Chrisie would be the first to tell you that she had some strange ideas about relationships when we first got married. Okay, actually she wouldn’t be the first to tell you, but she would be the first the agree if I told you. She could also tell you that I had some messed up ideas as well. We’re both right.
Let’s get my own foibles out of the way first. When we were married, I thought our family was simply Chrisie and me. I was wrong. It meant her family, my family, and all aunts, uncles, and cousins. My complete misunderstanding of how important her family would remain to her led to one of our first major arguments. I wanted to spend our first Christmas together staying home, just the two of us. I failed to see the importance of her getting to see the rest of her family. I was wrong. You’ll notice that’s the second time I’ve used that phrase in one paragraph which proves I have no trouble admitting it.
Now let’s deal with one of hers. But first, for the record, my wife is the most amazing woman I know. She is loving, kind, and far more than I deserve. I only mention these episodes because they’re, well, funny. She is so much more than these small snippets (taken out of the context of her full life) make her out to be. Okay, enough of the sweet and loving (and truly heartfelt devotion) to my wife, let’s get back to the funny.
Chrisie used to have the most mixed up, incomprehensible views on jealousy. She’s (mostly) past that now, but in the first year or so, it caused more than one disagreement.
In our first month, we returning home from the store. I was driving and we were waiting for the light to change. Cars turning on the road we were on had a green arrow and were filing past us heading towards the mall.
“Did you see that?” she suddenly asked.
“That guy who just smiled at me.”
“No, I didn’t notice.” I continued waiting for the light. Soon I looked over at her, possibly because of her silence, but mostly because I think my scalp was about to catch fire from her stare.
“What?” I asked.
“That didn’t bother you?”
“What didn’t bother me?”
“The guy looking at me. Smiling at me.”
“Not really.” The light turned green for us, so I continued our drive home.
“It should bother you!”
“We are talking about a guy in another car?”
“Who was going the other way and has already passed us?”
“Nope, still not bothered.”
“But you should be!”
“He looked at me!”
“And he smiled at me! YOU SHOULD BE BOTHERED THAT ANOTHER GUY SMILED AT ME!”
“Um, are you having sex with him?”
“Of course not!”
“Then why would I care if he smiled at you. I have a hot wife, other guys are going to notice you and probably smile at you. I’m okay with that.”
“Well, you shouldn’t be!”
“Honey, I’m not the jealous type. One of the reasons I married you is that I know I’ll never have to worry about stuff like that. I didn’t get married to be suspicious and jealous, I got married to spend my life with you.”
“That makes no sense!”
“Wait . . . what?”
This conversation made me even more confused later in the year when one of her ex boyfriends started calling her. He was going through a divorce and “just needed someone to talk to.” I, of course, had him pegged right away, but Chrisie had a different viewpoint.
“He just needs a friend right now, he’s going through stuff.”
“Maybe, but that dude is working up to asking you out. Just wait.”
“Are you jealous?”
“No, cause I know you’ll shoot him down when he gets around to it. I just find it annoying. And pathetic.”
“You shouldn’t be so jealous.”
“I’m not jealous. I’m annoyed. I thought we covered that.”
“Well, you have nothing to be jealous of.”
“I know. I’m not . . . never mind, just let me know when he gets around to asking you out so I can yell at him.”
For a while, he would actually speak to me when he called. I never yelled, but I let him know what I thought was going on and subtly reminded him Chrisie was married to me.
“Can I talk to Chrisie?”
“Can you talk to my wife? Sure, no problem, you can talk to my wife. Just let me call my wife to the phone for you. Honey, there’s a guy on the phone who wants to talk to my wife. That’s you, seeing as how we’re married and all. Okay, my wife is coming to the phone now.” See? Subtle.
She complained about me being jealous.
“I thought you wanted me to be jealous.”
“But not when I don’t want you to be.”
“Let me get this straight, I’m supposed to be upset about some random guy in a car you’ve never met, but I’m not supposed to be upset about an ex-boyfriend that calls you at our house?”
“Exactly.” Occasionally, I am smart enough to realize that there is nothing to be gained by arguing and that I should just walk away. This was not one of those occasions.
“That makes no sense.”
“It makes perfect sense. Just be jealous when I want you to be and don’t be jealous when I don’t want you to be.”
“And how do I know the difference?”
“You won’t make me mad.”
“So I can only know I’ve gotten it right if you’re not mad.”
Of course, he did eventually ask her out. She told me about it when I got home later that day.
“Well, he won’t be calling anymore.”
“I asked him not to.”
“Why did you ask him not to?”
“Because you were right. He asked me out. On a date.”
I tried (and failed) to contain my glee.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch that first part. What did you say?”
“You were right.”
I jumped up on the couch and said, “One more time. With feeling.”
“You were right, okay? He asked me out. I said no. I can’t believe that’s what he was after all along.”
“You know, I seem to remember someone mentioning this in the beginning.”
“Are you doing your ‘I’m right’ dance?”
“Of course, I’m right, I need to celebrate. It’s kind of like a touchdown.”
“Well, stop it.”
“Why you can’t handle just how right I am?”
“No, because you look stupid.” I stopped.
To be fair, she only thought he had good intentions because Chrisie believes the best of people. It’s one of her cool traits. He wasn’t the last person the hit on her, but I’ve still never really gotten upset when someone does. I’m not the jealous type. More importantly, Chrisie is the faithful type. Oh how I love that gal of mine.