A good marriage doesn’t just happen, it takes effort. If you want to keep the spark alive and the journey joyful, you must be creative and at that, my husband is a pro. He has thought up dozens of tricks and schemes designed to keep our marriage fun filled and adventurous.
There is one particularly adorable game he invented that I’d like to share with you today. Every once in a while, when life gets stressful, my husband pretends that we don’t speak the same language. Maybe a more accurate description would be that he pretends the English I speak is a dialect foreign to his ear. He understands the individual words, but is completely befuddled by the order I string them.
Isn’t that cute?
Yeah, it’s totally hilarious.
Except those times when it’s not.
Which is pretty much every time.
Here’s an example:
Friday last week was a travel day for our family meaning we were up early, wouldn’t get to bed until late and were highly likely to experience tension throughout the day. To make matters worse, I was sleep deprived. I hadn’t had a solid night of rest in days. By Friday I was a wreck. I actually started breakfast that morning with a warning to my sons.
“I am on extreme edge,” I told them. “If you want to live to adulthood, tread lightly today.”
And this is how my husband interpreted that warning:
“Goody! She wants to play the language game!”
He starts small. I’ll ask for ‘my top’ and he’ll hand me the lid to the crock pot, things like that. But since that is only mildly annoying he generally escalate rapidly.
That Friday things hit critical mass on our way to the airport.
While giving Mowgli directions I used the term “U-turn” but Mowgli (because he’s such an amusing guy) decided what I really said was “YOU Turn”.
So this happened:
He asked “which way?”
I replied “U turn!”
(Because when you are struggling to communicate with your spouse the obvious solution is to not change what you said at all but just add exclamation points.)
This continued for a few more rounds until finally I said:
“I don’t care, Just U-turn!”
And then this happened:
Mowgli barked: “Left, right? What is wrong with you?”
And I returned with: “Me? What is wrong with YOU? I said U-TURN.”
(FYI if you are not reading the growing tension in that dialog then you are either single or drunk)
This is when the cursing started.
Mowgli: “WHICH (Expletive) WAY?”
Me: “I don’t (expletive!) care!”
You know it’s a good game when everyone starts swearing. We were having SO much fun.
Sadly I had to ruin the party. We actually did need to get to the airport. So, I organized a set of words that even a monkey could understand and shared them with my love:
“Turn whatever (expletive!) way you need to make this (expletive!) car go in the opposite (expletive!) direction!”
And he did exactly that.
And we spent the rest of the day a boring married couple.
Sigh. Good times.
Oh well. I’m sure we’ll play again soon.