Ignorance is Bliss

15 06 2009

Look, if your marriage sucks, keep it to yourself. I’m telling you now, I won’t want to visit you no matter how good you cook or how empty the calendar is. Because I don’t need to witness any more awkward exchanges between you and your husband. It’s painful enough to watch Jon and Kate Plus 8. Yet I had to see a scaled down version of it this past weekend.

Went to a friend’s house. We’ll call her Amy. Amy and her husband have been married for maybe 7 years (I see your antenna is raised already). She is at home with their two under-5 boys. She feels overwhelmed. One said boy was nagging for his soccer cleats (there was no match being played, but he needed them NOW). She called for her husband, whom we’ll call Remy.

Amy: Will you PLEASE take him?

Remy: What does he want?

Amy: He’s looking for his soccer cleats.

Remy: Well where are they?

Long huff from Amy, and she tells him they’re in the goddamn garage.

Remy exits with the boy, and Amy turns to me and says that he never looks her in the eye when he knows he’s done something wrong.

“Who?” I ask.

Remy, it turns out.

Remy is all “yes, dear” and “of course, honey.” But you can tell that he’s bubbling beneath the surface. He’d slap her with the back of his hand hard if it wouldn’t land him in jail.

Later the ladies were dishing around the kitchen table over cheesecake. I asked Amy where she spends the most time with the family at night watching TV–up where we were, or down in the finished basement, where there was another sofa and TV and loads of toys?

“We don’t spend time anywhere as a family,” she said. “We hardly ever sit together.”

Damn, I thought. It’s not that the concept is so odd. It’s just awkward knowing it. Next time, I wanted to say, don’t tell me. I’d really much rather be in the dark.

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