I love that expression because it denotes the practical reality of our domestic affairs that creeps into my fantasies of married life, impinging on my daydreams of intimate beachy vacations for two. Home life, y’all, has its doldrums.
Take, for instance, my husband (please!). He takes forever to pick out new clothing, by which point I have bought everything I need for myself and two other human beings, eaten a lunch of pizza and cucumber salad, let them play on the outdoor clay turtles for two hours, gotten a pedicure, and read Crime and Punishment. I say all this out of love and jest, of course, and I’m happy he has selected for himself a lovely martyr of a wife who will gladly plop herself on the bed to watch the runway show (“do you like these gray pants, or these other gray pants that look exactly the same?”) in return for a nightly foot rub.
In truth, I realize I dish out as much of the ridiculousness as I endure, probably more. For example, the other night we were watching Argo (Good movie. Oscar-worthy? Sure, why not). I know he doesn’t like it when I talk during a movie that he’s seeing for the first time and really wants to watch, particularly if it’s a dramatic cliffhanger. I also know that he doesn’t really care about film trivia, i.e. what happened behind the scenes when thus-and-so director made the actors do such-and-such to get the scene just right. However, I still inserted such dialogue during Argo. I dunno, I can’t stop myself. Lucky for me, he mostly chooses not to repine about it.
By the same token, I do also delight in having found someone to whom I can grumble to about the length of a shopping trip, only to have him come back with a riposte about one of my peccadillos. What others might call bickering we see as witty banter.