real life

They don't mention this in the marriage brochure.



My husband and I are arguing about bread. Specifically, about how bread from the bakery goes stale faster if you leave it in the paper bag rather than transferring it into a plastic one. This is because when it’s in paper, all the moisture gets sucked out. Apparently.

[Are you still reading? Because I am so bored I have almost stopped typing.]

We are having this scintillating discussion in the car while driving our daughter to her soccer game on a Sunday morning and it quickly segues into a spirited debate about whether we should continue with keep the bread in the cupboard above the toaster (his preference) as opposed to it’s usual spot on the counter NEXT to the toaster.

And all of a sudden I stopped making whatever fascinating point I was in the middle of and said, “This is what marriage is. Conversations like this.”

Sexy, stimulating conversations about bread storage.

They don’t mention that in the brochure. When you’re picking out rings and table settings and drinking cocktails on your hen’s night, nobody mentions that soon you’ll be talking to your life partner about whether you should get the 18 roll pack of toilet paper because it’s on special or whether you just don’t have enough room to store all the extra and perhaps it’s just not worth saving 84c this time. Or is it?

That’s when I thought about a comment I read on a blog last week where a married woman said this:

I can think of nothing more boring than talking about car maintenance. I don’t understand what any of the little symbols on my dashboard mean. But assuming you’re lucky enough to have a car, it has to be maintained and that usually requires a little communication within a household, does it not?


Sorry to those who would like to put a ring on it one day. I don’t mean to burst your bubble but consider this a community service announcement. The things you talk about in long term, living-together relationships are often mind numbingly frustrating, boring and repetitive. Brainless but necessary. To be fair, my husband and I also sometimes talk about politics and work and our kids. But mostly, we exchange a lot of information that would be considered mundane. Cap M. On balance, I’d say it’s 80/20. Mundane wins.

As one blogger pointed out, conversations in long term relationships are a lot like this:

Who is going to make the kids breakfast? Should they have eggs again? Probably not – it would be the fourth time this week. Did you get the extra gas for the lawnmower? Thanks for doing the dishes this morning, but why do you always leave the silverware? Can you just finish a whole task, ever? They have two for one cereal on sale this week – will you eat Sultana Bran? It’s so weird – I don’t like raisins in anything but I frantically search for more raisins in my Sultana Bran. Don’t give the baby an Angry Birds sticker unless he goes on the potty. I think we are eligible for cell phone upgrades next week. Are you keeping tabs on your texting because we went waaaay over last month. None of the baby’s pajamas fit him anymore. We have to eat something with ground beef in it tonight because this isn’t going to last another day…

Because as another commenter replied to the ‘no-mundane-chat-in-our-marriage’ person, the only couples who are free from these conversations are presumably those who employ an entourage to take care of all those annoying little necessities called Everyday Life.

For the rest of us, there’s another word for mundane conversations in marriage: intimacy.

What was the last mundane conversation you had with your partner?