Marriage the Second: In which our heroine wonders what business she has trying this again

Oh, and our marriage license came in the mail yesterday, too.

It was like a scene out of a sitcom:

Joe and I in a pre-marriage counseling session,

Reading through the vows we had written,

And then somehow getting into a huge fight

About who does the laundry

And how

And when

And who puts the clothes away

And how

And when.

I could feel the corners of my eyes drawing back,


And I might have been hissing

As I accused

And reared back

And struck again.

The minister,

A young guy who looks like Joe would with a beard,

Watched and listened—

I forgot he was there.

I imagine

His alarmed eyes flicking back and forth between us

Before he finally interrupted:

“Okay, okay,

This is good.

This is obviously something you need to talk about.”

Walking out to the car

Two strides ahead of Joe,

I made a decision to


And silently contemplate what business we,

Who have both failed once at marriage

And can’t even cooperate on laundry,

Have trying to do this again.

But as soon as we closed (me: slammed) the car doors,

Joe suddenly and uncharacteristically started

Talking (purging)

About his history,

And the harsh refrains that play in his head.

I softened in the driver’s seat,

Listening and asking questions.

This was new information to me.

(Will there always be new information?)

We stopped at an Ethiopian place by our house

And ordered a veggie sampler

And held hands across the torn plastic tablecloth.

“Babe, I want to be the

Best husband

You’ve ever had,” Joe said,

And I started to laugh and cry at the same time.

We went home and went upstairs to our bedroom.

And Joe turned off all the lights

But one,

And I fell asleep to him

Putting the laundry away.


2 thoughts on “Marriage the Second: In which our heroine wonders what business she has trying this again

  1. This just made my day for some reason.

    “Fighting About Laundry” is an excellent title to the book of your collected essays.

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