I am smug about very few things. I am mostly a balled up bundle of exposed nerves when it comes to nearly every aspect of life. One thing I am smug about, however, is my marriage to Randy.
Our marriage isn’t perfect and has suffered some tsunami sized blows, but we weathered that fucking shit. We were either going to make it, or we were going into the frigid water playing a tune.
Okay, that’s a lie. Randy plays guitar, so he could play a tune, but I don’t play any instruments.
I am tone deaf. I have no musical talent, but I can dance. Oh, and one time, Mountain Girl let me play with her theremin. I pretty much made a sound like annoying feedback and then asked her to play piano for me.
The point is, and believe me, it’s a loose fucking point, Randy and I have a great relationship, but that doesn’t mean we don’t sometimes compete for last place.
We were doing a “comparison” thing and his comparison was lame.
It started because we were talking about the baby boy and how he’ll be 19 in a few weeks. I was looking at pictures of Joey and said how pleased I am that he went to the prom when he was in high school. I said that prom was a cool rite of passage and I ‘m glad he experienced it. Randy shrugged his shoulders and raised his hand and said “I wouldn’t know.” He didn’t have to finish the thought, which was “but you would.”
This is where Randy retreats into his self-imposed Quasimodo role. He didn’t date much and didn’t go to prom. He wasn’t one to try to pick up girls in bars. Or really, anywhere. Because he was too busy hanging around in bell towers.
Me? I went to prom twice. I should have gone my senior year, but just before prom, my long term douche twizzle boyfriend decided he didn’t want to go. I even had a dress, you guys.
But I digress. Also, I rarely bought my own drinks at the clubs when I was heavy into the dance club scene. But if we’re going to be completely honest here, I had some gorgeous friends. Guys usually didn’t buy one drink. They bought a drink for the hot chick and a drink for the friend. Not that I didn’t get my own often enough, but I’m trying to keep it real, here.
He’s right though, he wouldn’t know about prom.
I went to prom.
He went to college.
Me: Motherfucker, really?
Randy: Well, prom is a rite of passage. You know. Just one of those things I didn’t get to experience.
I watched his features settle into his martyr mask.
Me: Yeah, like that time you went to college and I didn’t?
Randy: That’s not the same.
Me: No. No it isn’t remotely the same. I went to prom twice. So, I wore a fancy dress and ended up with my pantyhose around my knees in the back of my boyfriend’s car. On two different nights. Where you spent four years in college, lived in a dorm, and had the whole “college” experience. Plus, you have a degree and from what I understand, that is very helpful in life.
Me: And as part of your college experience, didn’t you get to live in London for a few months and travel to other European countries while you were there?
Randy: I did get to do that.
Me: I got a job downtown. I did get to eat my bag lunch on Fountain Square whenever I wanted.
Me: Once a pigeon shit on my head.
See? I totally win that round of Matyrdom: The Game and “who is the most pathetic?”.
I guess the grown up thing to say would be “No one really wins when you play “who is the most pathetic?”.
However, I often don’t choose the grown up route and besides, where is the fun in that?
You don’t want to wear the martyr crown for too long.
Martyrdom feels cumbersome, but for a short period of time, the weight of that crown can feel kind of nice.
Randy has been treating me like a prom queen for 22 years, so he and I can try to out-martyr each other, but really, we’re both pretty lucky.
Still, I think a degree would have come in handy.