Post-nup

Saturday 10:01 PM, NYC Apartment
9.22.2018

I’m racing the computer battery to write this draft. I sit comfy in bed. To my left, David plays League of Legends on his computer. It feels weird to be “home” again. Today was our last day of honeymoon in Vermont. Today was the second day of my period.

Our final Vermont moments included Mimes, Caroline and Oktoberfest at the Trapp Family Lodge Brewery. I drank two brews and enjoyed a happy buzz. David played designated driver, and drive he did (5+ hours). The days have begun to seem autumnal. Upon returning to the city, we unloaded the contents of the car into our large plastic bin and wheeled the contents to our apartment elevator.

The city really is a unique environment. I should have been writing about it since day 1 of calling it home.

The husbometer project continues. With the honeymoon magic in the rearview mirror, numbers creep steadily back toward average. I’ll be a bit more revealing today:

Sex (Quantity, Quality) 9/22/18 0.5 1
Communication 9/22/18 0.6 1
Chores 9/22/18 0.5 1
Fitness & Health 9/22/18 0.5 1
Cashflow 9/22/18 0.5 1
Friendship 9/22/18 0.6 1
Dealing w/ Everybody Else 9/22/18 0.5 1
Food 9/22/18 0.5 1
Little things 9/22/18 0.8 1
HUSBOMETER
Dates Average of Score
Week 1
9/16/18 0.66
9/17/18 0.64
9/18/18 0.72
9/19/18 0.61
9/20/18 0.60
9/21/18 0.57
9/22/18 0.56
Grand Total 0.62

We’ve been married exactly one week. I harbor a desire to carry on as normal in relationshipland ( – do other recently married couples experience this sentiment?). Though, David and I both acknowledge feeling more grounded when it comes to starting a family together. The wedding process does lend to a unique feeling of legitimacy.

To-do lists are also making a return to my life. I quit them promptly after the wedding, ah! – and what a vacation.

I would love to find a way to make the husbometer data more visual. A graphic. Add it to the to-do list. Alongside: finances, thank you notes, clean the bathroom, nest, gym, homework, and so on.

In the car ride from Vermont to New York City, David had me listen to the audio story Ambush at Fort Bragg. It was deeply cynical and performed by Edward Norton. It had the tone and spirit of his fight club character and the story lent unsuspecting depth to its characters. It was the kind of depth that inspires disgust and judgment in the listener. Economy of language, clear visuals, effective story movement.

I was glad when the story ended. David and I talked about our financial lives, and our plans for the marriage. David sought to nip any risk of financial ruin, and cited examples of men in his life who lost the earnings of their time and labor to alimony. I remembered the wisdom of Robert Green at my grandmother’s wake and referenced my own gathered understanding of fallen relationships. In these first hundred days, we agreed to wanting a healthy foundation in which we each might find individual financial success – and success together as a family unit. We learned that it is possible to arrange for a post-nuptial agreement to clarify and legitimize these intentions.

The nightly husbometer debrief has been largely positive. It’s fun to communicate explicitly to David about his successes for the day. Tonight, he offers me a fist*pound in response to my explanation of why he performed above-average in “communication” and “little things” categories.

Jenga

For our wedding guestbook, David and I used a Jenga game. Tonight we played it together for the first time. It was special reading the messages of our guests and loved ones. We also created playful rules. When you pulled a block with the number 3 on it, you had to give cheek kisses. Pulled a 5? You had to do a little dance. 1? Take a shot of tequila.

Today was our last day of honeymoon. We woke up to a rainy day and had a perfectly lazy morning. David’s sister, Caroline, and Grandma Mimes joined us in the afternoon. We enjoyed the fireplace and attempted to learn a new board game. The board game was Legends of Andor. Caroline made blueberry pie, which she said she’s been meaning to do for a long time. After they left we went on a walk to explore the Trapp Family Lodge gardens.

The husbometer is starting to average out in a pleasant way. David made a thought-provoking point when I encouraged him to grade me. He said that wasn’t appropriate because of gender norms and other cultural forces. Is that true? What about the data might be hard for me or wrong for him?

It’s feeling like time for sleep. Behind me, on the bed, David listens to a documentary about Lawrence Taylor.

What goals should we have for our first 100 days? We discuss financial and professional goals. Other things that enter the conversation include: returning to New York City, pre-nuptial agreements, family planning. Certainly, we have A LOT of thank you notes to write.

Mt. Mansfield

We had a great morning. Honeymoon heaven. Prepped for a hike up Mt. Mansfield. Parked near the Stowe Resort and hiked the Long Trail south, starting at the new manmade bridge across swamp habitat.

Returned from hike and made time for cuddles plus autumn-themed craft beer. We had dinner at the 10 acres bistro with Mimes and Caroline. David ordered the cheapest Malbec. The crew had mussels, mushroom bisque, red thai curry with green soba noodles, lobster and a seafood special.

We returned to Mimes’ place at the Village Green for berry ice cream and the John Adams HBO series.

Back to the Trapp Family Lodge now and ready for rest.

HUSBOMETER

Dates Average of Score
Week 1
9/16/18 0.66
9/17/18 0.64
9/18/18 0.72
9/19/18 0.61
9/20/18 0.60
Grand Total 0.65

The Shelburne Museum

Marajuana vapors move in the evening light. David puts the pen between his lip, exhales, coughs, talks to Tom. We sit at our computers. It’s evening.

The day began with quiet morning lovemaking and the company of family. We made our way to the Shelburne Museum with excited talk of financial planning. Our discussions revolved around the steep cost of the rehearsal dinner, and the lesson I learned from that mistake. Never fear negotiation. Also, regarding emails: clear subject lines, obvious asks.

The Shelburne Museum was New England paradise. Folk art galore and French impressionist paintings by the masters, time capsule buildings and artifacts, sunshine and apple trees. David ran energetically from building to building, dodging what may be the last of the intense summer sun for this year. The monarch butterflies were still out and about, enjoying the bounty of flowers on the Shelburne grounds.

The husbometer project continues. The criteria remains the same: sex, communication, chores, fitness & health, finances, friendship, dealing with everybody else, food and little things.

HUSBOMETER

Dates Average of Score
Week 1
9/16/18 0.66
9/17/18 0.64
9/18/18 0.72
Grand Total 0.67

I return to prepping a research presentation for tomorrow. I’ve had my days confused since the honeymoon began!

David used my new identity for the first time today. When he returned to pick up our grocery bag, he referred to me as his “wife”. He proudly told me so when he returned to the car.

Feels good.

Day winds down with campfire s’mores, serenades and sauna. Bonus husbometer points for dragging and rocketing me around in the pool, and your “interpretative dance”. Such intense laughter. Feeling pure joy.

Trapp Family Lodge, September sunset.

Husbometer

Tonight we settle into the guesthouse with guests. Enter: Neils, Caroline, Kristin. So far the day included a grocery trip with Mimes and a fitness center excursion. We swam in the outdoor pool then relaxed in the sauna. The indoor pool was our last stop before heading back to the guesthouse. In the living room, David talks with Neils. David casually concedes to defying shame around sex.

The crew has mixed drinks and wine. Kristin rests in the guest bedroom. A meal of risotto progresses in the kitchen. Thank you, Chef David.

David introduces me to the look-up table in Excel, to set-up the weekly blowout of the husbometer.

Row Labels Average of Score
Week 1
9/16/18 0.66
9/17/18 0.64
Grand Total 0.65

I wonder if realistically I’ll be able to keep up daily posting. Still need to work on strategic development of “first 100 days” game plan.

Coupledom solitude is ended but Kristin is sick and leaves soon for Germany. David tells her she can stay and she says, really?

A weird mood comes over me. I sink into my group project work, which is due tomorrow.

Wedding marquee sign at the opera house.

The First 100 Days

Today is the first full day of marriage. Yesterday, David and I had our ceremony, reception and shenanigans in Vergennes, Vermont. Now we’re decompressing at the Trapp Family Lodge. From here, the fun continues.

In jest, I begin a blog of marriage to document the first 100 days.

“Reda, coming in hot with the serving platter,” David announces from the other room. He returns from the bedroom where the platter is still proudly settled on the bed. We are opening gifts and cards in a slow trickle. The giants game is winding down (giants are losing). We lose signal on the television. David grabs his laptop and phone to try and engage the audio stream, but to no avail. He begins setting up a spreadsheet for gifts and thank you notes. I quickly check on the night sky and the stars from patio of our guesthouse. As I settle in to write, we have casual conversation and close up the television in its hidden nook. David looks up the score and reports the cowboys scored another touchdown. (Wahhn, wahhn). David almost never watches television by the way, so it’s kind of novel and exciting to see him get amped up over big blue.

The primary objective of today’s blog is set up the husbometer (our reporting and data feature) as well as brainstorm some of the strategic objectives for our first 100 days in offi–

matrimony.

Criteria for the husbometer:
Sex
– quantity
– quality
Communication
Chores
Fitness
Finances
Social
– internal: friendship
– external: everybody else
Food
Little things

David is judged between 0-1.

To inspire me, he says,

“Think about what it is you’re doing to create the output you want on the report,”

and,

“Work backwards and say, ‘how do you achieve the end result?'” –

He’s excited about the data. I need to benchmark him to see what’s normal.

How does he do on average? The first 33 days will be the benchmarking period.

The data will be based in Excel. David explicitly requests that the average be firmly grounded at .5 — none of that meaningless 4-star, 5-star B.S.

As I write this, many funny, loving, learning moments occur here in the guesthouse.

I open a gift from Aunt Beth and Uncle Paul. They welcome us into a tradition of Paul’s family – a Christmas decoration to commemorate our wedding day. Down the road, when we’re surrounded by family, we’ll be able to look at our angels and remember the wedding day.

Husbometer

A table emerges:

Category Date Score
Sex (Quantity, Quality) 9/16/18 0.6
Communication 9/16/18 0.8
Chores 9/16/18 0.5
Fitness & Health 9/16/18 0.5
Cashflow 9/16/18 0.8
Friendship 9/16/18 0.6
Dealing w/ Everybody Else 9/16/18 0.6
Food 9/16/18 0.7
Little things 9/16/18 0.8

David does a little pivot table magic and bing, bam, boom:

Meet the husbometer.

Row Labels Average of Score
9/16/18 0.66
Grand Total 0.66