Life Deconstructed: Marriage 101 — the good, the bad, the ugly and the socks

Life Deconstructed - Maria Jiunta Heck

After making my coffee this morning, I wiped away a cylindrical pile of sugar, collected where my husband’s coffee cup had resided, and where the crystallized white peak has accumulated every single day for 29 years. Every day, same place, same time, I wipe that sugar off the counter. That is 10,585 days of cleaning-up Mount Sugar.

Think about that. The Trojan War and Civil War, combined, lasted fewer days.

Socks next to the bed. Every night. Every. Single. Night. That’s 10,585 nights of socks. We call this Stack o’ Socks and I don’t laugh when I say it. I stopped picking them up years ago. So, as a result, by the third week there is, well, you do the math. And by the middle of that week, he whines that he has no more clean socks. This has been a recording playing on a continuous loop since 1987. And, if you’re still doing the math, you can quadruple that for my eye rolls.

The snoring is a lost cause. I’ve started mainlining Melatonin and pushing silicone earplugs as far down as is humanly possible without rupturing my canal. I just had to visit an ENT because my ear was blocked and I was sure I was going stone, cold deaf. It was just wax blockage and something else he couldn’t quite pinpoint. All I said was: “If you slept next to a Dyson on high, you would understand…”

As I write this, he is whistling loudly, 6 feet away, a tune for which there is no explanation. It sounds sort of like a Cockatiel, but more like a constipated elephant seal. My headache is starting to cluster.

We’re married a long time. Counting dating time, we’ve been a unit for 37 years. When I bring up his little proclivities and annoyances, he just laughs and laughs and then we play an enjoyable game called: “Can You Top This?” and, he begins to list my own endearing habits. Sadly, it’s always a longer list. But I do laundry! That should cancel out at least two items on that list.

Apparently, and I cannot prove this, I also snore. If this is true, and I don’t believe it is, it must be a ladylike purr, and it can’t come close to that thing he does that needs a new name. Something bigger than snore. Like gargantuasnoraus.

I habitually leave cabinet, refrigerator doors and potato chip bags open. It drives him insane. Plus, I never met a bathroom door I had to close. This I blame on my huge family and one bathroom legacy. It was a parade.

This is a biggie: I constantly lose things. Like when I lost my car key while running. He wasn’t amused, since I locked my extra set inside the car, and therefore, was screwed. Thank God AAA doesn’t stand for American Authority on Asses, although maybe it should. Remember when you could go to the hardware store and get a car key made for a buck? No more. Now, our keys apparently contain a computer chip, a defibrillator and a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, and a replacement can be had for the low, low price of $250. So, now I only have one key and my husband wants to staple it to my forehead.

It’s still true love.

The point of all this is a simple message: I think about my daughter’s upcoming nuptials and how much she and her fiancée have yet to learn; the good, the bad and the ugly. Acceptance and tolerance is the key to a marriage based on adoration, trust and cluster headaches. Newlyweds, If you can get through the tuneless whistling, sugar piles and air expulsion, you can get through anything.

Life Deconstructed

Maria Jiunta Heck

Maria Jiunta Heck of West Pittston is a mother of three, a librarian and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life. Send Maria an email at

Maria Jiunta Heck of West Pittston is a mother of three, a librarian and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life. Send Maria an email at

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