10 Reasons Why

10 Things That Your Significant Other Shouldn’t Do If They Really Want to Remain Your Significant Other

1. Do not tell people that you are my beloved until this has been fully discussed between us and official documents have been signed.

Likewise, do not update your relationship status on any social media app without the proper coordination. This is something that we should do together, whilst sipping wine and staring into each other’s shiny, happy eyes as we point and click. This is not something you do while I am away for the weekend attending a Fish Fry in a rural village that does not have Internet access.

2. Do not speak of past relationships for any measurable length of time or give any indication that it was an enjoyable experience.

Acceptable Example: “Chris and I once went to the Irish Festival and it rained the whole time.”

Death-Wish Example: “Chris and I spent an entire month in Tuscany and it was the best time I’ve ever had in my entire life and we made love every night in an ancient vineyard where Michelangelo used to sit and sketch grapes. And I still have a bottle of wine that we made out of those grapes and I drink from it every year and think of that wonderful summer.”

3. Do not leave undergarments in unauthorized locations for any noticeable period.

A pair of briefs thrown into the ceiling fan during a rousing game of slap and tickle is fine. Those same briefs circling around the ceiling fan in a holding pattern for an entire week can lead to a psychotic break. Put your damn panties in the basket we bought just so you would have somewhere to put your panties.

4. Do not ask me to suggest a dining or entertainment option and then completely ignore my answer.

If there is something specific that you want to do, just say what it is and let’s go on with life. Don’t ask me what we should do for dinner, forcing me to review in my head the various restaurants where we can both get something we like and I proffer up a compromise location, only for you to pretend like I haven’t said anything and then steer us toward where you wanted to go in the first place. Why must it be a patience-testing game? Tell me up front where you want to go and we’ll go there. God.

5. We do not have to do every single thing in life as a unit.

There will be times when I want to go off and do something for a few hours that you have no desire to do. And since you don’t like the activity, I don’t want you coming along and sighing out of apparent life-depleting boredom. My desire to spend a little time pursuing a personal interest does not mean that our relationship is on a train wreck to hell, that you should start looking for change-of-address cards, or that I am having rounds of orgiastic sex with a different Chris in a different vineyard in your beloved Italy. I just need some downtime weaving simple baskets in a convent where all the nuns have taken a vow of silence, that’s all.

6. Even if you don’t understand my mystifying side interests, you should still respect those pursuits without the use of sarcasm or eye-rolling.

Suppose I like to collect pretty rocks. People do that. It’s not a sign of mental deficiency or conversion to a satan-based way of life. It’s just something to do, even if it means you are tripping over boxes of rocks that I haven’t touched since 1992. After all, I’ve never said a word about your endless crates of vintage 8-Track tapes that are testing the structural support of this house, despite the fact that we don’t even own an 8-Track tape player.

7. You cannot make fun of more members of my family than I make fun of your family members.

It’s a very mentally-healthy thing for two people in love to have a chuckle or three over the indiscretions or outright stupidity of certain members of the interconnected clans. This is a supportive way for each of us to relieve familial stress without directly affecting the contents of any last will and testaments. But you don’t want to go too far. If one family tree starts getting more chops than the other, it’s inevitable that there will be a power shift in the relationship and suddenly people are going to bed without speaking.

8. It’s okay if we don’t agree on the same TV programs.

Seriously, it’s not that big of a deal. If you want to watch The Adventures of the Runaway Crockpot and I don’t, it’s not an invalidation of your cultural choices or your status as a human being. It’s alright to like different things. You watch your little show and enjoy the hell out of it. I’ll head over to the convent and make some woven baskets with Sister Jedidiah and Sister Never-Touched. (We’re preparing for the Annual Jesus and Jute Craft Fair.) We can watch Survivor later and laugh at stupid people making bad choices.

9. If I make a fairly insipid mistake concerning a life decision or a trivia question, and this will happen, probably often, it will be discussed once, briefly, and then it will never be addressed again.

I am aware that you have a tendency to gloat and feel superior when proven right. You are aware that I share the same trait. This is probably why we got together in the first place, a shared need for validation that was nurtured by questionable childhoods and/or a genetic misfire of some sort. As such, it’s not a good idea for either of us to push the issue. You can have your five-minute victory dance and a limit of two smart-ass comments. After that, the situation is wrapped up, thrown in one of the boxes of rocks, and will never again see the light of day. Unless I need to use it as an example of spousal abuse in divorce court.

10. I must always be a beacon of beauty to you, regardless of how wrinkled or flabby I get, what I’m wearing, degree of hangover, or how I smell.

I never want to see that look leave your eyes. Even if my current appearance has shattered the bathroom mirror, terrified our pets, severely traumatized neighborhood children who stupidly chose to look in the front window, and caused the startled mailman to immediately seek therapy. The spark in your gaze must always burn bright.

Now, sign on the dotted line below and get somebody to notarize this thing. I’ve got some baskets to make and the Sisters have been texting me…


Originally published in “The Sound and the Fury” on 05/11/12 and “Bonnywood Manor” on 03/11/15. No new revisions were made, one of the rare times my OCD did not kick in.

Story behind the photo: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, The Philadelphia Story. Stolen from the Internet. End of story.


35 replies »

  1. Poor John does a certain amount of eye-rolling, but that’s usually when I say something like ‘will you please get rid of all the cobwebs on the outside windows’. Mostly he’s a keeper.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Glad you enjoyed it. [Sounds of scribbling as I update my Laugh-Inducement Tracking Spreadsheet… “let’s see… here’s Neil’s column… add 12 more strokes… oh, hey, he just needs to laugh 7 more times and I get a free toaster oven!”]

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This made me laugh especially the no. 3 leaving undergarments thinf etc…it reminded me of a freind telling her funny story leaving a blindfold in one of the places they went for a quiet rendezvous..

    Liked by 2 people

    • I will freely admit that I have liberated items of personal couture in a number of interesting places. Heat of the moment, you know, nothing intentional or too terribly tawdry, but I end up arriving back home without a few things. There’s a certain boutique hotel in New Orleans that could probably start a small art exhibit… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Both funny AND instructive – a powerful combination! Copies of this should be made available to all couples to prevent heartbreak. Get on that, okay?
    Oh, and thank you for giving it to Husband so many years ago. He still struggles with #3, but as long as he keeps practicing #10, I’m good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will be having leaflets airdropped across the country quite shortly. (There’s a planning and strategy meeting later this evening.) I’m glad that the hand-written first draft I slipped to Husband all those years ago paid off. I tried to keep in touch with him over the years, just to see how it was going, but our correspondence eventually grew terse and cryptic (“dogs barking, can’t fly without umbrella”) and quietly ceased. In any case, as long as folks adhere to #10, the rest of the list just becomes rather… quaint… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • I know, right? As soon as I typed that out I thought, oh, now THAT’s something worth writing about. Stay tuned! Which is code for I probably won’t ever get around to it, but hey, you never know. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So….can you use Facebook to break up with someone? Change your status from “in a relationship” to “ding dong the bat-shit-crazy lunatic is gone?” Or is that also inappropriate? Please tell me quick.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It all depends on the severity of the crimes involved. Some shocking indiscretions should be splashed across every social media platform available. Most times, though, a solemn key-return ceremony and a good-luck handshake is all that you really need… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Stop saying “yes” to everyone about participating in their stray dog projects, deciding to bail and asking your spouse/other for a bad-karma free excuse because you can’t afford to really get sick.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, you hit a nerve with this point. But I choose to refrain from sharing any further details, because certain parties that I may or may not be intimate with occasionally read this blog. (Mainly to find out what I might be saying about them,,,) 😉


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