Confessions of an Ex-Husband | Part 2
Part 2: Happy Birthday! Here’s a Marriage Conference.
By: Gunther B. Trout…possibly the ex-husband, but that still can’t be confirmed…
Disclaimer: This story is based on true events, but the names and locations of the events have been changed to protect the privacy of the people it is based on. Everything else is true.
August has always been a favorite month of mine. It usually signaled the beginning of school, and my birthday was the perfect capper to the end of the month. While I was married, however, I dreaded my birthday month of August like it was the plague (too relevant I guess). After the suit debacle in July, my biggest concern was keeping my marriage in code green. This meant playing the extra considerate husband to my wife at every turn. “Would you like me to grab you an extra McDouble today m’lady?” I was saying yes to every proposition that both my wife and my in-laws proposed, no matter how humiliating.
We were eating an organic fish stock-based soup that my mother-in-law was crazy about.
It was a typical Sunday evening dinner when the ill-fated and unexpected dinner occurred. We were eating an organic fish stock-based soup that my mother-in-law was crazy about. Fun fact: My mother-in-law was adamant she could only eat things made of organic ingredients. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing and even led to my discovery of many restaurants in Northern Utah becoming favorites of mine. However, this also led to most of my favorite greasy drive-in joints being blacklisted from the holy list of organic restaurants. Anyway, I had no room to complain in any matter, even if it involved my own family.
This evening’s dinner conversation revolved around the aspect of a “fabulous” birthday present for yours truly. The good news is that I was being treated to an all-expense paid trip to beautiful Seattle! The bad news, it was going to be for a marriage conference…in an R.V….with my in-laws…for an entire week. Now let me be crystal clear. Getting professional help regarding marriage is highly recommended if you need help understanding your spouse better. The problem I have with these marriage conferences will become transparent as this story continues. My immediate problem was that I had no choice but to spend my birthday stuck in an R.V. with my in-laws talking about our sex lives. That is unless my mother had anything to say about it!
“I will not allow the knowledge of what happens during your mother-in-law’s hanky panky into your mind…”
In my mind, a heavenly chorus of angels rang out in joy, it was my mama with a proposal. Like a decree from the good lord himself, she proclaimed “thou shalt allow my son to abide in a hotel room”, She confided in me privately saying “do not worry my bouncing baby boy, for I will not allow the knowledge of what happens during your mother-in-law’s hanky panky into your mind.” After I paid my offerings for my mother’s kindness in hugs and kisses, it was decided that my wife and I would stay in a nice hotel room while my in-laws stayed in the R.V. The in-law became jealous and eventually decided to just get their own room.
It was a sleepless ride to the Emerald City. I endured car sickness and engage in “enlightening” conversations about prescription medication and the typical bombardment of questions in for form of judgments like, “are your parents always this irresponsible?” or “You do know college is a waste of time, right?” By the time we reached Seattle, I needed a relaxing night of privacy with my wife, which I knew wasn’t going to happen, NOPE! We embarked on an emergency scouring the city for an organic dive that we would dine at EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE TRIP.
Some of these activities included screaming “I WILL PROTECT MY QUEEN” at the top of my lungs!
We woke up at 6 AM for day 1 of the marriage conference. I thought this event would be attended by 50 people, at most. It turned out that attendance topped out at over 500. Activities consisted of many “group exercises” with the goal of increasing intimacy between you and your spouse. Including screaming, “I WILL PROTECT MY QUEEN” at the top of my lungs and musical chairs to cheese love songs. I even found out later that attending this conference cost thousands of dollars – all for musical chairs about making love. Another fun fact: a quarter of the session was dedicated to sales pitches. You can see why this birthday was kinda crappy, right?
Believe it or not, though, this story has a happy ending. On the third day of the conference, I felt like garbage in terms of mental capability. I was trying to stay awake during lecture after lecture after lecture. At one point, my wife tugs on my sleeve, and says to me “sweetie, I don’t feel well at all.” We asked my in-laws if we could be excused for the day, and they reluctantly agreed. As we were riding the escalator down to the lobby of the conference center, my wife looks over at me, winked, and then proceeds to burst into laughter. “Was I convincing?” I stood there, flabbergasted, to learn that my wife was hated the conference as much as I did.
Ironically, it was the act of ditching the marriage conference to go to the nearest KFC that strengthened our marriage more than any lecture or salesman pitch. I felt pride in being the husband to this wonderfully mischievous woman. The last 3 days were nothing but romping around like a bunch of love-struck idiots taking in the sights of Seattle. It was becoming one of the most wonderful birthday experiences I’d ever had. That is until we went to the worst production of “Singing in The Rain” I’ve ever seen. The whole ride home consisted of nothing but everyone telling me to stop complaining about the show because they knew the owner. That’s not an excuse for bad theater!