Editor’s Note: Remember the good old days of blogging? We do. Quite a few writers and editors who have passed through Tweetspeak’s doors (or are still here) first began as personal bloggers. I still do blog, though not as often as when I started. Many of my fellow writers have let their blogs go dormant, changed directions towards a professional aim, or deleted their blogs altogether. So, there’s a whole stack of intriguing, inspiring, sometimes humorous material that’s just sitting in the dark. The Life Notes column is dedicated to bringing that material to light. Because, after all, each of us comes from the stories that made us. And these stories often shine in the retelling.
A Megan Willome blog post, May 3, 2017
The Secret to a Happy Marriage Is Not What I Thought It Was
Next month my husband and I will celebrate our twenty-fifth anniversary. That means that for a quarter of a century, I have insisted that the secret to a happy marriage is … separate bathrooms.
For all but our first three years as a married couple, we maintained separate bathrooms. (Why did we share during those first three years? Was it wedded bliss? No, rather that our first two apartments had only one bathroom.)
As soon as we moved into a place with two bathrooms, I took over one of them. And thus it has stayed — through moves, through pregnancies, through children, and through two houses with tiny master bathrooms, the kind we could only share if one person stood at the sink and one sat on the toilet. There is such a thing as too much togetherness.
And then we bought a new house. Built in 1999, it’s the newest we’ve owned. This master bathroom is, in a word, vast. There are two sinks (please applaud). Not only could one person stand and the other sit, but one person could do a cartwheel while the other shaves. Have I tested this theory? Has my husband done a cartwheel while I shaved my legs?
What happens in the bathroom stays in the bathroom.
Two months into this new level of cohabitation, we’re adjusting. We’ve lived together long enough and endured sufficient crises to rise to meet this new challenge. Okay, it might be that after twenty-five years we’re set in our ways. We shower at different times — him, before work; me, after exercising. The only time we get ready simultaneously occurs before church. Although, to be fair, I have discovered a privacy option: a walk-in closet.
This is another luxury we have not previously enjoyed, except during our first year of marriage, when the only apartment available was a unit built for wheelchair accessibility. But this closet dwarfs that one. It’s so big we moved in our dresser. Because we could, that’s why.
One of the dogs claimed the corner under the built-ins as her den. Heck, both dogs could co-camp in there. They’re only terriers, after all, but I bet we could get two Labs in this closet. Then there would be no room for our shoes. However, if we had Labs, they might eat all our shoes. So, no Labs, safe shoes, happy terriers.
I have seen bathrooms and closets bigger than ours in the pages of the WACOAN magazine. I have interviewed homeowners for those pages with grander porcelain palaces. Some of those have not only two sinks, a shower, a toilet, and space for cartwheeling, but also a tub.
Our master bathroom lacks this amenity. If I want to take a bath, I have to walk to the other side of the house, to the guest bathroom. In which I have already taken over a drawer and part of a cabinet. Because some days, even in the midst of halcyon marital harmony, you still need your own bathroom.
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“Megan Willome’s The Joy of Poetry is an unpretentious, funny, and poignant memoir. I loved this book. As soon as I finished, I began reading it again.”
—David Lee Garrison, author of Playing Bach in the D. C. Metro