Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 213: Stay thirsty, my friends

One of the advantages of marriage is that you get to observe men in captivity.*

I had not lived with a man for many years when SH and I married.** I had a male housemate for a year when I lived in Chile, but he was a quiet guy who kept to himself and did what I told him to do, which made him the ideal housemate.

When I was a kid, my brother and my dad were in the same house, but I had known them all my life and didn't have a baseline. I thought that anything they did was normal male behavior. And in my brother's defense, a bedroom that is a complete mess and has that Farrah Fawcett poster is probably pretty normal teenage male behavior.

Now, having lived on my own for most of my adult life and having figured out the right way to do things, I have thrown a major wrench in the works by marrying someone who is as convinced of the rightness of his cause as I am and who won't just do what I tell him.

What this means is that when his quirks are not making me crazy, SH is a fascinating case study. I feel like I'm an anthropologist, embedded with the subject, observing his ways so I can write an amazing paper to present at the next conference.

I have already documented some of SH's quirks here: his hoarding of old phone bills, his constant attempts to square off the decorative pillows on the bed even though I want them casually tossed against the headboard with a nonchalant je ne sais quois, his freakiness about putting away dishes that might have a drop or two of water on them, and his obsessiveness about the knives.

But here's a new one that makes no sense to me at all. I know he's an OCD engineer who has to stack all his junk neatly (instead of throwing it away), which explains the Leaning Tower of Visa, which I must admit has paid off on the two or three occasions that we actually have needed a credit card receipt from three years ago and which explains the knives and the silverware and the pillows.

But I don't know why he always goes to the bathroom to get a drink of water.

Even when he is in the kitchen, right next to the sink, with the glasses in the cupboard to the left of the sink, so he would not even have to move to 1. get a glass and 2. turn on the tap to fill it, he will walk to the bathroom instead to drink bathroom water from the bathroom water glass, which lives in the bathroom for two or three days before I switch it for a clean one and which gets SH toothpaste tracks on it because he does not spit before he drinks. Which is why I do not drink from this glass. I will kiss him, but I will not share his bathroom water glass.

Let's review:

Option 1: No moving, clean glass, kitchen tap water

Option 2: Walk out of the kitchen, across the hall and into the bathroom, not so clean glass, bathroom tap water.

His explanation?

It tastes better.

I maintain that as the bathroom and the kitchen tap have the same source that the water cannot possibly taste different. Although I suppose if there is different plumbing leading to the two taps that that ten feet of pipe could impart its own flavor on the water.

Wait. No, I do not suppose that. The bathroom water has to taste the same. And even if it didn't, how much better would it have to be for someone to go through that much extra work to get it?

There are people who drink bottled water because they claim the tap water isn't safe.

Please. We have potable water in pretty much every part of this country.*** If drinking the water in Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador didn't make me sick,**** then drinking the water in Anytown USA sure isn't going to do it.

Others say they prefer the taste of bottled water.

Posers. Usually, the people saying this are not those who live out in the country and who drink well water, which can have a strong flavor (I hated the way the water tasted on my grandparents' farm), but people who live in cities with perfectly fine water. *****

Point is that water is water and the kitchen water is NOT DIFFERENT from the bathroom water.

Which just means that I am married to a rather quirky man.

Which is fine, because it gives me material.

* I joke! "Captivity" implies a state of being held against one's will. No nastygrams, please.

** OK, we lived together and bought property together before we were married and yes, we had a lawyer review the contract to make sure that if SH dropped dead before our wedding that the house would be mine and not go to his nearest relative. It's always worth it to pay a lawyer to review a contract. We lived together because we had to wait out the six months the state of Wisconsin requires divorced people to wait before they marry. Why? Who knows? It's a stupid stupid law. If you really want people to be careful about divorcing, then make them wait six months to divorce, not to remarry. We lived together because we are too frugal to pay two rents and then there was the issue of who would get custody of the Engagement Trash Can.

*** I am not saying "every part of this country" because Milwaukee did have a little problem a few years ago.

**** OK, I didn't actually drink that water, but I did brush my teeth with it. I drank the water in Chile for two years. I've had the water in Mexico. In Morocco. Still not sick! Not sick!

***** You know I have no facts to back this up, right? I am making this all up based on a few instances in my life. But I bet I'm right.


Joy said...

Regarding *****, you are completely and totally right. I will say, having lived in DC, that while the tap water there is technically safe, it tastes disgusting (I grew up on a farm with really hard well water, so I know different kinds of water). The solution, though, is not bottled water, it's a decent Brita pitcher with the filter cartridge changed every three months.

Class factotum said...

I love being right.

Tish Jett said...

As far as I'm concerned you're always right. I was just about to write, "You are so lucky to have a straight man," and then I started laughing.

I know you have a straight man who is a straight man, but even I got some material out of this.

Class factotum said...

Tish, you crack me up.