"When I Look At You Lately, I Just Want To Smash Your Face In."

Vrouwelijke bokskampioen / Female boxing champion   

Oh my God, I can't stand the way he taps his fingers on the salt shaker.  Tap, tap, tap, tap,tap, tap....Now,he's going to bang it on the table because he doesn't believe any is coming out, yet there's enough salt on his plate to line a margarita glass. Yup, there it is, the bang.  Now, more tap, tap, tap.  I want to smash his face in.  MARRIAGE IS HARD; really hard sometimes and I love my husband. I would never really smash his face in, or at least I haven't yet, but, damn are there are times I'd love to.

"When I look at you lately, I just want to smash your face in" is just one of the many priceless things that Kathleen Turner  says to Michael Douglas in one of my all time favorite movies, "The War of the Roses."  If you haven't seen it, suffice it to say that it does not depict the most healthy of relationships; rather it demonstrates, in a darkly humorous and twisted way, at least to me, the end of a long marriage. I remember seeing this movie very early on in my own marriage and discussing it at a dinner party with other newly married couples. When I shared with them how hysterical I thought it was and that, even early on, I could totally see how you might find a reason over time to want to strangle the life out of your spouse, they looked at me with abject horror.  I remember saying, "Really?  So, you think they are great all the time?  There's nothing they do that makes you want to run them over with your car multiple times?" It was at that point that my husband kicked me under the table and gave me that look that meant, "You are totally out on crazy island again.  Reel it in."  This July, it's twenty-eight years of wedded bliss, and thus far, I've managed to not smash his face in.  This is not to say that there have not been times when it's sounded like just the thing.  So am I really alone out here on crazy island?

When my grandparents were getting ready to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, my grandmother stated, "It's been a great 40 years."  We looked at her and, thinking she'd lost it there for a sec, said, "no, Nana, it's 50 years."  She smiled and replied, "No, I meant to say forty.  Of the fifty, ten weren't so great."  At that time, I was shocked and a little disappointed because I never imagined that my grandparents could have been anything other than blissfully happy.  I'd never seen them as anything but the perfect role models for the perfect marriage.  Then, as I grew up, got married myself and had kids, I began to understand exactly what she meant.  Marriage is a bunch of ups and downs.  At some points you are passionately and madly in love, and at other times, you are partners, just holding on to the day- to -day and working together to get it all done.  At other times, you are best friends.  What my grandmother really meant is that what is most important is to have the patience to wait out the tough times, and be confident that the better ones will cycle back around soon.  Today, when feelings change, or tough times come, people tend to jump ship imagining that a new and better relationship is just a short swim to shore when, in fact, if you hold on, the ship you are on has just arrived in the Greek Islands for a romantic cruise.

Now, especially as the holidays approach, I happen to be in the "when I look at you lately, I just want to smash your face in," phase.  When the love of my life is lying on his back in bed and snorts, or chews as if he's enjoying a five course meal, I imagine plugging his nose to see how long it might take for him to gasp for air.  When he opens the refrigerator and asks, "where's the hot sauce?" and half the neighborhood could see it from their own recliners, I fantasize about filling the toothpaste tube with hot sauce.  When he has the TV remote and still can't come to terms with the fact that the universal remote does not control the volume, yes, even though, it's a universal remote, and calls me for the umpteenth time from the family room to fix it, I try not to imagine shoving that universal remote someplace pretty remote.  As a matter of fact there are countless times lately where I find myself just dying to say, Honey, "when I look at you lately, I just want to smash your face in." Sometimes I do and we laugh, and sometimes I just seethe quietly because I know that in a few days, weeks, or, worst case, months, the cycle will once again come around and I'll look at him with a smile and want to say, "Honey, when I look at you lately, I just want to (you fill in the blank).

The bottom line is that MARRIAGE IS HARD and awesome! Try to relax and just go with the "smash your face in days," because they will pass.  And then they will come back again.  Knowing that gives you plenty of time to imagine new and more creative ways to hide the body.

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