Posts Tagged ‘marriage’
My wife and I were married three years ago today! She’s my muse, my editor, and my best friend.
Happy anniversary, Meg. I love you.
My wife said I could post this only if I emphasized that it is fiction.
From the sketchbook of Adrian Tomine:
I went out to dinner with my wife at a sushi place in Brooklyn. Right as we were seated at our table, the couple at the adjacent table begins the following exchange:
WOMAN: So, did you read that book I gave you?
MAN: Which one?
WOMAN: The comic. Summer Blonde.
MAN: Oh, yeah. I hated it.
My wife and I locked eyes, like we couldn’t believe this was really happening. We sat there in silence, fakely looking through our menus while the guy proceeded to just eviscerate me in way that was not only cruel but also quite insightful and intelligent. The woman started to get kind of defensive, and she said, “Well, I don’t know. I thought the stories had kind of a nice poetic touch to them.” And that just set the guy off even further. He starts ranting, “No, no…you see? You’re falling for his bullshit! It’s not poetic! It’s like…he’s trying to seem poetic without really saying anything at all!”
I was absolutely paralyzed, and my wife couldn’t take it anymore. She asked the waitress to move us to another seat. They moved us to the sushi bar, but even from there, we could still hear snippets of the guy’s tirade. In particular, I remember hearing him say, “Oh, you must be joking. That was absolutely the worst story in the whole book!” When the couple finished their dinner and got up to leave, my wife started rising from her seat, apparently to give the guy “a piece of her mind.” I had to beg and plead and eventually physically restrain her from saying anything to him. The timing and coincidence of it all seems too implausible to believe, but I swear it’s true, and as far as I know, not some kind of elaborate prank.
Hysterical. Here’s another interview with The Believer.
Like a response to yesterday’s post, “The Artist’s Wife: A Constant Muse Who Never Said No”:
“I never refused when he wanted to take a picture,” said Eleanor Callahan, the 91-year-old widow of the photographer Harry Callahan. “I never complained, whatever I was doing. If he said: ‘Come quick, Eleanor — there’s a good light,’ I was right there.”
The artistic fruit of their 63-year marriage is on view in “Harry Callahan: Eleanor,” an exhibition at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Until Callahan’s death in 1999, she was his most constant and compliant subject, posing for countless portraits, figure studies and nudes.
Eddie Campbell’s “Honeybee” comics from his wonderful book, The Fate of the Artist:
James Kochalka gets away with a tribute to his wife that if I drew it of mine would get me killed:
David Heatley chronicles the seasons of love:
And Lynda Barry draws her family:
Sappy, I know, but sometimes I am.
Our house is a mess of GRE books right now, so I really don’t have the time to post much anything of any substance.
But I did come across a really great paragraph from an interview with my hero, Lynda, about being married and artistic, and a setup that sounds like everything Meg and I one day hope for:
My husband is a really good painter and a really good sculptor, and the first floor of our big old funky house is his studio. I have the third floor. We mainly live an the second floor, but there isn’t a room in the house without some sort of project going on in it. He works during the day restoring prairies and oak savannas. So at the end of the day there is always a lot to talk about. He drives a tractor around and wears bib overalls and then comes home and we eat dinner and then we both make things in out studios and run up and down the stairs and look at what the other is doing. We work on the house together – we tiled the bathrooms and put up a ceiling in my studio and painted all the walls and do all the things hardcore do-it-yourself types do. We both love to build things and fix things, and we like to hang out together. He makes me laugh really really hard. I have a Casio keyboard I got at a garage sale, and I’ve taught the dogs how to “play” it. They can select rhythms and chords and then they do nose solos. We roll around on the couch laughing a lot at the dog music. It’s a happy active household with occasional explosive scream fights that are also kind of fun. I lucked out with my home life.
And she also talks about why she chooses to live in the rural Midwest:
Well, like Goldilocks, I was looking for the place that felt just right, and it certainly is the Midwest….my first sense experiences were here and whenever I came back to the Midwest, I felt a certain unnameable excitement. like I had found a world that was lost to me. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that I’m living now where the light is like it was when I was very young.
And though they have nothing to do with being married or living in the Midwest, I am really digging the work of two other female cartoonists, Hope Larson and Lilli Carre. There is an interesting blog called Comic Tools where Hope has disclosed her methods/tools.
Ok, back to the flaming inferno of GRE hell…
Meg and I have this Peanuts strip taped to the fridge:
Relationships are hard enough, but it takes a real champion of a person to be married to an artist. Lots of times you have to be a maid/cook, motivational speaker, a mother, and an editor — all at once.
Lucy would never cut it.
We have a few marriage books scattered on the coffee table, but none of them touch on the trials that await the spouse of an writer.
So, if you’re an writer and you’re thinking about getting married, or if you’re thinking about marrying a writer, I’d recommend checking out Bruce Holland Rogers’ book, Word Work: Surviving and Thriving as a Writer.
There are lots of writing books out there, but Word Work is unique in that it’s all about the practical, day-to-day, nuts-and-bolts of a writer’s life. There are three chapters about relationships: “Writers and Lovers,” “Writers Loving Writers,” and “Writers Loving Non-Writers.”
Lucky for me, my non-writer is a champion, and she could have written the last chapter.
Yesterday, I was listening to an interview with David Byrne, and he was talking about the artistic benefits of living in America as a young immigrant (Byrne was born in Scotland, and moved to Canada and then Maryland when he was 8 or 9).
Even the small things…the fact that I’d go home and my parents ate with a knife in one hand and a fork in the other hand, instead of doing the American thing of switching hands around…[I knew there was] more than one way of doing lots of things, which I think gave me a slight outsider’s perspective.
In many ways, living with a woman as a partner has given me that perspective — that revelation that there’s more than one way of doing things, more than one way of thinking. She’s constantly coming at things from different angles, blowing my mind with her insight.
Anyways, the cool thing about life is that you’re always an armchair anthropologist. And when you live in such close quarters with someone, when you share so much, you get to watch this other specimen in action.
In this comic, Meg is reading The Five Love Languages (I, uh, skewed the text a bit), one of the books our minister is having us read. I was initially really skeptical of our assigned readings, but I’ve tried to keep an open mind, and I’ve found that the majority of the stuff is actually pretty good. (It’s marriage, man — you need all the help you can get!)
The Five Love Languages is pretty good because, like fiction writing, it’s all about getting inside the mind of a character (your partner) and figuring out what he/she wants/needs.
We just watched the last episode of Season Four of The Sopranos, where Tony moves out of the house after separating from Carmela, and I was having fun trying to decide which love language they both speak. (Tony thinks Carmela speaks the “receiving gifts” language, but what she really speaks is the “quality time” language!)
The good advice of all these books? Every marriage runs into the same basic problems — the mistake (most of the time) is in thinking that if you were married to someone else, you wouldn’t have them.
Here’s a story of some armchair psychology along those lines:
My dad, before getting married, went to one of my great uncles who’d been married for a bunch of years.
“You want my advice?” my great uncle said. “Never cheat. Never cheat because you’ll always get caught. You’ll get caught, and then you’ll have to get divorced. And THEN you’ll have to marry the one you were cheating with, and pretty soon, before you know it, SHE’S complaining about the goddamned washing machine!”