I was wasting time on the internet the other day when I ran across an article in The New York Times called “Thirteen Questions To Ask Before Getting Married.” I read it and quickly panicked as I realized I had never asked my husband of twenty-five years any of these questions.
Apparently we entered into our marriage completely unprepared. No questions asked. Matter of fact, I think that the only reason we got married at all was because of a hot, summer day back in the 80’s when I opened the mail and thought, “Oh hell no! There is no way Psycho Sue is getting married before me!”
The NYT and a well-known marriage expert seem to believe that people should have more of a reason to get married besides insane jealousy that all of their friends are getting married before them and they think that people might benefit from actually asking each other some rather probing questions prior to marriage. So they came up with a fun premarital exam consisting of thirteen essential questions. Personally, I think if I had sat down with my then-boyfriend- now-husband and interrogated him with these questions, our wedding never would have happened. He refuses to even look at them now; he just keep shaking his head and muttering something about it being too late.
I put the questions below in case you want to give it a try but remember if you ask and don’t like his response, then what? Are you seriously going to let Psycho Sue walk down that aisle ahead of you just because of a few minor issues?
1) NYT: Does your family throw plates, calmly discuss issues or silently shut down when disagreements arise?
Me: Yes, yes and yes. What about your family? Do me a favor; just give me the list of all of the batshit crazy ones right now so I know when to duck at family gatherings.
2) NYT: Will we have children and if we do will you change the diapers?
Me: If your betrothed’s answer to, “Will we have children” is no, then he is clearly smarter than the rest of us and no more questions need to be asked. If his answer is yes, then the answer to the second half better be yes as well, otherwise the shit is going to hit the fam’, big time.
3) NYT: Will our experiences with our exes help or hinder us? Me: The answer to this question is hinder, always hinder, so shred those photos and don’t you dare friend her on Facebook or follow her Instagram. I am already stalking her, I will find out.
4) NYT: How important is religion? How will we celebrate religious holidays, if at all?
Me: Who should I hide the Passover wine from and who gives out the best gifts at the Christmas grab?
5) NYT: Is my debt your debt and vice versa? Are you willing to bail me out?
Me: Just point out the wealthy widowed aunt with the ungrateful children at the next cookout so I can make sure to cozy up, keep her glass filled and get in on the will.
6) NYT: What is the most you would be willing to spend on a car, couch and shoes?
Me: Cars and couches are negotiable, but don’t ever ask a girl about her shoes. Didn’t you learn anything from your ex?
7) NYT: Can you deal with me doing things without you?
Me: Seriously? Are you three years old? Am I your mama?
8) NYT: Do we like each other’s parents?
Me: Ok, back to the batshit crazy question…
9) NYT: How important is sex to you?
Me: I actually have a question myself: Do you, or have you ever, attended a convention for people who are sexually attracted to furry animal costumes? Not that there is anything wrong with that I just need to know what I am getting myself into.
10) NYT: How far should we take flirting with other people? Is watching pornography okay?
Me: Flirting? I’m sorry; I thought we were getting married. Why would you be flirting with someone else? And…why the hell are you wasting your time watching porn? Turn off that computer cowboy, I’m right here!
11) NYT: Do you know all the ways I say I love you?
Me: I say “I love you” by ignoring those long nose hairs poking at me every time we kiss and you can say I love you by pretending not to notice the muffin top sticking out of the top of my jeans.
12) What do you admire about me, and what are your pet peeves?
Me: Feel free to pile on the admiration but don’t ever tell me about the pet peeves. I know my faults. I know I’m weird. I have a list too. Don’t make me use it.
13) NYT: How do you see us ten years from now?
Me: I see us weirder, hairier and chunkier so turn off the furry animal porn, trim those nose hairs and get over here already!
About the author: Anne Sawan is a psychologist, writer and mother to five wonderfully aggravating children. Her work has been published on Brain-Child, Scary Mommy, Adoptive Families and BluntMoms. She also has several picture books on MeeGenius and a new book, the Great Grandmother Talent Show, is scheduled to come out this year through Clavis Publishing.