I can never help crying when a bride is coming down the aisle. Mostly, I cry because I'm shallow—nothing makes me happier than seeing the results of a woman spending anywhere from months to years on the way she's gonna look for one fleeting afternoon.
But I also cry because it's such a hopeful time, a wedding. I feel hopeful even though I'm divorced. I feel hopeful even though most of my friends are divorced. I try to think of first marriages as rough drafts—that we'll all get it right the next time.
When I was composing my own rough draft, I learned it's the day-to-day stuff that can really ruin things. Sure, make sure your swain isn't a murderer before you marry him—that should probably be in your top five requirements. But there should be some way to find out the little stuff about someone before you commit. After covering religion, family and sex, what about the everyday annoyances, Knuckle Cracker? I wish there were an "if you do this, it will bug me until my teeth break off from gnashing them" quiz.
So I compiled one below. I gathered my friends and coworkers, who are 100% over me at this point, and we created a fantasy questionnaire. It's a compilation of annoyances that we can decide if we can live with or not, depending on our personal irk-o-meters.
1. If you have a headache, will you take an aspirin, or just complain endlessly?
2. Do you need to have the TV on for background noise? Why? Do you wish to watch my brain actually snap?
3. Are you content to leave stuff where it already is, or will I find you've moved the sandwich bags again? Why's the table there, now?
4. If you leave half a piece of pie in the fridge, do you actually expect it will still be there later?
5. What kind of person eats half a piece of pie?
6. Are you a person who habitually asks "What?" even though you heard me?
7. What about the bathroom? Open-door pee policy, or it will remain a mystery until we're both dead?
8. Do you need for it to be cold when you sleep? If so, does anyone actually like you?
9. Do you plan to talk to me while I'm reading something or watching TV?
10. If you blow up in anger, are you one of those people who feels better five minutes later and expects life to just go on as usual? "Oh, the can opener? I bludgeoned it into 58 teensy bits. Want half of this pie?"
11. Are you an early riser? Again, does anyone like you?
12. Do you arrive on time for things, or will I never see a movie preview again?
13. Are you tidy about the front yard, or do you not care that we're the neighborhood Addams Family?
14. On vacation, can we just lie on the beach all day, or do you need to plan every freakin' minute, Type A?
15. How are you on pets? Let's say we happen to walk past a kitten adoption. Is there any chance, any chance at all, we'll end up with one even though when we woke up today, we had no intention of adopting little I. Clawdius?
16. Do you feel like shutting cupboard doors is optional? Does your kitchen resemble that scene in "The Sixth Sense," where every drawer and cupboard is wide open?
17. What about turning off lights? When I come home, is the inside of my house going to be lit up like a Thomas Kinkade painting?
18. How often do you want to see your friends? Are we literally going to be like the show "Friends," with our pals popping in and out all day?
19. How tidy are you? Are apple cores under your car seat OK with you, or would you work on your core and throw it out immediately?
20. Are the dogs going to sleep in the bed, or are you a heartless prick?
21. What do you mean, there aren't going to be any dogs?
22. How often do you talk to your ex? Are you two best pals who chat all the time? If so, are you still sleeping with your ex, or what?
23. Are you going to be weird about my friendships with exes?
24. Do you do every last thing with your family? Will they have keys to our house?
25. Exactly how fat can I get before you aren't attracted to me anymore? And what do you mean, "Where's the rest of the pie?"