great, like it’s going to take me back like a real comfort food, but it’s not that good. I don’t care really, it’s edible, and I got a dollar off the Pick N Save’s asking price.
- When you are married you really share interests in a much different way than ever before. Example, I always knew Kate was an NPR listener, but it wasn’t until recently that I started listening too. She has sort of got me hooked. I even found it yesterday on this gimpy radio we have in the shower. I don’t listen all the time, I still like cruising in the Maxima to my own tunes, but every once in a while I make the switch to NPR and hear interesting things like the world’s fastest speaker. He can recite 655 words in a minute. Serious, he was on today. Freak.
- If I feel like walking around the house naked, I do it. I just have to pay attention to the trains though. I’m pretty sure an Amtrak saw my backside just about an hour ago. I’ve mooned them before on purpose, but today’s exposure wasn’t planned.
- Simple things like making the bed take on a whole new meaning. If it was just me here, I would still make the bed everyday, but I wouldn’t make it the way I do for Kate. I flatten the sheets. They are wrinkle free. I tuck the corners in nicely. I tuck the sheet in tight all the way up to the head of the bed. I fluff the pillows. I turn the bed down. And, after I wash the sheets, I spend a good ten minutes making the bed just right so I can see and hear Kate squeal into the bed out of pure enjoyment. She loves a well made bed.
- Cooking with your spouse is awesome, especially when your spouse can cook as well as Kate. This is another thing she has gotten me more interested in. I love preparing any dish from scratch, especially when I am surprising Kate. There is something so natural and primitive about real, healthy cooking. You know … the washing, the cutting, the innovation, and the final creation. I feel like I have built something after I cook. It gives me a real sense of accomplishment, and, it always tastes that much better if you make the dish yourself.
- I always hear new parents tell me that having a kid is so humbling. “You never realize how much you lived for yourself until you have a kid. All of a sudden it’s all about them and not about me anymore.” Getting married has given me that kind of feeling, not on the level that having a kid would, but marriage has certainly humbled me in that way. And we all know how much some good HT can be. (That is Humility Training for all of you too young to have taken part in HT sessions at core group meetings at Doug Johnson’s house.)