My husband and I are possibly the most cynical couple ever. If there was any romance at the start of our relationship, ten plus years together and a marriage as the culmination of our first five-year-plan transformed the romantic into the sardonic. To prevent boredom, we have introduced variants of the clichéd “I love you” phrase to use amongst ourselves for amusement. Here they come, along with a list of most common situations calling for the employment of this or that love declaration.
- I love you but—. This is the most universal confession of an undying love for your partner that would go on if said partner: didn’t forget to pick up the kid from the kindergarten / didn’t undress with his eyes a random fake blond with fake everything / didn’t switch off the heating that you just switched on because you don’t care that it’s damned summer because you’re freaking freezing.
- I hate you, I hate you so much. This heartfelt ejaculation is suitable for especially heinous crimes, including your partner: occupying the bathroom for two hours because he’s reading while doing his business / playing the TV incredibly loud for the benefit of all TV-less homeless persons in the neighbourhood / leaving his dirty laundry on the bathroom floor like you’re a hotel room service.
- My mother told me right to marry John next door. John next door is a shortcut for a prince charming in a white Lamborghini whose only shortcoming is that he is not. The actual john who lived next door to me apparently dropped from high school, got a girl next door in trouble and is currently serving time for a particularly aggravated crime. Since my husband is aware of none of the above, John next door still constitutes a valid argument.
- Who are you and what did you do to my husband? My husband possesses the following qualities: hair / a high degree of tolerance of pets and smokers / a vaguely athletic stature / certainly some other good things that are not apparent from our wedding photo that I’m using for reference. The stranger who masquerades as my husband has: no hair / zero cat hair tolerance / a well-rounded to obese figure. Something somewhere clearly went astray.
- I’ll return you to the seller because I still have the receipt. *waving the marriage licence* Nothing scares my husband so much as the threat that I’ll return him from where I took him in the first place. Nothing delights my mother-in-law so much as the prospect that I’ll return her eldest to the nest from where I lured him by intrigue and the promise of hot dinners. Though I recently checked my marriage wows and confirmed that no free food, hot or cold, was included in the bargain.
- Your wife has it tough with you. Whoever your wife is, she has my high respect and deep admiration for the heroic feat of putting up with a partner who is so demanding that he: expects that the wife responds to his requests immediately and not within the usual ten working days / wants the wife to take interest in his wishes as though she’s Santa Claus or Father Frost / gets upset when his wife pretends in public she doesn’t even know him. Ridiculously unreasonable demands, I say.
- I can’t see how someone could marry you. It remains a puzzling mystery how any woman would voluntarily marry a man whose chief characteristic are: grumpiness / stubbornheadedness / general unbearability and whose hobbies include: giving death stares / travelling hundreds miles for the sole purpose of planespotting / laughing with disconcerting pleasure at practical prank videos. The only plausible explanation of this man’s marriage so far is that the bride was insane.
- I’ll miss you when we divorce. This is somewhat romantically exaggerated because I certainly wouldn’t miss the whole of my partner as rather some of his more commendable qualities, including: his cooking / his cooking / his cooking. Of course, my partner would miss me in my entirety because: I’m small, so there’s not much of me anyway / that’s how awesome I am / also, that’s how sardonic I am, me, queen sardonica. Ha!