I was told this week that my honeymoon period would end on Christmas day this year.
That’s according to a survey done recently by Mattress Clarity — a bedding company, of all things — which claims that the average honeymoon period for Americans is a length of 6.7 months.
Not long ago, I made the brilliant decision to tell my May 12 bride that I figured our honeymoon period was the four years prior to the wedding day, and that real life would set in after the “I dos.” This didn’t go over very well, and I somehow managed to make things worse when I tried to explain my thinking.
It was then that I received the Terrible Trifecta — a talk-to-the-hand, daggers from the eyes and “pffffffffft” combination — which clearly told me I was being invited to stop thinking.
But back to the survey.
North Carolinians actually have a longer honeymoon period of 7.4 months than the national average. Plugging that number into my equation, it would mean that my honeymoon will come to a close on Dec. 25. Not a great time for wedded bliss to suddenly turn into marriage boredom, but who am I to challenge a survey by a bedding company?
Thankfully my new wife and I live in the Carolinas, where the honeymoon period lasts between 6.6 and 7.4 months. It could be worse. The state of Rhode Island, whose license plates claim it as “The Country’s Pinhead State” (surely referring to its size), has a honeymoon period of just 2.8 months. That’s hardly enough time to allow any annoying habits to surface, much less create any new ones.
But it could also be better. The survey claims couples in Alaska have a honeymoon period of 11.5 months and those in Maine have a honeymoon period of 11 months. Are you seeing a connection between those two states? If not, I will point it out: It’s freakin’ freezing there. In fact, the 11-plus months of marriage euphoria must certainly have everything to do with the fact that, while buried under 257 feet of snow for most of the year, a couple better be compatible. I mean, when your home is covered with Mother Nature’s severe dandruff, what else is there to do than to talk with your spouse in between hunting for moose or fishing for whales?
The Mattress Clarity survey approached 3,000 married individuals to put together their survey. The questions focused primarily on the bedroom — not necessarily on the physical parts, but on things like when couples go to bed and how much sleep they actually get.
In those areas, they claim that more than a third of those surveyed say the honeymoon ends when spouses start going to bed at different times. They also say married couples get 30 minutes less sleep each night — but they give no specific reason for that, so I will fill in that blank: the couples go to bed and watch reruns of “The Big Bang Theory.” That Sheldon is a nut.
Not only does Mattress Clarity point out how long the honeymoon period lasts in each of the 50 states, the company also gives tips to keep the rapture juices flowing, like communicating and being accepting; compromise and trying new things (like going to bed and watching ESPN instead of Sheldon’s latest escapades); and looking for ways to be better friends.
My takeaway from all of this is that I now realize I am going to have to come up with something very big to present my wife on Christmas day — you know, to make up for my obviously flawed honeymoon thinking and to jump-start the honeymoon period beyond the predetermined 7.4 months.
I’m thinking perhaps a cruise to fish for whales in Alaska or a moose-hunting trip to Maine.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.