What Wedding Vows Would Look Like If We Were Really Being Honest

Our wedding day, October 9, 2005.

I feel very fortunate to be happily married to my husband of 13 years, but that doesn’t mean I don’t wish I could go back and re-write our wedding vows if I had the chance. When we planned our wedding in 2005, I looked up “traditional wedding vows” and copied what a million other couples have been repeating for hundreds of years. And if I’m being honest, the oaths were junk.

Don’t get me wrong — I meant every word. It’s just that, at age 25, I didn’t actually realize what “in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer” truly meant. In my mid-twenties naiveté, I assumed it meant that if God forbid one of us lost a leg or a lung or something, the marriage wouldn’t automatically dissolve. Sounds great! I’m down.

The thing is, we didn’t have two dimes to rub together when we got married, so agreeing to stay in the marriage if we ran out of funds was no big deal. For richer or for poorer? Sure, no problem.

But over the years, my definition of what marriage really means has changed significantly. If we were to renew our wedding vows today, I’d want them to be much more specific in nature. You know, have ’em get at what holy matrimony really entails.

They’d probably look a little something like this …

I promise to love your family as my own.

Let’s be real: I’m not only accepting this man to have and to hold until the day that I die, but also his FAMILY. That means their congealed holiday recipes, outstanding warrants, biting goats, and religious beliefs. That means I promise to ignore Uncle Jimmy when he pees off the back porch and I’ll turn a blind eye to Cousin Willa Mae’s kleptomania. If you love them, I will tolerate them … I guess.

Sidenote: I got really lucky with my husband’s family. NOT ALL OF US ARE SO LUCKY.

Wedding shower, circa 2005.

I pledge to love you even when you start snoring like a freight train.

If you’re in this thing for the long haul, sleeping in separate bedrooms may be in the cards. I swore we would never be those people, but alas, we totally are. After several sleepless years, my husband was forced (by me) into having a sleep study done and was prescribed a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine to put an end to his atrocious snoring. By this point, I was so desperate for rest that it didn’t matter if it looked like he was wearing a gas mask to bed. As long as the deafening rumbling stopped, the marriage could continue.

I will cherish you in ugliness AND in beauty.

I look like an entirely different person at bedtime. I remove my contacts, don coke bottle glasses, pop in a mouth guard, insert earplugs, cover my eyes with a mask, and smear goop all over my face. Basically, everything about me says “KEEP OUT.”

Robbie didn’t marry this version of me — the person he married would barely allow him to see her without a generous coat of concealer and mascara on. But this is what marriage has done to me. It’s made me comfortable. I literally let it all hang out, and that’s not a bad thing … it just needs to be addressed in the vows.

Present day shenanigans.

I’ll honor our vows even when I regret marrying you in the first place.

Because trust me, that day will come. It might be a fleeting thought that pops in and out of your mind, or even something you allow yourself to dwell on. The point is, I made a commitment, and “for better or for worse” is directly referencing the fact that I routinely find toenail clippings on the floor. There’s also the pressing matter of who forgot to write “coffee” on the shopping list. YOU SAW THAT WE WERE OUT, ROBBIE. You know I cannot function without at least two cups — are you trying to kill us all?!

I will love you even when you suck.

Sometimes I burp a lot. I cover all the bathroom counter space with random products that are supposed to make me more beautiful. I made fun of him after his vasectomy and later on found out that he really did have a complication that was not funny at all. He’s fine now, but I still felt like a jerk.

I narrowly avoided rehab in 2017. I dragged him to multiple counseling sessions. I blamed him for things that were clearly my fault. I nagged, manipulated, criticized, and eye rolled him. I took the last cookie so many times, and also broke into his candy stash (and blamed it on the kids).

All of this is basically what it means to be married, but this is the kicker: he continues to love me in spite of me.

So yes, I will take Robbie to be my lawfully wedded husband, until death do us part. He is the only person on this planet who knows what I truly look and act like in the morning and he still chooses to live here.

“A partner who supports your dreams and your healing is a priceless gem, a heaven in human form.” – Yung Pueblo

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Remember the chimp named Travis that attacked a woman in 2009 and basically ripped her face off? My friend Audrey and I have decided to make “Travis” our new verb to describe sudden, irrational, ape-like rage.

Some examples:

“I’m about to go Travis on you. Start running now, mother f*cker.”

“I am Travin’ SO bad today because I drank too much coffee with my sinus medication.”

“If you don’t pull into that drive-thru RIGHT NOW, I’m going to pull a Travis. Yes, that’s right — I will eat your face.”

Last night was rough. Robbie kept pulling his CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) mask off and either leaving it on the bed to whoosh air into my face, or turning it off completely. And snoring.


If only he would wear it.

I can’t tell if he’s doing it in his sleep without realizing it or if it’s a purposeful attempt to push me over the edge, but when it happens I experience pronounced rage. Combine that with the fact that our oldest has a stomach bug and needed my help from 3:00 – 4:00 a.m., and I was up for most of the night.

At 6:00, I woke up my husband and proceeded to bitch about my lack of sleep — which he was partially responsible for — because that is how I process emotions and move past them. I bitch.

Me: “I am so tired.”

Robbie: (Unmoving, from the bed) “Me, too.”

Me: (STIFLING THE DESIRE TO RIP HIS FACE OFF) “You have been in the exact same position all night.”

Robbie: (Silence.)

Me: “Do you realize I physically got out of bed 5 times last night?”



Rational? Not so much. And the sad truth is, I was much too tired to go Travis on anyone at all.

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Taking One For The Team

My husband is a die-hard football fan.

I did not grow up watching football, which is unusual in the Deep South. Truth be told, my dad was more of a Wrestle Mania fan. I have fond memories of watching Hulk Hogan throw folding chairs at King Kong Bundy.

Then I met Robbie Hobbs, and he had to explain football to me like I was a very small child. I still don’t really understand it, but I’ve finally grasped the basics. I think.

To help illustrate exactly what kind of football fan he is, here is a picture of him waiting for a subway in New York City on game day. He walked all over NYC like that, and if he noticed someone staring at his pants, he would point to another person nearby and say, “Check out that dude’s pants.”

It doesn't get much better than this right here.

It doesn’t get much better than this right here.

Then there is the LSU Santa hat that he pulls out every year, pictured below.

Tis the season

These hilarious quirks are pretty much why I married him.

I believe I’ve done a decent job of embracing the football fan life. I have purple and gold clothing that I wear when the occasion calls for it. I like to tailgate, as long as kids aren’t involved, mostly because I love an excuse to day drink. We are now the people who plan our lives around the football schedule. When an LSU game is happening, I understand that we will be watching it — if not in person, then on TV.

I know when to yell, I know when to head to the fridge for another beer, and I know when to send Robbie outside to watch the game through the window.


See? I totally know how to look the part of a football fan.

This weekend was the most important weekend of this season so far, because it was the game against our biggest rival — Alabama. That’s pretty much all I know. I was going to attempt to regurgitate the stats and rankings that he kept talking about in the days leading up to the game, but the truth is I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about. All I know is that we HATE losing to Alabama, and Robbie gets really depressed — like lying on the living room floor face down in sadness — every time it happens.

On Saturday afternoon, I left the house for a few hours to visit my parents. When I came home, he had done something to his face.

“HOW DO YOU LIKE MY LSU BEARD?!” he asked excitedly.

I stood in the kitchen and stared at him for a few seconds, trying to make sense of what was happening, but before I could figure it out our three children did what three children do and both of us sprang into action cleaning up spills, wiping noses, and refilling plates.

Two hours later, after our kids were tucked snugly in their beds, we sat down to watch the game. This is when he again looked at me and said, “HOW DO YOU LIKE MY LSU BEARD?!”

I studied him for a long time. He was grinning from ear to ear, beaming with pride. It was clear that he had spent a lot of time and energy carefully trimming his facial hair to spell out “L S U.” The “S” was around his mouth in particular looked like it was a painstaking process.

He waited for my reaction.

“It’s backwards,” I deadpanned.

He didn’t believe me and jumped up to look in the mirror, which of course proved that I was incorrect and his beard clearly said LSU. He’s a very intelligent man — let me be clear — he just didn’t want to accept the truth. So I took my phone out and showed him that his face definitely spelled out U S L.

Also, the “S” was backwards.

I was still giggling about it several hours later, when we lost the game against Alabama and the sadness began. I think that Robbie felt personally responsible for the loss this time.

It can really hurt to take one for the team.

Note the perfectly-executed "L."

Note the perfectly-executed “L.”

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How Adults Prank Each Other

My mom and I swap furniture and home decor back and forth all the time. We’ve done this since I was in college.

It’s awesome for me because my mom has excellent taste and it saves me from having to break the bank buying things to hang on the walls. It’s awesome for her because she can let me “borrow” stuff and then when we swap again, it’s like she just went shopping.

A win/win.

So, my parents just moved and needed us to give back a GIGANTIC mirror they’d loaned us last year that was hanging above our living room sofa (which also belongs to them … although I’m not sure we’ll be able to return it in the same condition it was in when we first obtained it). After my dad left with the mirror, I mentioned to Robbie that I would need to find something big to put on that wall now that it was empty.

I fretted aloud for the remainder of the day, talking half to myself and half to him, about how I need to save up some money so I will have the funds available when I find the right picture.

“Whatever we get, it needs to be really big,” I said to him.

He stared back wordlessly.

I am a relatively laid-back person except when it comes to a few things. My home is one of those things. We have never lived in super-nice places — they’ve always been “fine” and/or “decent,” within our price range, and passable for warm and cozy after I finish decorating.


I went grocery shopping and came home to this.

Mean tricks to play on your wife

THIS. This totally sent my OCD tendencies through the roof.

No, David!

He mocks me.

If you have ever wondered how to really get under the skin of a woman who takes pride in her home, hang a very small picture in the middle of a massive wall, out of her reach without a ladder, and hide the ladder.

Proceed to leave it there for a week and counting.

This is how adults prank each other.

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That’s Marriage.

 …. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

Almost 10 years ago, Robbie and I said those words to each other. I don’t remember any of it.

We had no idea what we were doing. I was 25, the last of my friends to get married (except for my friend who was in medical school — she married at 30). We said the words. We started our journey.

Ten years later …

Husband: “Where are my white dress shirt and suit pants?”

Me: “I have no idea.”


Me: “When did you last see or wear them?”

Husband: “Last year.”

Flabbergasted, I proceeded to ridicule him like the proper wife that I am.

I am not the Keeper of All The Things, I am only one person! YOU should know where your pants are! How is it that you haven’t worn your nice pants in 10 whole months? OMG, we need to find a church and start attending, it’s good for the kids. It doesn’t matter which church, let’s just pick one. They need to learn Bible stories because I keep forgetting to teach them because I’m too busy keeping everyone alive and the only ones I can remember accurately are about Adam and Eve and the Christmas Story. WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING?!

My husband is a very patient man, and he listened to my entire tirade before asking me to check the dry cleaner’s to make sure I hadn’t forgotten to pick them up nearly a year ago.

“Well … okay,” I said. “But I am usually really good about keeping up with that stuff.”

Karma is a bitch, friends. After spending 3 days searching for Robbie’s suit pants and dress shirt, I swung through our old dry cleaner’s — the one I don’t use anymore because it’s so far away — on a whim.

The guy started laughing as soon as he saw me pull in. My face started to redden and I got a feeling in the pit of my stomach that I can only describe as bewildered mortification.

“Hi, Mrs. Hobbs. I knew you’d come back! I kept telling my boss not to give your stuff away!” This is what he said as I picked up everything the entire family — yes, all 5 of us — wore for Christmas pictures nearly a year ago.

Apparently I didn’t notice that I’ve been missing clothes, either.

That’s marriage.


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Downy Déjà vu

As long as I am married to Robbie, which will be until I’m senile or dead, I will never run out of things to write about. Here is a conversation we had this evening:

Me: “We’re out of laundry detergent, so I can’t wash any more clothes until I go to the store.”

Robbie: “Just use that stuff in the blue bottle.”

Me: “What stuff? You mean fabric softener?”

Robbie: “Yeah, that stuff. It’s all the same.”


Robbie: “It all basically does the same thing. It gets them clean.”

Me: “No … no.”

Robbie: “Yes it does, I washed a few loads awhile back with that stuff.” (He’s referring to the other weekend when I went to the beach.) 

Me: (silence)

Robbie: “It got them clean.”

Me: “That explains the weird blue stains on our clothes.”

Robbie: “Oh.”

What’s even MORE amazing is that this exact thing happened when I was 12 years old, and my dad took over laundry duties because my mom returned to the workforce.

Weeks, WEEKS, I TELL YOU, went by with the three of us — me, my mom, and my dad — wondering where all of these grey-blue spots were coming from.


Whoever said that most women end up marrying a man who is just like their father was so, so right.

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The Female’s Guide To Living With A Hairy Man.

I’m married to a very hairy man.

When we first met, the first thing I noticed was his impressive height.


Next, I took note of his ass.


The third thing I noticed was that it looked like he was a hairy guy, which I find endearing, but his arms were strangely devoid of hair.


(Hop on over to The Mid to read the rest of this riveting essay!)

Wife Guilt.

I am sitting here at 8:30 p.m. experiencing my first stretch of quiet in 14 hours, feeling the sting of wife guilt because I haven’t had a full conversation with my husband in at least three days.

As a stay-at-home mom, I experience wife guilt a lot more often than mommy guilt. How can I have mommy guilt when I spend almost all of my time with my kids?

I say “almost all of my time” because there is a 8-hour stretch at night, after I take my three-year-old to the bathroom but before my toddler wakes up at 6 a.m. screeching, when I simply refuse to deal with them.

I am off the clock. I do not adult during that time. Just ask my husband.

I suffer from wife guilt because by the time Robbie gets home in the evening, I am so done with everyone and everything and I want nothing more than get in the car and drive away. And I have. But don’t worry, I always return … after the kids are in bed.


Me, age 8.

Being a mother is slowly turning me into a terrible wife. I know this because I went to my parent’s house tonight to dig up some old pictures for a project I’m working on, and I happened upon some of Robbie and I when we were 10 years younger and way, way hotter.

He tried to tell me it’s not that we’ve aged 10 years, Harmony. We’ve aged 10 years AND WE HAD THREE KIDS.

Oh, okay.

11141149_10155648088620508_4445009605382191378_nI do admit, though … looking at this makes my heart speed up a little. No wonder I called him “Hot Robbie” behind his back.

So maybe I will try a little harder to be a better wife, and maybe he will pretend that I can still fit into that dress.

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Everything That Is Right.

They say men are simple and have simple needs, and I agree with this most of the time.

Robbie needs very few things to be happy, but he’s also strangely multifaceted. He can do things like accompany me to a photo shoot and seamlessly alternate between playing with our toddler and making really inappropriate hand gestures behind the photographer to illicit a “natural-looking smile” from me.

If you know me in real life, you know that I’m not very good at producing natural-looking smiles on command. Being put on the spot makes me anxious. This is also why I’m terrible in interviews.

When I was 12, I had a bad habit of closing my eyes at the precise moment a photo was snapped.


Thankfully, I outgrew that.

Also thankfully, modern technology allows for horrible photos to be deleted and re-taken over and over again until a semi-decent one is created. It makes me a little sad that the youth of today won’t have as many awkward and cringe-worthy photos to dig through when they are in their mid-thirties. It brings me a sense of satisfaction to see how far I’ve come since the days of that Laura Ashley dress.

Last weekend, I met my friend Rachel who is an amazing photographer (you can view her site here) so she could get some head shots, because I am trying to be a professional with professional-type paraphernalia like business cards. I have a book to sell, you know. It’s time to get my shit together.

Rachel snapped this unplanned picture of us, and when I saw it for the first time tonight, tears came to my eyes.

Photo credit: Rachel Ezzo Portraits, LLC

Photo credit: Rachel Ezzo Portraits, LLC

This. This is what happens when the background noise fades away, and it’s just us.

We do not live a charmed life. Some days, it feels like everything is stacked against us and nothing is easy or simple and we’re always going to be behind in every possible way. I try not to focus on the hard stuff, but sometimes it’s hard not to.

Whenever I get mad at him or feel like everything is all wrong, I’m going to look at this picture to be reminded me of everything that is right and easy.