So here’s something I, perhaps unjustifiably, find irritating. There are a few ways it can go.

Scenario #1: not irritating

I enter a restaurant to have dinner with a group of friends and we are all sitting down basically at the same time. Someone who is about to sit down realizes the arrangement will end up such that I can’t sit next to my husband, so they change course to sit elsewhere and I sit next to him.

Scenario #2: not irritating

I enter a restaurant to have dinner with a group of friends and my husband is already there. There isn’t a seat by him so I sit elsewhere. Person says “Oh, here, I’ll let you sit by your husband!” I say “Oh no, I’m fine.” Person says “OK!” or “Are you sure?” and upon hearing my “yes” lets it go.

Scenario #3: irritating

I enter a restaurant to have dinner with a group of friends and my husband is already there. There isn’t a seat by him so I sit elsewhere. Person says “Oh, here, I’ll let you sit by your husband!” I say “Oh no, I’m fine.” But no amount of demurring will dissuade this person and they make a big production of shifting themselves and everyone else around so I can sit by my husband.

Here’s the deal. Sometimes–and you may want to brace yourself for this shocking news–I would actually just as soon not sit by my husband. Yes, he is an awesome guy, and I like his company. After all, we do live together, right in the same house. Many days he is the only other person I see beyond a short interaction with a store clerk or something. In fact, come to think of it, you can perhaps start to see where it is sometimes nice for me to chat with someone else for a short while. After all, dinner will probably not take more than a couple of hours, and I promise I can live without him for that duration, especially since in all likelihood I will still be able to see and speak with him from where I am sitting. If I say that I don’t need to sit by him and you force me to, it makes me look like a bit of an asshole and a bad wife, and also deprives me of social interactions that I may have been interested in engaging in.

On a related note, I also sometimes like to talk to “the other wives” or even folks other than “the other wives” about things unrelated to being married, house and yard work, or their kids (since I don’t have any). Sure, these are great topics of conversation, but there are also others.

I guess what I’m saying is I like feeling as if there is more to me than the state of being married to someone, even if that is an integral part of my life. I’m fine with the offer to change seats since that just seems to be what we do in “polite society,” but if I say no, take my words at face value and don’t worry about it, ‘K? Thanks.

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