I've always wanted to be half of one of those couples who sit and read the paper together every Sunday. I don't know what it is about reading the paper that appeals to me so much, but I always envisioned lazy mornings of taking turns with the different sections of the paper, then discussing the current events together after we were finished.
Sadly, D's idea of reading the paper is skimming his favorite comics, then looking in the Marketplace section to find either a) a boat that we can't afford, b) a motorcycle that we can't afford (and I wouldn't let him have even if we could), or c) a classic car that we can't afford. Then, he'll proceed to try to convince me that we need to buy it. These three things make up the trifecta of his fantasy purchases, and some day, if we can afford it, I might just get him all three to see what he'll nag me about when his dream possessions are realities.
While D is doing this, I'll try to read up on whatever things are going on in the world. Sometimes I can pretend that we're one of those brainy couples I so admire. But usually, even pretending is tough, since, for some reason, the sight of me trying to read in peace makes D want to tell me every thought that crosses his mind.
And then there's the crossword puzzles. I always cringe a little when D sees the crossword puzzle in the paper because I know that, while he says "he" is going to do the puzzle, he really means that he will ask me lots of questions so I can dictate the puzzle answers to him while he writes them down.
Back in the earlier stages of our relationship, mostly when we were dating and very briefly when we were first married, I wanted to demonstrate to him what a good, patient and loving girlfriend/fiancee/wife I was. So I'd sit with him and lovingly tell him how to spell the words he was looking for, or help him brainstorm possible solutions to the clue.
But now, whenever he says, "I'm going to do the crossword puzzle", I always say, "You mean I am going to do the crossword puzzle!"
Sometimes, if I'm in a particularly grouchy mood, I'll say to him, "Listen, I'm trying to read here, so don't even think of asking me any questions about that puzzle." And then I'll sit there, reading my paper and pretending like I don't see him sitting across the table and staring at me as he tries to figure out whether it would be worse to not get the answer to the puzzle or to ask me the answer and face my wrath.
As I'm reflecting on this quirk of our relationship, I find myself getting all warm and fuzzy and thinking, "Aw, aren't we just too cute?" And at first, I was wondering if I was only thinking it was cute because D is at work and I'm by myself, writing in peace and quiet. But then I realized that, no, if D were here, I'd read this post to him and we'd be cracking up because we both know it's true. And sometimes there's just nothing funnier than when someone can peg one of your quirks so dead-on and calls you out on it.
And that's something that makes D and I work as a couple. We are able to hold a mirror up for each other and laugh about the idiosyncrasies that make us who we are. Although I'm sure everyone realizes that I need a much bigger mirror for D since he has way, way more quirks than I do.