Archive for marriage

The Girl That I Married

Posted in The Frugal Frau with tags , , , on September 15, 2009 by davegerry


This is the girl that I married. This is exactly how she looked when we both met at the tender age of 16.

I want to introduce you to Angelika because I will be referring to her often on this blog. I certainly talked about her frequently over the years on television. So far, the 27 year marriage to this woman has given me a mother lode of comedic material. Angie was always a little shy about appearing on camera but, as I will try to make clear, she has become an encyclopedia of lifestyle tips and techniques.

We met in highschool and though we dated briefly she did not really like me much as a teenager. I was a tad too…reliable.

Looking back now it all seems a bit unfair.

Nobody tells the reliable guys that many girls they are chasing are really attracted to the bad boys. They don’t necessarily want the guy who always shows up on time, never forgets a birthday or will listen for hours on the phone. Many young women are drawn to a challenge…like a moth to a can of Raid. Problems occur when a women actually marries the challenge. Those same women who married the bad boy start looking for a good guy soon after the divorce. If only they’d struck with one of us in the first place.

Ah, the ironies of life.

Though she did not warm to my obvious merits in highschool,  Angie and I did stay connected over the following years until a combination of maturity and desperation cemented our bond.

So we married. We did not get married in ‘a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout‘. We got married on a somewhat soggy April 20th which just happens to be Adolf Hitler’s birthday. I was unaware of this charming coincidence until a new brother-in-law walked up to me at the wedding reception and said, ‘Do you know it’s Adolf Hitler’s birthday?’.

Well, hell, every day has to be somebody’s birthday, right?  The strange thing was that my bride was born in Germany. I had married into a German family. I was about to enter a portal of red cabbage, waltz music and uber phlegmy conversation.

By the way, having your wedding anniversary coincide with the dawn of evil can be considered, at the very least, a good memory tool.

Here are some other notable birthdays just in case you and your fiance are trying to either avoid or embrace the awkward.

  • Joseph Stalin- December 18th
  • Idi Amin- Aug.17th
  • Pol Pot- May 19th
  • Caligula- August 31st
  • Dick Cheney-January 30th

Angelika worked as a highschool teacher and a banker for a number of years until the birth of our first son when she decided to devote herself fulltime to the science of homemaking.

When I say science, folks, I do not use the term loosely. For example, Angie is a savant of laundry. There is not a wrinkle she cannot smooth nor a stain she cannot lift.

I have cut myself on her creases. One day I caught her sizing up t-shirts with a measuring tape to ensure that they would fit precisely into a bedroom drawer.

Please measure your shirts

Please measure your shirts

Is this overkill? Anal retentiveness? Obsessive compulsive behaviour? Nein, silly…it’s German!  The woman positively whistles her way to a clothesline.


Angelika has kept the males in our family well fed, meticulously clad and financially solvent for as long as any of us can remember.

She is the original frugal frau, exercising  the kind of strict financial control that has made the marriage strong. It’s very simple. I could never afford to divorce her because, I suspect,  by now all the money is probably somewhere in Switzerland.

Angelika is a tireless consumer advocate and a relentless researcher whose ability to uncover a bargain knows no bounds. She is a tough negotiator as well and I have often released her upon unsuspecting tradesmen and car dealers with glee.

Some of my female co-workers have occasionally accused my mate of setting the feminist movement back at least thirty years. This criticism has been largely based on the nature of my packed lunches.

The nuance of nurturing in an Angie-packed lunch is astounding.

For example, she has always swaddled my peach.

Swaddled Peach 003

If you are putting a peach into a loved one’s lunch and have neglected to collar it in a downy tuft of paper towelling, trust me, you risk bruising both the fruit and the relationship.

How about a sandwich? Are you simply inclined to slap it into a bunch of plastic wrap. Angelika has been known to fold the transparent material like origami and then use a black felt marker to indicate where the all-but-invisible edge starts.

It is this attention to detail that has saved me countless seconds while others struggle hopelessly with sticky wrap.

Angie has also been known to pre-score an orange..but enough already. You get the point.

Now that I have established her credentials I think it’s my duty to pass along some of these tips for all you readers, particularly those of you with bruised peaches and wrinkled pants.

Let’s call the segment The Frugal Frau and I’ll try to put a little something helpful in there every week.

Angelika is an amazing woman. She puts up with me.

In so many ways, I’d be one helluva mess without her.