Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Advantages of Marriage

My Tin Jubilee is in full swing now, in fact, it is rapidly coming to a close.  Ten years ago I was preparing to make myself homeless and jobless in order to fly 3,000 miles to another continent trusting the promise of a woman I had only known for six months that, once I got there, she would take me in.  I arrived in the UK on 1 March (she did take me in) and 28 days later, I married her.
So the 28th of March, in addition to marking the official culmination of my Tin Jubilee Celebrations, is also my 10th wedding anniversary which, among many other advantages and obligations (I think she might be expecting a card or something) means that, for the past decade, I have never had to worry about running out of milk.
This is strange because my wife doesn’t even drink milk, yet she always knows how much we have at any given time and, more importantly, whether or not we need to buy any.  We’ll often be out for a walk in the evening and my wife will say that we need to stop at the offie on the way home to pick up quart of milk.
(ASIDE: We do buy milk in quarts and pints here, even though it is illegal.  The EU has decreed that we MUST sell milk in metric units, so we have containers with volume labels reading “2.272 Liters,” but we still say, “half gallon” because it’s easier than saying we need 2.272 liters of milk.)
But liters or pints or gallons, she always knows.  And when I make note of the fact that we just bought a half gallon, she’ll say, “Yes, but you’re working from home for the next two days and you drink a lot of it, and we’re having a tuna bake for dinner tonight and that will use a pint so we’ll need an extra quart to get us through the week.”  And when I say that maybe we should get half a gallon, instead, she’ll say, “No, you’re travelling for work two days next week and we’re having dinner with my parents on Sunday night so we won’t use any then.”
I did a Google search for "Milk photos" and this came up, it's not my fault.
I find this amazing.  If you see me wandering around the town center and run up to me to ask, “How much milk is in your fridge right now?” I will not have any idea.  More telling, if you wanted to know when I was next having dinner at my in-laws, I wouldn’t be able to remember that, either.
This isn’t to say that, while I was single, I was always running out of milk, but my life was more ordered then—I didn’t travel for work, I never went to my in-laws for dinner and I therefore tended to use a set amount each week.  And if it started to smell a bit funny, I’d stop at the convenience store on the way home from work and pick up a quart.
Those days are behind me, however; for the past decade, I have not had to think about milk—how much we have on hand or how much we might use during the upcoming week—at all.
Admittedly, as marriage perks go, this is pretty far down on the list, but that doesn’t make it any less appreciated.

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