Thursday, February 08, 2007

If I knew then what I know now...

Oh NYT, you're so clever. Of course we all should have asked these questions of our partners before we promised to make them breakfast forever. In actuality, most of us did have these discussions. But anyone who's been married long enough knows the real truth -- people lie.

Especially young Armenian girls in their mid-20s, who fear nothing more than their mothers answering yet another phone call from the community matchmaker. Or worse -- being told at a family party that your cousin Arpi, who's 3 years younger than you, is engaged and boy, you'd better forget your ideals because you're not getting any younger. And what's wrong with you anyway?

So you alter the truth a touch when your prospective (and thankfully non-Armo) husband asks you questions like number 14) If one of us were to be offered a career opportunity in a location far from the other’s family, are we prepared to move? You say, "Sure!" and try to sound sophisticated and confident, even though you're 25 and haven't cut the umbilical cord yet. You don't tell him that your family would guilt you into grief, or that the first time you went camping when you were in 8th grade, you actually called and asked to come home because you were the homesick loser that no one wanted to roast marshmellows with.

Eventually you get married and your husband realizes that you call your mother 3 times a day, and even though you explain that it's not really you, that if you don't she'll think you're dead and call your sister to confirm your whereabouts -- he never really gets used to it. And you never really get used to the fact that he could care less if he sees his mother four times a year, at birthdays and holidays. And you try to tell yourself that like John Lennon said, love is all you need, but eventually you really start to annoy each other. You lie next to each other each night--you dreading any movement of the comforter releasing his offending odors, he dreading your open-mouthed Darth Vader post-nasal-drip breathing.

Eventually, the uphill pedalling gets you to the top of the hill and you can coast the breaks for a while, smiling and enjoying the view. But the ride downhill is always so much faster than the ride up the hill you know awaits you at the bottom. And sometimes it's hard to enjoy the scenery when you know tough times and lots of work lie ahead. But you pedal in tandem, in earnest, because you're not quite ready to disembark just yet.

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