Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Sometimes Annoys Me"

Many years ago, when Iwanski and I were planning our wedding, we had to attend these lovely “Pre-Cana” sessions required by the Catholic church.

For those of you non-Catholics (or non-marrieds) who may not know what this means, what it means is essentially this: for about a month, Iwanski and I were forced to spend several hours with two complete strangers (a married couple from the church), discussing intimate details of our relationship. Yep, you gotta love the Catholic church.

Actually, I think that in theory, the Pre-Cana sessions are a good idea. Especially considering the high divorce rate in this country, it’s probably wise for all engaged couples to go through some sort of “marriage readiness” sessions. But for Iwanski and me, we had pretty much discussed everything we needed to discuss and had agreed on all of the important questions about our future life together. Or so we thought.

One night, during one of our pre-Cana sessions, our host couple gave us each a survey to fill out, and then separated us into different rooms. Our task was to mark whether we agreed or disagreed with each of the statements on the survey, and then when we’d get back together, we were to compare our answers and see where we agreed or disagreed with each other. No problem, that sounded simple enough.

A half-hour later, we were back in the same room together, and we started to go through the questions and comparing our answers. For question after question, we kept agreeing with each other. Over and over and over again. The other couple started looking at us suspiciously, wondering if we had somehow figured out a way to “cheat on the test” and share our answers in advance.

But then came the one question that we would disagree on. A question that I will never forget. We had to mark agree or disagree to the following statement:

“My future spouse sometimes annoys me.”

Gee, what would you put? Of course my future spouse sometimes annoyed me! We wouldn’t be human beings if we didn’t get on each other’s nerves once in a while.

But Iwanski, perhaps trying to be too nice, had checked off “Disagree.”

I said, “I checked off ‘agree’.”

Iwanski looked at me with a look of extreme embarrassment. “You put agree?”

Our host couple looked back and forth at each of us, trying not to smile. Actually, it seemed like they were barely able to contain their delight. We had finally managed to disagree on something!

I don’t remember how we reconciled our disagreement on this one in front of the other couple—but what I do remember is later, when we went out to our car, Iwanski saying to me, “I can’t believe you said I sometimes annoy you!”

“Well, don’t I annoy you sometimes, too?” I said.

“Not that much,” he replied.

“Well, even if I annoy you a little, then you should have put yes.”

Nowadays, of course, Iwanski jokes that he’d like to take that survey again and mark “Strongly Agree” to that question.

And of course, I wouldn’t change my answer one bit. Now my CURRENT spouse sometimes annoys me.

For example, Iwanski has this wonderful habit of walking into a room where I’m performing some task that requires the light to be on, and then turning off the light as he’s leaving the room. I love that.

And then there’s this other delightful behavior he has where he waits until my hands are soaking wet (and usually covered in face soap or dish soap), and then sticks some random object (like my hairbrush) into the top of the back of my pants. OK, that one is kind-of funny. But it’s also annoying.

And let’s not even get into the all-too-frequent reminders to “be careful,” to “not slam the laptop closed,” and to “not burn the house down.” (Yes, honey, I am trying to burn the house down…and while the house is burning down, I’m going to sit there slamming the laptop closed over and over again.)

And then there are the numerous Iwanski rules…well, some of you have heard them all, and you know that using gift bags and telling stories on stairs are absolutely out of the question.

But despite these annoying behaviors, he still only “sometimes” annoys me.

And after all, “sometimes” is sure better than “often”!


sageweb said...

I would love to give Iwanski a gift in a bag while telling him a story on the stairs.
I like returning annoyance right back.

Meg C said...

Mike and I just took that same quiz (now it's a scantron!). We are meeting Saturday with a couple to discuss the results. My favorite statement was "I am uncomfortable with the prospect of my partner seeing me nude." Haha.

Leah said...

Gosh-I think it's just about the sweetest thing that he was never annoyed by you. :)

I think it would be interesting to re-take the same class/test every couple of years of so, sort of like a refresher course ;)

rosemary said...

We had pre-marital counseling stuff too because we were each divorced. Steve annoys me a lot....and i annoy him all the time. He is just nicer about my annoyances. He is great at coming into the kitchen when i am just about thru cleaning up and asking if he can help.

Lisa said...

Oh my gosh! You make me laugh out loud. And I have to tell you, even I knew of the Iwanski rule outlawing gift bags. I learned about that from MathMan. (Yes, Miss Healthypants and Iwanski came up in Target while we were holiday gift shopping!)

Mathman6293 said...

I guess most couples get annoyed sometimes and that gift bag thing did go to target with us. But Lisa has no habbits or rules that get under my skin except ... on second thought there are none.

Sling said...

My ex's would have loved that test!
Is there an, 'I'd just as soon cut his throat as peel an apple' checkbox?

Iwanski said...

You do annoy me a little now and then, but its always the kind of things are annoying but cute and not harmful. You are the kindest person on Earth, and you've got a heart of gold, so I can't ever really get mad at you.

Maria said...

I think that there is something wrong with people who never find their partners annoying.

Mine annoys me on a regular basis. In fact, as I sit her blogging, she has already come in to tell me that the cardboard from the dry cleaning goes in the paper recycling, not in the trash. And then, instead of just putting it in the recycling (which is one door away), she left it sitting on the desk next to me.

I think I might leave it there for a few days just to annoy the shit out of her....

MaryRuth said...

You had lay people do the counseling? My niece had a priest for her counseling...the same priest that baptized her and officiated at my sis's wedding...that would be too weird for me.

Miss Healthypants said...

You all crack me UP! :)

And honey, I love you. :) :)