The Marriage Pamphlet


You remember when you were single and your friends who were married handed you this pamphlet about the joys and bliss and happiness of marriage? The one with the picture of smiling happy couples doing chores together and laughing together and sitting with their 5 well-behaved angel children? Did you get that one?

Me neither. But sometimes that’s what I felt like people were selling marriage to me.

I do think marriage is awesome. And fun. And full of laughs. Rewarding and a 100 other million good things. No regrets here.

But there have been a few…. or more…. moments in mine and Viddy’s marriage that would not make it into the marriage pamphlet.

1) Getting ready for bed

Viddy stripped down to his underclothes, rubbing his hairy belleh, pretending he’s pregnant – “OooooOOOOoooo, this baby’s getting soooooo big!” Said in high pitched voice.

Or me, attempting to help my cold symptoms, snorting saline up my nose to rinse my sinuses and having snot and saline come out the other nostril and drip drip into the sink. Nothing makes me feel sexy like a good nasal/sinus lavage.

2) Sleeping

Nightime Fannie and Daytime Fannie are different people. Nightime Fannie is resentful, short-tempered, irrational and dramatic. Nighttime Fannie doesn’t care that Viddy can’t feed the baby. She thinks that if he really loved her he would figure out how to lactate. And if he really cared he would become psychic so that he could read Fannie’s mind and figure out what she needs at 2.53 a.m. Daytime Fannie understands she has to feed the baby and doesn’t mind waking up at 2.53 a.m. Daytime Fannie knows Nighttime Fannie is irrational and has to apologize sometimes in the morning to a confused Viddy.

Viddy snores. Loudly. Worse on his back. So there can be a lot of prodding, tapping, and sometimes whacking to get Viddy to wake up and turn over. Or at least turn away from me so it’s not as loud. Sometimes it takes a lot to bring Viddy out of sleep. “Viddy? [tap tap] Viddddddy? [TAP TAP] VIDDY? [shaking his shoulder] VIDDY?!” “Huh? Wha?” “TURN.OVER.”  “OK. You don’t need to get snippy. Geez.” Nighttime Fannie glowers.

Now Daytime Viddy, always offers to help Nighttime Fannie.  “Whatever you need, dear, I’m here for you.” Nighttime Viddy is a sneaky, conniving scoundrel whose only mission is to get more sleep.  Nighttime Viddy wakes up to a screaming child and his first thought is not, “Oh, Stephanie will need my help to care for our little angel.” Nighttime Viddy’s first thought is that Nighttime Fannie doesn’t know that he’s awake and maybe if he holds really still and continues to breathe heavily…she won’t notice.  However, Nighttime Fannie’s senses are finely tuned to detect a quaking baby at the first stir.  These same senses can also be attuned to lazy, good for nothing scoundrels faking slumber.  Then Nighttime Fannie pokes Nighttime Viddy repeatedly in the head, sternum, or back and gives a look that communicates straight through Viddy’s whimsical desire of sleeping longer and demands that he get his sorry bum out of bed.

Nighttime Viddy then rises from the bed which is not really an accurate description, but is much closer to a drunk trying to stand up. Usually, on his way to pick up the baby, Nighttime Viddy has to right himself by running into the wall so he doesn’t loose his balance.  Then he begins to rock Nighttime Lulu who is determined to make her Mom and Dad pay for every bit of spicy food her mom made her digest while in utero and every joke her Dad could make with the names they considered (Asher is now officially off our lists).  So, Nighttime Viddy rocks and glares at Lulu while he quietly tries to reason with her that if she just will go to sleep he might consider a car for her at sixteen.  Lulu takes this opportunity to express the symphonic range of her screaming.  Eventually, sleep settles over all.  Nighttime Fannie sprawled in the bed with almost all the covers around her.  Nighttime Viddy drooling and snoring in such a stupor that no sound can penetrate his sleep coma.  And Nighttime Lulu, waiting for her parents next REM cycle to set in so she can break it. – Viddy

3) Sickness

Three days into our Honeymoon, Viddy got a bad stomach bug. Some virus that made his body want to eject all contents of his digestive system. Nothing says ‘welcome to real life’ like the smells and sounds of vomit.

Pregnancy. The nausea. The stomach problems. Heartburn. Sweating. Excessive pillow usage. Waddling. I know pregnancy isn’t a sickness, it’s a natural part of life, blah blah blah. But pregnancy puking is not somehow more graceful and pretty than any other kind of puking.

4) Flatulence

I don’t think this needs explanation.


6 comments to The Marriage Pamphlet

  • engquist  says:

    amen and amen!

  • emily  says:

    Asher is off our list too. Mainly because I have a lisp and so do most 3 year olds…

    • Fannie  says:

      Let’s just say that viddy had way too much fun with the nickname potential of Asher….

  • Vanessa  says:

    ummmm, I adore this post. I love every sentiment and can relate to most. I too was irrational in the nighttime and resentful with my poor husband’s inability to take care of the baby and often found myself apologizing the next morning. Sleep deprivation does things to a person. It gets better. Babies can be taught to sleep through the night eventually and REM cycles will come again! In the meantime, laugh in the daytime and just enjoy what you can!

    • Fannie  says:

      I just keep repeating “Lulu will have a normal sleep schedule.” Over and Over and Over. 🙂
      I’m glad to know there is a light at the end of the sleep deprivation tunnel.

  • Marcia  says:

    She will! Age 3-4 months will begin the lovely transition into a beautiful sleep schedule. Nothing will feel more miraculous!