I am not sure if Joe ever got the memo.
In marriage, I thought it was clear that whatever neighborhood
secrets are divulged to one's spouse are considered "joint marital
property." That is, Joe is required to let me know whenever he
hears anything even slightly racy or indelicate. It's my wifely
I think it's in the Bible.
Because honestly, what else do I have? I do the laundry and fill
out the field trip forms. I scrub toilets and answer countless kid
questions on the weather and world geography. I maintain the files
for the car, the mortgage, and the furnace filter. My days are like
an episode of "The Love Boat" or "Three's Company." If you've seen
one, you've seen them all.
So when Joe and I arrived at a party this month, I was startled
to discover an entire grocery list of drama and intrigue amongst
the friend group.
Joe had never tipped me off. Never uttered a single word. Not
even when I asked, "Anything scandalous going on with your
By the time we left, I was fuming. Clearly all the other wives
had been brought up to speed on all the news by their far more
considerate husbands. Joe? He had gone with "discreet." Why bother
even getting married if your husband won't give you the goods on
all that is unholy? I was getting cranky.
Joe, on the other hand, was indignant. He told me that when a
friend asks him not to say anything, he holds true to his word.
"But nobody expects you not to tell ME," I argued. "Besides,
everybody knew already!"
"I don't care," insisted my stubborn husband. "It's how I was
Great. Then he went into the whole "I was brought up with honor
and integrity and isn't that why you married me?" speech. I had no
chance at victory.
In his concluding argument, Joe also pointed out that I had a
less-than-stellar history of keeping secrets.
Naturally, I was insulted.
"What are you talking about? I can positively keep a secret.
When have I blurted out something I wasn't supposed to?"
For once, Joe was ready:
"You told me the sex of our last baby even when I BEGGED you to
keep it a secret until delivery."
"Remember the time you 'outed' your gay friend? AT A BEARS
"Didn't your co-worker friend once tell you of an upcoming
termination only to have you throw the girl a going-away party
BEFORE she knew she was fired??"
"Every year, you INSIST on giving me my Christmas present. IN
NOVEMBER. You tell me it's 'painful' to keep secrets."
As I was overcome with the sudden realization that I could never
work for the CIA, Joe went for the jugular:
"Besides, Marianne, we all know how you put EVERYTHING in the
blog. People are scared that whatever they say will end up in
Chicago Parent or in your next book."
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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