On a Good (Married) Life


Three months ago today, Jordan and I got married; and over the last three months, I've heard one question come up over and over again:

"So how's married life?" {Or: "How's married life treatin' ya?"}

This question confuses me, and I'm here to admit that after three months of fielding this question on a daily basis--sometimes multiple times a day (today I heard it three times)--I still haven't produced an answer that seems to satisfy the questioner.

"Well," I want to say, "it's actually the same as regular life except I have to share the bathroom, my last name is different, and people won't stop asking me this stupid question."

Or sometimes I want to try something like this: "Well, actually right now it's pretty lame. Last night we argued about the laundry. We didn't do that when we were dating. So...yeah."

But I can't really say either of those things.

So what, then, I wonder, are people looking for? What am I supposed to say? After all, this question is posed all the time in the form of the age old: "How are you?", which is more often than not followed by "good," whereupon the questioner feels satisfied and moves on.

"Good" is the answer they were looking for. Good is safe. Good doesn't require much explanation. Good doesn't give details, and good doesn't require them. Good can be hiding tears over the worst day ever; good can be masking humble excitement; good can pretty much mean anything you want it to.

I've tried answering good.

All good gets me is a quite chuckle and confused stare, sometimes followed up with a question about whether I'm enjoying it.

"Umm, I'm really not sure what you're implying," I want to say while I wonder, Why is "good" not an appropriate response? What on earth did you want me to say? 

Maybe they were looking for something like this: "It's only the single greatest thing that's ever happened to me! It's so much fun! I love it!" Is that what they were looking for? Because to me, that comes across as a bit startling, and I can't believe they really expected that. 

Were they looking for the truth? The truth that it's been hard, difficult at times, even, because two different people trying to work together and live together and compromise every day isn't going to be something most people are able to jump right into and have it instantly work like clockwork.

Married life is awesome and wonderful, of course, and I love living with Jordan; I know he's the right person for me. But it's been an adjustment. It hasn't been all hearts and flowers. We're not used to "married life" yet. We're not even close, actually. Some days it's easier than others, just like some days it's harder, but in general, I wish people would be okay with good. (When I say people, I of course don't mean my close friends. Part of being a close friend means not being satisfied with good.)

Just today I was hanging with some of the people from my tennis team, and someone asked me, "So, Amanda, how's married life?"

"It's good," I said, not feeling the need to elaborate.
The four other people in the room chuckled softly, and my friend said, "Oh yeah? So that's it?"

Yeah, that's it. What else do you want? If he had asked me, "How's your day going?" and I said good, he would have been fine with that. What's the difference?

I think mostly, though, my issue might be less with the question itself and more about the responses I keep getting to my answer. It sorta makes me feel like I'm missing something. Is it not okay that it's good? Should I be beyond excited at all times, unable to contain my newlywed excitement?

I guess maybe that's what people think, but I'm not like that about life in general. There are days when I'm busy and tired and stressed out, days when I cry for no reason at all. And there are days when I'm happy and cheerful just because, days when I wish I could whistle, because I would definitely be walking around whistling an upbeat tune. That's how my life is--full of ups and downs--and that's how married life is too, cuz guess what? Spoiler alert: married life is the same as real life! Imagine that.

Today has been a rather melancholy day for me. This might not surprise you, based on the overall tone of this post. But I can't be funny all the time, and today I'm just tired of people asking me how married life is. What I really want to say is that it's the same. It's life, and it sucks sometimes. It's life, and it's awesome a lot of the time. It's life, and I'm blessed to be alive. It's life, and I'm doing the best I can with what I've been given.

It's life, and it's good.

Katie Dupre said...

I always tell people that married life is just life, except I don't have to pay the bills anymore, and I have to clean the bathroom a lot more often. This usually gets a chuckle and deflects any follow up questions.

Anonymous said...

I think people are looking for funny stories. Everyone loves a good newlywed story of things being awkward or of trying to make something work that you've never tried before. Cooking mishaps, miscommunications, stupid things he does... people like awkwardness as long as it has a happy ending. Just start telling the same story over and over and over and over again. Then maybe people will stop asking. :)