OURS IS THE TYPICAL LOVE STORY: girl meets girl, girl tells girl she’s straight, girl falls in love with girl anyway, and they live happily ever after.
Maybe our story isn’t so typical, especially the fact that we’ve been together for fifteen years. Our parents’ age bracket excluded, I can count on one hand the number of couples we know, gay or straight, who’ve been committed longer than us. Lots of people seek our relationship advice. Well, one person did. Once. Sort of. A gal at the bar asked me, “How do you do it?” but later I realized she was referring to my remarkable ability to walk in three-inch heels.
I can’t tell you the secret to the heels, because then I’d have to kill you. But since March is my anniversary with my partner, in celebration I thought I’d share our secrets to a happy and long-lasting relationship.
First and foremost, have a lot of sex. With each other, that is. That’s all I can say about this topic, because my parents read my column. You should have it all the time, in all kinds of creative places. But never at your parents’ house, of course. That would be wrong.
Don’t lie. It should be obvious that lying will only get you in trouble. Except when it saves your butt. For example, when she says, “Does it look like I’ve lost weight?” the correct response is definitely not “No,” because that would be calling her fat. The correct response is also not “Yes,” because then you are saying she was fat before. “I think my cell phone is ringing” is an acceptable lie in this no-win situation. Also, if your girlfriend is plastered up against the wall refusing to come to bed until you find and kill that spider she just saw, it is good to tell her you killed it so you can both get to bed before 7 a.m.
Don’t cheat. This is a smart idea because it also helps you keep the “no lying” rule. Learn from example: Cheating is not the easy way out. Look at what happened to Tiger Woods. You don’t want to lose your endorsements, do you?
Recognize that the thing that drives you crazy about your partner is the exact same reason you fell in love with him/her. If you lose your perspective, you won’t appreciate the irritating behaviors that are part of the original charms that attracted you. He/she is a package deal. Carefree? Also late for everything. Creative? Spontaneously rearranges the cupboards so you can’t find stuff. Passionate? Road rage. Musician? Drunk. Sexy bad boy image? Prison sentence. Sensitive? Gets upset over every little thing. Stable and responsible? Boring.
Hire a plumber. The number of relationships destroyed by stressful attempts at home improvements is growing, thanks to the arrival of big box stores like Home Depot and Lowes. Many projects are doable, and even fun (nothing like a day of painting with the huzwife), but for the average guy/gal, tearing out walls, laying down tiles, and installing windows is ill-advised unless you are eagerly looking forward to divorce. If you are fortunate enough to have a skilled partner like me, then simply leave the house when she starts a project so you don’t freak out when she begins knocking holes in the walls. Come home two days later, and you’ll hopefully be greeted with built-in bookshelves and a dirty martini. But heed my warning: Do not, under any circumstances, undertake a project in your home that involves wrenches, pipes and the potential for leaking. Also blow torches and gas lines.
Don’t write about your partner in your weekly column. This might be a good time to say that any similarities to actual persons, places or events are merely coincidental and the product of a feverish imagination. (Happy Anniversary, Lovey! Here’s to another fifteen + years.)
Amelia Sauter is a freelance writer and a columnist/cartoonist for the Ithaca Post. Her blog can be found at www.drinkmywords.com www.drinkmywords.com. You can follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ameliasauter.