Food / Love and Marriage / Relationships

UAFMS #4: Con-flatulations

For those of you whose delicate sensibilities don’t allow you to read blogs that are about flatulation, then let me spare you. This blog has advice for my sister and I’m going to tell her to love and accept her fiance as he is. There- now you can quit reading and go back to wearing a floppy hat and watching horse movies.

If you were to guess what topic of conversation Alex and I discuss at least once a day, you might guess, ‘Jesus’ or ‘conspiracies’. You would be wrong. It would be ‘farting’. My husband has an uncanny ability to save up his farts until we’re together in a confined space and then he lets ’em rip and depletes my limited air supply. Think, I’m just innocently putting clothes away in the closet, minding my own business, when Alex comes in and my brain explodes from the lack of oxygen. Or we walk two miles to get into our car after a harrowing shopping trip spent elbowing old ladies and wrangling little kids who are licking suckers and putting them back in the checkout line at Wal-Mart and as I collapse in the passenger seat, my nose picks up a scent and then, I pass out from the fumes. My most used exclamations about the toxicity of his gas are, “Acid farts!” and “You’re singing my nose hairs off.” (Note: By singing, I mean the gerund of the English verb ‘to singe’, NOT ‘to sing’. I looked it up and that is how you spell it. All together now, “English is stupid!”)

My husband is a three-week-old vegan. This is a very new thing for us, considering he used to berate me for eating 16 cheese crackers for dinner (saltines with quarters of sliced cheese melted deliciously in the microwave) because they didn’t have any protein. It was all about the protein, until he started watching Netflix food documentaries. He has since decided that meat and animal products are the downfall of western civilization. So! January 1st, I joined him and our house became meatless……and toxic.

Granted, our air quality was probably toxic before because I think the dinosaurs lived in this duplex and we still have all of the great original everything. The carpet is probably made of asbestos and that dead body that we couldn’t reach in the air vents is starting to smell. But, if you stick with us after a dinner of brown rice, tomatoes, onions, and beans, you might as well bring a gas mask because it is stinky up in here.

When I married Alex, I was not aware of the power of his intestines to force the oxygen out of the room with his toots. When Alex married me, we both thought we were going to have kids.  Although his father warned me, I didn’t realize that Alex likes to spit so much and he definitely did not realize that I never replace the toilet paper roll, leaving anyone after me stranded on the bathroom bowl.  I have to touch locked doors and I can’t share my towels. Alex has a serious aversion to being late and he hates certain places so much that he physically reacts if you mention them in his presence (like, Arlington).

Today’s unsolicited advice for my sister is:

Expect surprises, even toxic ones.

Alex and I did not know these little idiosynchrasies when we got married. It’s something that we’ve learned along the way, and in some cases, we’ve flip-flopped on during the course of our marriage. People change and people have annoying habits that come to light when you live together, even your future husband.

When you take your marriage vows, you’re telling that person that you accept them as they are. Even though you don’t say it, what you really mean is:

I, Beth, take you Alex,
to be my lawfully wedded husband,
to have and to hold,
for better or for worse,
for your hatred of Mississippi and your hatred of putting laundry away,
for richer or for poorer,
for spitting or polluting my personal space with the air from your vegan intestines,
in sickness and in health,
for loving horrible movies from the 1990s and your propensity to wear giant, radio headphones in public,
to love and to cherish;
from this day forward,
until death do us part.

As this article from Relevant magazine states, we’ve come to believe that we can find the “perfect” person- someone who will never annoy us or disappoint us. That’s so false and it’s missing the point. Part of the beauty of marriage is learning to love the other person, despite their flaws, because that is what God does for us. He loves us, even though we aren’t perfect. It’s two imperfect people taking a lifetime to learn how to become one.  

So, little sister,  if, after your wedding day, you discover that Tyler cuts open the toothpaste tube so he can scrape out the rest of the toothpaste or you find out that he is an avid paint-by-numbers fan, don’t worry. This is just the beginning of the adventure of marriage.

(The {Unsolicited} Advice for My Sister series (or UAFMS) is meant for my younger sister who will be getting married in the summer of 2012. As her older sister, it is my duty to give her advice that she did not ask for. At least in blog form, she can choose to ignore it. If you want to read other blogs in this series, click on the “unsolicited advice” tag at the bottom of this post.)

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