If you never thought of murdering her, you’re not in love

I’m a selfish, solipsistic, detached asshole. You know. A man.

Like most guys, I’m a prisoner to a male behavioral chain that dates back thousands of years, which began for the sake of human survival but now serves mainly to keep Cosmo writers busy. So for example, even though I’m married, when I’m outside in Tel Aviv I check out the chicks. The curves, the tight outfits, the gentle hair flicks, the poorly disguised calls for male attention — all as a playlist of x-rated youtube clips go off in my mind. Thanks, evolution.

Sometimes, when neanderthal impulses take over my primitive brain, I wonder what it would be like if suddenly I received news that D (my wife) was torn apart limb from limb by 15 stray cats, or fatally run over by a bus while crossing the street (in the driver’s defense, he can’t miss his stops). Ah, the freedom to once again accost pretty ladies on the streets.

These are crazy thoughts, sure, but they make me laugh. Because frankly, it often feels like there is no damn point. If we’re lucky, we get 70, 80 good years here. We take ourselves way too seriously and do schmucky things as though it really matters. Out of the zillions of people who have inhabited this planet, we remember about 17 of them. Besides, in a few billion years from now, our precious sun will blow up and turn everything in this solar system into crispy nothingness. So I tend to not really sweat the small stuff.

D on the other hand, is honest, emotionally in-tune, and has a temper. She also freaks out cares about the little details. You know. A woman.

So it annoys the hell out of her when I don’t call or text when I’m out with friends (just once is all she asks, she’s not a psycho). I’m forbidden, on pain of incessant evil looks, to leave the house wearing the ever-comfortable yet ever-hideous, what-she-calls “Jesus sandals.”

That’s pheromones you smell!
That’s pheromones you smell!

My favorite has to be when D is mad at me for not doing something she really wants, when she never told me she wanted it, but she shouldn’t have to tell me, because I should just know by now.

Or, she can just fucking tell me. But that’s romance.

And D, that honest creature who hides her emotions as well as someone with an enlarged goiter wearing a thin scarf, let’s me know when she’s upset with me. Everytime. Usually with circular logic and creative cursing.

And there I am, Mr. Rationality, hopelessly trying to figure out why I’m being yelled at as though I set her closet on fire and left her with only track suits and jean jackets. Instead of trying to understand her, my ego convinces me to say something smart like, “calm down.” After all, thinks Herr Doktor Nihilist, what’s the big deal? And that pisses her off even more. Then I get pissed. Back and forth we go.

In the midst of all this, sometime between pondering the use of poison ear drops in her sleep and wondering what’s for dinner, I realize that what I do matters to her. That even though in the grand scheme of things I’m just a raindrop on a windshield, eventually drying up or swatted away, my existence means a whole hell of a lot to her.

I fell in love with D because she’s smart, funny, beautiful, supportive, nurturing, and caring. But I married her because she agreed to.

Well that, and because she’s so raw and open that it’s hard for me not to feel alive and full of meaning when I’m around her. She is my lifesaver from the purposeless abyss, captured best in Albert Camus’s The Stranger.

I realize I sound like a masochist in love with a sadist; and maybe that’s true. But when you think about how we’re all wired, maybe you do need to be a bit of masochist to make love work.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to pee and leave the toilet seat up, and then put insinuating porn on my wife’s computer.

Love you D. Happy Valentine’s Day.

About the Author
Koby Benmeleh is an MA graduate in Middle Eastern Studies from Tel Aviv University. He made Aliyah 3.5 years ago.
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