At any rate, I'm real uptight.
And because of that, I walk around like the Hunchback of Notre Dame half the time. I cripple myself with my own neurosis and up-tightedness. I'm very tense. I like to pretend like I'm this real easy-going, Devil-May-Care, Buddhist type, but really, you could bounce a metaphorical quarter off my psyche.
I've been going through this whole rigmarole of getting massages constantly until my neck and shoulder are unclenched from their death grip of stress. It takes four or five weeks of consecutive massages until I'm not in constant pain.
And then I stop going.
A few weeks later and I'm back in my state of crippled paralysis.
It amuses my husband to no end. Not that he isn't sympathetic, of course. I mean, he's the one that has to rub my shoulders and neck every night while I wince, whimper and flinch.
"You really are a delicate flower, aren't you?" he asks, unwisely, because he is straddling my back and has left his unmentionables vulnerable to a stray elbow of retaliation.
"Very funny. OUCH!" My voice is mostly muffled into a pillow while he inflicts pain on my wrecky body.
"How are you going to outlive me if you're so fragile?" I can hear him snicker and it enrages me.
"I'm not going to die of neck pain, you ass."
"I dunno. You might," he says this in a mock regretful tone, as though he is really sorry that I might die before him.
My husband and I are both competitive types. We might be overachievers. We might even be obnoxious about it. Our entire house is a battlefield of who can be the most OCD neat freak of the land. We each think the other one is losing that battle because we each have separate definitions of what constitutes neatness. I like to scrub and Windex things. He likes to move things off the counter and hide them in nonsensical places like drawers and cupboards. It's not a satisfying battle because we each think we are the victor and we are each frustrated that the other won't admit defeat.
It is in this environment of two competitive freaks of nature that we fight over who is going to die first. Normal couples wouldn't discuss this, I don't think. Or at least they wouldn't be vying to be the one who outlived the other. I think you're supposed to feel like you couldn't live without your spouse and hence would never want to experience the pain of losing the other one? Or something like that.
But no. Not us. Because it's a competition over who's healthier, fitter or may I point out, YOUNGER.
I'm 9 years younger than my husband. And women are supposed to outlive men by 7 years on average. That puts me at outliving him by a good 16 years. I've pointed this out to him and it makes him furious.
"There's no way that is happening," he says. "The sheer rage of even the slightest suggestion that you would beat me will keep me alive."
"That's a fine attitude. I'll have that engraved on your headstone."
"I'll have my ass bending over mooning everyone engraved on your headstone."
"Nice. I'll be sure and bring that comment up when you're dead and I am living with my sister and our 17 cats."
"That's fine. Just never remarry. Dedicate your life to your children and family."
"Don't be ridiculous. I've told you that you could remarry once I've been dead a year and no sooner. You should at least give me that courtesy."
"A whole year?"
"Yes. One year. You need to learn how to live alone and not marry the first woman who lets you touch her boob."
"So no dating whatsoever for one year?"
"Yes. We've had this conversation before and I was very clear."
"But what if someone just let me touch their boob without buying dinner. Would that count?"
"Yes! No dating for one year means no dating for one year! And no sex whatsoever. Dating or not."
"Not even a hand job?"
"Can I 'accidentally' touch some lady's butt in the elevator?"
"Maybe I don't' want to outlive you after all."
"Exactly. Just get some more cats to keep you company."
"Can I touch their butts?"
Clearly, the man can't live without me. And yes I totally realize he's not going to an entire year without the comfort of a woman if I were to pass away. But I've told him I'm going to haunt him and whisper criticisms of his sexual performance in his ear just to ruin the fun for him. Now that's true love, when someone goes Poltergeist on your ass.