Friday, June 28, 2019

Pre-Marriage Questioning

Pre-dating. When Katie was playing hard-to-get.  

I recently came across an article on the Interwebs with the title 54 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married. (I assumed one of those questions would be, “Do you put an inordinate amount of trust into anonymous articles that you come across on the Internet?”)

I thought back to when Katie and I were dating, and how this article would have most likely inspired my own line of questioning. Mainly:

“54 questions? Who has time for that?!”
“Will this involve a polygraph?”
“How much will this cut into ‘kissing time?’”

…and so forth.

Dating. And time permitting, being adorable.

Since our courtship was before the invention of the Internet, smartphones, Ted Talks, or Robert Mueller, I didn’t have easy access to lists of questions I should be asking this highly attractive, hilarious, and wicked-smart love of my life. For me, when I was dating Katie, the Question List was much shorter.

1. Do you like me?
2. Do you think you could like me forever?
3. How do you feel about eating ice cream every night?
4. Do you consider it a hate crime that Bill Murray doesn’t already have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?

That’s about it, I guess.

The Big Day.  

23 brief years later. 

I learned a lot by reading this list of 54 questions, you guys. I’ve been married almost 24 years, and I’ll just say it, I kind of thought I was nailing it. But NO! I am so embarrassed. As I read these questions, I began to realize that after 23 years of marriage – there are still things we have never even asked each other!

I couldn't wait for our next date night, so we could get to the bottom of some of these. "Do you want kids?" I would begin. "How many?" "If it were up to you, when would we start having kids?" Katie would then wrinkle her nose and squint her eyes, like she was giving a lot of thought to my timely questions. Or like she was wondering when I'd started drinking in the afternoon, since the relevancy of these questions is questionable. "Why do we want to marry each other?" "How should I behave when you’re in a bad mood?" "If physical attraction were eliminated, what would be left in our relationship?" ("Ha!" she would answer. "Like we’ll ever have to cross that bridge.")

54 questions would seem like an exhaustive list, right? Wrong. Like, wrong wrong. You should be ashamed of how wrong you are.

Sit down, you adorable Gen-Z’er. Let me tell you the kind of hard-hitting questions you want to ask that flawless young thing sitting across from you right now … peering into your eyes … fully confident that you have never had body odor or blown your nose in the shower.

Wanna know who you are really marrying? Consider these 20 questions that you couldn’t possibly even know needed answering before you get married …

1. Does the Christmas season start on November 1st or the day after Thanksgiving?

2. Will using humor diffuse a situation, or throw gas on the fire?

3. Follow up: Is it more important to be right or to be funny?

4. How do you feel about having a conversation while one of us is sitting on a toilet?

5. What temperature is the thermostat going to be set at?

6. It’s midnight, but there’s a new episode of Brooklyn 99. Do we watch it?

7. The speaker at church is super earnest. I’ve decided to do an impression of him for you. During the meeting. But with an adorable lateral-lisp. How do you respond?

8. There’s precisely one serving of ice cream left in the freezer. Who gets it? (Follow-up question: And how did this happen when the carton was half-full yesterday?)

9. I have a story from when I was single and at a church social function where an older, married woman mistook me for her husband and stuck her hand in my back pocket. I will be telling this story at parties for the rest of our lives. Is this a problem?

10. When I feel overwhelmed with love or gratitude – or when our kids do something amazing – I will get emotional. In public. Will this embarrass you?

11. How do you feel about stints of unemployment or underemployment?

12. How do you feel about putting up decorations for every holiday?

13. I won’t sing in public. But I will sing to you. And those songs will usually be pop songs where I have parodied the lyrics to the point where they are about 85% innuendo. Do you find this amusing?

14. Do you feel lip syncing is superior to karaoke? Correction: Why is lip syncing superior to karaoke?

15. Dinner is almost ready, but I go to the pantry anyway and grab a bag of chips. Is this met with a) eye rolls b) sarcasm or c) death threats?

16. We agreed on a specific price tag for our Christmas presents to each other. I completely ignored it and surprised you with something way out of budget. Again. For the 23rd year in a row. Even though I promised you I wasn’t going to do that this year. How much trouble am I in? Why do I keep doing this? Do promises mean nothing to me?

17. We will most likely see U2 every time they tour. Despite the ridiculous ticket costs. Problem?

18. There will be moments in our life together when I feel inspired to take over the world! To do something amazing! Excited and determined, I will present you with my ideas and plans. After the music dies down and I realize my plans require a lot of work, I will go back to being just me. Will you be able to get excited with me and tell me how wonderful I am when I present my ideas – and then, will you be able to quickly forget them and not throw them in my face when absolutely nothing happens?

19. If neither of us is a doctor, are you still comfortable looking at weird things in unspeakable places and answering the question, “What do you think this is?”

20. How much of our lives is going to be shared on blog posts?