In order to get married in the Catholic church, you have to complete pre-marital counseling.  I think that’s pretty typical as far as religions go, this sort of antiquated attempt to prepare couples for the commitment, importance, and work involved in maintaining a successful marriage.

Or as Catholics call it, this is how making babies works!

My church takes the mandatory counseling sessions, and jams them all into a two-day overnight Pre-Marital Retreat.

It’s like Burning Man except less peyote and druids and everyone wears khakis.

Now, in order to keep the event hip and edgy, the organizer, aka, my third grade teacher who failed me in math because I didn’t understand how coins worked, invites young married couples from the parish to share their experience and speak on an array of topics pertaining to things like having lots of kids and not divorcing.

For reasons I will never understand, Andy and I were invited to speak with the couples about how we make our marriage work.

To be fair, I did almost all the talking, while Andy sat there and played on his iPhone.  Which probably makes us look like we have the worst marriage ever, but Andy isn’t even Catholic, he only pretends to be because my church has better pews than his Lutheran church, and also so he doesn’t have to face his pastor’s wife, who was the nurse for his vasectomy.

And, I totally don’t blame him, because I’d pretend to practice Haitian Voodoo if it meant not learning about Jesus from the lady who shaved my balls with a pink disposable razor.

So, here is my presentation, and no, I don’t think I will ever be asked to speak publicly in a house of God ever again…

I married my high school sweetheart.  So, there were a lot of things about marriage and relationships that I just had to learn as I went along.

I had to learn to be less selfish, to be more responsible with money, and that when it comes to nuts, there are two kinds of allergic; itchy allergic and funeral allergic.

But, the most important lesson I can offer you today is, don’t get drunk and pick a fight with your husband about not being a vampire.

Because he will never be a vampire.  And you’ll be ok with that, mostly, until you watch a movie with Cameron Diaz, Matthew McConaughey, the guy from the Old Spice commercials or anything with a plot involving hormone charged supernatural  teenagers with rad hair.

Women ruin marriages with our imaginations.

The other night, all three (of our hopefully eleven *wink wink* I’m looking at your Father Zakary) children had colds, so that meant antihistamines and early bed times.

As I settled in on the couch with my giant glass of wine, I asked Andy to choose one of the Netflix movies on the counter and nestle in for some snuggling.

But, instead of being all lovey-dovey, Andy is like, I don’t want to watch any of these, they’re all romantic comedies, and what is Rumspringa? And I am like, it’s a documentary about how Amish teens leave home and get like, cell phones and shit and then they have to decide if they want to go back to Amish land or become club kids.  How do you not know this stuff?

So, Andy is all, ugh, but I am like, dude, last week we watched The Town, and that was, like, four hours long, and I had a panic attack at the end of it, and he was all, you said you liked that movie and you spent the rest of the night talking with a Boston accent, and I was like, no Andy, I am a good compromiser and better at making the best of bad situations than you, now put in the movie with the girl from Veronica Mars and snuggle with me on the couch before I order a silicone husband doll from Hong Kong that looks like Tom Selleck twenty years ago.

And, I know what you are thinking, Andy sounds totally selfish right now.

But, the thing is, he knows as soon as he puts in that movie, I am going to spend the next week trying to change him into whatever happens during that 120 minute run time.

After we watched Twilight, I was on him for days about why he never craved me the way Edward craved Bella, the way he smelled her neck and kissed her wrists.

And you know what happened?  He started acting like that.

Two days into Edward/Andy week I am all, ok dude, what is the deal? And he is like, what are you talking about?

And I am like, Andy, you just licked my wrist and last night you followed me into the bathroom, and it’s creeping me out.  And he is all, um, I’m doing exactly what you said, you wanted me to crave you like in the movie, and I am like, I know, it’s just when I pictured it in my head, it was way less annoying.

So that night, when we should have been all mushy on the couch watching a romantic movie and drinking wine, we spent the night being annoyed with each other while Andy lectured me about basing our marriage off the crap on our DVR.

Which obviously isn’t true, because if it was, he’d be a midget right now, and we’d be home perming each other’s hair, excessively eating cat litter, and every time I went to the bathroom to poop, a surprise baby would come out.

Whatever Andy, I’ll just drink until you’re sparkly.

The next morning we apologized, and that night we compromised with a Ricky Gervais movie, so it was like we were both being punished equally, which is way more fair.

You go into newlywed life with expectations.  Like having sex every night and eating home cooked three course dinners together by candlelight, only he works second shift, so when you get up in the morning for work, he’s sitting on the couch watching Colbert Report and eating a block of cheese.

If you walk into the bathroom and there’s candles lit, he’s not necessarily planning a romantic bubble bath with you, maybe he has diarrhea and has no idea where you moved the Lysol.

It’s important to remember that sometimes, marriages aren’t directed by Nora Ephron.  Sometimes they’re directed by the Farrelly brothers.

And, I’ll take laughing until I pee over having my wrists licked, even if that means he never brings me flowers and my loofah always has weird pubes on it, because at the end of the day, I know we adore each other.

If you write the script for your own romance, you’ll almost never be disappointed.

Unless it ends up being a M. Night Shyamalan movie, in which case, save yourself three years of confusion and divorce lawyer retainers, and just break it off now, because if Mark Wahlberg can’t make it work, no one can.

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