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Laurie Nigro
Six keys to my happy marriage

I love being married. I know that I sometimes use this space to give my husband a hard time – or as he likes to call it, his weekly public flogging, but the reality is that we are a happily married couple. I don’t write about him to husband-bash. Please remember that this is, after all, a humor column. And it would cease to be funny if I only wrote things like, “my husband is perfect,” or “life is always great,” or “we’re happy all the time.” See? Not funny. Also, ridiculous lies.

That being said, there are some things about marriage that are better than others. I’m not saying that being married is better than being single, I’m just saying that it works for me, in a weird, not-quite-what-I-was-expecting way. So in case you’re on the fence about the whole wedded-bliss thing, I’ve compiled the top six reasons that I love being married.

1. I hate filling the salt shaker.

There’s something about getting out the funnel, working with the giant salt box and dealing with the spilled salt (because if you’re superstitious at all [aka: of Irish descent], then you know that spilled salt is no laughing matter and requires an elaborate ritual to combat its bad luck) that I find overwhelming. At some point, I just stopped doing it. I started getting my salt straight from the giant box. It was unwieldy and inconvenient and I always used too much, but I was willing to suffer.

Then one day, I noticed the shaker was full again. We didn’t discuss it and to this day, we never speak of it. It’s just understood that when the salt is getting low, he will fill it back up. It is something he does for which I am eternally grateful. He also does this other cute thing where he works like 247 hours a week to provide us with food, clothing, and shelter. So that’s nice, too.

2. He’s a human furnace.

I have spent the greater part of my adult life freezing cold. Once the temperature drops below 60 degrees, I become a semi-frozen shell of a human. No amount of wool can save me from the feeling that my appendages are going to crack like icicles. When I think that I am destined to never feel my fingertips again, enter the husband. I think his internal temperature is approximately 111 degrees. There is no time that my icy hands have reached under his shirt and not been met with the beautiful warmth of his toasty skin. It’s like sitting in a sunny window on a cool spring day. He is my warming savior and I am his heat sucking vampire.

3. He’s a great excuse.

When the knock at the door yields the question, “Do you have time to discuss our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?” I like to reply, “No, I’m afraid I don’t. My husband doesn’t allow me to let Jesus in when he’s not home.”

Or when we’re invited to an event that I really, really do not want to attend (like, all of them), I could tempt the fates and blame a refusal on my husband’s cold, but that’s pretty risky. Because God help me if he actually gets a cold. No, I prefer the safer route, “So sorry we can’t make it! My husband surprised me with a weekend trip to Guam. We’re visiting family.” That last part is so they don’t think we’re having too much fun. I don’t want it to look like I just picked a better offer.

It works in parenting, too. Anytime I need to stall and/or deflect a child who’s asking for something I do not want to give, a simple, “go ask your father,” is the default answer. Chances are good the child will have one of two experiences. Either they will be unable to locate said father, as he is working or wandering aimlessly around the yard, or they won’t bother looking for him because it is likely that once found, he will thwart any of their attempts to even ask the question by first assigning a loathed chore. It is a brilliant tactic that makes me proud to know him. It’s all about teamwork.

4. Cucumbers smell bad.

I acknowledge that most people disagree with that statement. However, I feel strongly about it and prefer to avoid eating, preparing, or even touching this bizarre and phallic vegetable. For a little background, I grew up with very little fresh produce. It was a time of canned wax beans, powdered potatoes and, the Queen of the Canned Goods, Veg-All. And before you go bashing my parents, remember this was the era of the Brady Bunch. Many of us ate like this. There’s a reason Sam the Butcher – not Sam the Produce Manager – had a recurring role.

And yet, the rest of my people love cucumbers. My husband grew up in a house where they not only ate fresh veggies, they actually grew them. While the only basil I knew was a jaunty little mouse detective, forever immortalized by Disney, my husband was plucking it fresh from the plant in his backyard and adding it to his tomatoes – also living in his yard. Without his love of gardening and unwavering commitment to providing our kids with only the freshest, organic produce, my kids, instead of eating eggplant right off the plant, would most likely have started life believing that red cabbage came in a jar and was always accompanied by high fructose corn syrup, water, vinegar, and salt.

5. We hate the Dallas Cowboys.

We are Giants fans. For better or worse, the boys in blue are our people. And no matter how tough things get, even when we’re feeling disconnected from one another and struggling to find common ground, we always have our mutual, deep-seated, hatred of the Dallas Cowboys. If the opposing team were a whole lot of creepy clowns, in full makeup, I would still hope for a Cowboy loss. I would even root for the Patriots if it meant sending those star-bellied Sneetches back home with another tick in the loss column.

When a Dallas game is on, and they are in the lead, I experience intense agitation and have been known to release a torrent of swear words. I am often disturbingly proud of the insults I come up with on the fly. And my husband loves me anyway. In fact, I think it makes him love me even more.

6. He is one funny SOB.

He walked into my life nearly 23 years ago with a terrible pun, of which he was ridiculously proud, and there was no other choice but to laugh. Since then, I don’t think a single day has passed that he hasn’t at least made me giggle, even if I was dead set against giggling (because it is really hard to stay mad at a man dressed in my yoga pants with his shirt tucked in.) And what that’s taught me has changed my life.

We get no guarantees on this earth. Tomorrow can come and go and take everything with it. Each day is a gift, a chance to do some good, an opportunity to find joy, and an obligation to love fiercely. Let no one wonder what you thought or how you felt. And for the love of all that is good and holy, laugh at all of it, particularly – and most importantly – yourself.

And eat lots of fresh produce.

I know I don’t like cucumbers, but if you’re into that sort of thing, my husband makes a legendary cucumber salad. It’s simple and beloved.

Winter cucumber salad

2 peeled and very thinly sliced cucumbers
red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, to taste (usually a 50/50 ratio)
1/4 teaspoon (or more) fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

All measurements are approximate and merely a suggested place to start. You can adjust all to taste. In the summer, add in fresh basil and halved sun gold tomatoes. If you want some protein, a little feta is the perfect addition. Mix all together and enjoy.

Just keep it the hell away from me. Seriously, can’t you smell that?


Laurie Nigro, is the mother of two biological children and one husband. She also takes care of a menagerie of animals that leave throw-up around for her to step in in the middle of the night. Laurie’s passionate about frugal, natural living, which is a nice way of saying she’s a kombucha-brewing, incense-burning, foodie freak who tries really hard not to spend money on crap made by child laborers. You can hear her rant about her muse (aka husband) and other things that have no bearing on your life, in this space each Sunday.

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Laurie Nigro
Laurie is the mother of two biological children and one husband and the caretaker of a menagerie of animals. Laurie is passionate about frugal, natural living. She was recognized by the L.I. Press Club with a “best humor column” award in 2016. Email Laurie