It’s possible that I have been away from the keyboard of late pretending to be a good mother or that I’ve been scarfing down so many mint brownies while I watch movies on the couch with the youngins or I have been digging out from a snowstorm or end of year paper blizzard or reading my new batch of books while eating peanut butter kiss cookies. Or perhaps I was returning almost everything I bought everyone–except books. I did ok with the books.

All this slothfulness makes me realize I haven’t attended to what a friend and I call wifely duties. You know, brushing one’s teeth and toilet, getting dressed, mopping the kitchen floor, shaving one’s legs, painting rooms, repairing showers, heck, showering, even. That sort of thing. The priest my future husband and I had to endure for a couple of hours decades ago in lieu of pre-marital group sessions didn’t mention wifely duties; his phrase was “the marital debt.” 

Neither Ed nor I knew what the hell he was talking about the first several times he used the phrase. We didn’t have money, but we didn’t owe anybody anything either. Turns out the priest meant sex. Honestly I’m not really sure he knew what that was since he kept confusing his mother with the virgin Mary and himself with Jesus.  Really. I would give anything to have that session on videotape.

I guess he thought saying the marital debt was delicate and tactful. Really?  Here’s the bill. Pay up, buddy! I’m fairly sure the priest thought the debt was always something the wife owed the husband.  Hmm. Who knew balancing a checkbook could be so much fun?   He asked what I would do if Ed came home after having a few too many and wanted, ummm, restitution. I said that I’d probably say, some other time, buddy. That wasn’t the correct answer, apparently.  Good lord, so to speak. It’s too bad I didn’t ask him what happened when someone was in arrears.

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