My marriage; let me show you it

By Mir
January 21, 2008

I have often said that one of the advantages of having a (mostly) not-very-good and then a (towards the end) wholly-fucked-up marriage, the first time around, is that—despite being rather high-maintenance in general (shut up)—I am so profoundly grateful for everything Otto and I have, I’m really quite easy to keep happy on the marital front.

Why yes, I DID just say he’s SO LUCKY to have me.

And I am happier, and probably healthier, as a result. Which is probably the reason why a very pretty reader of mine thought of me when she got this little assignment for a tiny little magazine, and needed someone to interview about the benefits of marriage. I was happy to help her out, and it didn’t occur to me that it was any sort of big deal.

Oh. Well, okay. Maybe you’ve heard of her? Her name is Lori Oliwenstein. She’s a great writer, and a sweet lady to boot. Everyone’s heard of Lori, right? No…? Hmmm.

It appears that many of you read the magazine in question, though, as the last few days I have gotten a bunch of email from people that says things like, “OH MY GOD, is this you in this article in TIME magazine???”

So, yeah. That’s me in that article in TIME. And Otto, too… although for SOME strange reason they wouldn’t let him use “Otto.” Journalistic integrity, or something. WHATEVER.

Anyway, it cracks me up that people are so excited (holy hell, my parents weren’t this jazzed when I graduated from college), as my main accomplishment here is… the ability to speak on the phone. Lori is the one who should be (and probably is) dancing in the streets, as she is rocking on with her bad self with an actual BYLINE, whereas I am merely Interview Subject B, or whatever.

The resultant article also illustrates the reason I bid all true journalistic endeavors goodbye after a short stint of writing for a paper a couple of years ago; blogging allows you to INCLUDE EVERYTHING, even what you think of the lint in your belly button, should you be so inclined. Actual “respected journalism” requires that you get right to the point with expedience and ruthlessness. Forty-five minutes on the phone turns into a one-line quote in an article, and stuff that I think is FASCINATING is left out because it’s not TO THE POINT enough. And that’s fine, although it’s (obviously) not my style.

Slightly less fine is that this concatenation of nuances tends to result in inferences that aren’t necessarily quite right.

For example, if you read this article in TIME, it basically implies that I was miserable and crippled, and then Otto came along and saved me. I’d like to believe I was the master of my own “rescue,” you know… but that wouldn’t fit in so well with the thrust of the article. (This is not to cast aspersions on Lori, by the way—she did a great job. I know how this stuff works, and she did her job, and the editor did his/her job, and this is just how it ends up.) The result reads a little bit to me like Otto swooped in and performed my hysterectomy his own damn self, though. I agree that that’d certainly make things more interesting. Otto is great with cars and all, but let’s just say I’m glad there was an actual surgeon removing my uterus.

The quote from Otto sort of makes him sound like a typical oblivious male, too, which is… not quite right. Again, that’s how these things go. Sokay.

But the general theme of the piece? That we’re much happier and healthier together than we ever were, apart? That part is totally true.

Even though Otto HAS been asking me over and over if I want to have a Super Bowl party here. Somehow he’s gotten it into his head that I don’t want to—even though I’ve said “YES, LET’S” every time (and more recently, also adding “WHY DO YOU KEEP ASKING ME THIS?”)—and has developed amnesia about the twelve other times he’s asked. In conclusion, I love my husband very, very much. And we’re having a damn Super Bowl party, already, and if he asks me again I’m going to hurt him. Which, I suppose, may negatively impact his health.

True love. Ain’t it grand?


  1. birchsprite

    Amm off to read it now… but awwwwwwwwww in advance!

  2. Bikini

    You know, although you made up names for your kids, I truly thought you married a guy named Otto. Huh.

    Felicitations on your splash in main stream media- honest to goodness printed material that my mom wouldn’t call a “blop”.

  3. Sheila

    Great article. Whenever Otto (we can just go on calling him that, right? Thanks) feels at all peeved with you for anything, you can just go ahead and remind him:


    At least that’s the take-away I got from my reading of it, rather than HIM being YOUR knight in shining armor (although that’s probably just what he is on some days). It’s the line I’ll be using on my beloved for some time to come.

    oh, and P.S. Please don’t invite me to your Super Bowl party. I’ll be home, crying into my Cheesehead. You guys go ahead and have fun, though. Don’t mind me.

  4. Kathy

    great quote in the article – and have a great Super Bowl Party – GO PATS!

  5. All Adither

    No pic of you and Otto. Drat.

  6. Otto

    I so saved your ass from a life of misery …


    PS – Haven’t you learned yet NOT to dare me? B-)

  7. dad

    Correction. I, for one, was jazzed when you graduated from college but it is enervating to read about someone one has spawned in TIME. TIME for Pete’s sake!

    Now about the Superbowl party. Don’t forget to invite us because we will be staying with you that weekend. And forgive me in advance for doing my silly dance in front of your friends whenever the Giants score.

    So, are you reconsidering?

  8. Ei

    I’m ready to take my corisol riddled body right back to bed after reading that.

    But that is really cool and stuff. Truly.

  9. Stacey

    I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now, and have read most of your archives. I think it’s obvious to those who “know” you that you indeed rescued yourself. You seem like a very strong, capable woman (most of the time ;-)) who has found someone wonderful to share her life with. I’m really happy for you. I look forward to “witnessing” your future…I wish for a lot of happiness.

  10. Holly

    Hey wait, Otto’s name isn’t Otto??

  11. Shash

    You’re in TIME AND hosting a SuperBowl Party? What a great way to kick off the New Year!

    GO PATS!!!

    Great article BTW. You give great phone. :)

  12. MomCat

    I find that the ‘spouse as an analgesic’ works a lot better if the hand I am holding has a margarita for me.

    Great story – Mir, you’re FAMOUS! *squeeee*

  13. Bob

    yeah, I thought I was back in the 50’s. you were a mess until the right man came along, and Otto is helpless anywhere but the garage.

    Hi Ms. Mir, can the Beav come out to play? That sure looks like a tasty cake there. What’s for supper?

    (I WAS going to ask a serious question like, how much did your first marital experience shape your approach to your current happy marriage? i.e. how much of your current happiness results from having been down this road before? but couldn’t get the image of Ms. Cleaver out of my head after reading the article.)

  14. TTULizzy

    Cool Article! How neat is it to be in TIME???

    Have fun at your Super Bowl Party!

  15. Em

    Miriam, huh? I had Miranda in my mind as the long version of Mir. Otto was just Otto. Monkey is Mikey (if I had to guess) and Chicakdee I may have considered Julie but Chickadee has always worked as a proper name when I am imagining you talking to your children. I am not asking you to clarify. I am still wrapping my brain around Miriam instead of Miranda.

    Also, without saying a single unkind word about YOUR ex, I think I would have just a touch of self satisfaction being mentioned in an article about happy marriages with my new hubby if I was in your position. But I am spiteful and rude and you are not.

  16. Crista

    Methinks Otto’s not getting any cake tonight ;)

  17. Flea

    “Otto” may not necessarily be a romantic name, but it has so much PERSONALITY. I love it. And my opinion is ultimately what counts, right?

    Your dad’s right – YOU’RE IN FRICKIN’ TIME MAGAZINE!!!!! Yay Mir!

  18. The Mom Bomb

    So why didn’t you guys make the “Gallery of Great Romances”? A glaring omission, in my opinion.

    Go Giants!

  19. Amy S.

    So is your name Mir? JK. Now I’m going to have to go read that magazine. And one that has big words in it too. Dang.

  20. Amy-Go

    Now I have to go out in the COLD to buy a copy of Time. SHEESH, woman, the things I’ll do for you. ;)

  21. Libby

    You\’ve ruined it for me Time Magazine! Ruined it!

    No, no, no! Mir & Otto, thats how it should be.

    Kidding, kidding. Those are perfectly lovely names.

    Wow Time magazine. So cool! You are like so famous now!

  22. Suebob

    Otto didn’t perform your hysterectomy? And I thought you said he was handy?

    I am glad to see you so happy and healthy. You – and Otto – deserve it.

  23. Jill

    Congratulations! That’s so COOL!

  24. Jaime

    okay, I knew Otto was a nickname, but it actually hadn’t occured to me that Mir was short for something!!

  25. jennielynn

    I guess this means I have to put down the trashy novel and borrow my dad’s Time magazine. Hmph.

  26. Julie Stiles Mills

    Doesn’t “Otto” mean “husband” in Japanese? I think I read that somewhere. Very cool – Time Magazine!

  27. Heidi

    Man, that hair party really did a number on you–you look SO MUCH like Liz Taylor!

  28. Tootsie Farklepants

    Wow!! TIME Magazine! Tootsie Farklepants is so impressed that she’s compelled to talk about herself in the 3rd person! Very awesome!

  29. Sophie

    Yea, well, all of that is true about the article. But I’m still really impressed that you are in TIME! You two are a famous romantic couple now. woohoo! But no photo. Double drat.

    (And my husband is an analgesic. He’ll be thrilled.)

  30. Randi

    So sweet! What, no happy family photo?! That’s a great article and I’m glad your friend was able to get a byline in TIME! How cool is that!

    And yes, definitely have a Superbowl party…as long as you’re cheering for the UNDEFEATED PATRIOTS BABY!!

  31. jennielynn

    I just read the article online and I had to giggle at your quote. Lori did a great job with the article and because I’ve read your blog for a while, I had some context for it, but it did sound like you were a walking disaster and Otto fixed everything! Too funny.

  32. Angela

    Yeah I guess I’m in Otto shock….but I’ll survive by continuing to call him Otto and not whatever other name that was that started with, wait I don’t remember, some letter of the alphabet.

  33. getsheila

    Cool beans, man! Now you’re even MORE famous. Hee!

  34. A-Licious

    as always a brilliant blog post and i am off to read the article – YAY!

    i love it!


  35. The Over-Thinker

    So I follow the link and see the photo of the couple in the kitchen and I think, “Mir has a kick-ass kitchen! and Wowza! Otto is hot! and…hey, I know that Monkey is small for his age, but he’s in a high chair? Whaaa?”

    …and then I figured it allll out b/c I’m quick like that.

    Happy Marriage to You!!

  36. PunditMom

    OOOOO. I just got my copy today! And, hey, I bet the quote leads to some freelance work for you! (Since I’m a freelancer, too, I’m always hoping that’s actually true!)

  37. StephLove

    Congrat.s on your brush with even greater fame, Mir.

    My question is for Doug and Naomi of Brooklyn, however. You know, the ones in the picture-perfect kitchen enjoying a “quiet moment” with their baby. Exactly where does one get a baby who lets you enjoy a quiet moment? If I could have that baby I might have a third.

  38. Heathir

    At least you’re not the one who was quoted as having gotten married because of the AIDS epidemic.

  39. Lori Oliwenstein

    “Forty-five minutes on the phone turns into a one-line quote in an article, and stuff that I think is FASCINATING is left out because it’s not TO THE POINT enough.”

    AbsoLUTELY true. Totally sucks–especially since it really WAS fascinating. And worse yet, it wasn’t EVEN that it wasn’t TO THE POINT enough, but that–even though it WAS to the point–there simply wasn’t space enough to use it.

    (And if it makes you feel any better–though I doubt it will–I just spent the weekend with a friend who I had interviewed for the piece and who had a GREAT and VERY RELEVANT story to tell as well…and she got cut ENTIRELY from the piece in the end. Thank goodness she’s still talking to me, or that would have been one looooooong weekend in the wildnerness!)

    As for the not-quite-making-the-point-the-way-it-was-meant thing…Uh, yeah. The longer I do this journalism thing, the less interested I am in being an interviewee. Between word counts and the influence of 37 different editors along the way, subtleties too often fall by the wayside. Sorry ’bout that. But not sorry about pulling you into this whole thing, because getting to talk to you and Otto was truly the highlight of doing this piece for me.

  40. dorothy

    That is an awesome first line, though, eh?

    I love the part about spouses being like analgesic, though. What a lovely thought. I think cuddly children and pets also qualify. And darling, anyone who’s spent five minutes with you knows you are no frail Juliet who needed anyone’s saving, sister.

  41. Karate Mom

    OK. So. Here’s a question.
    Do you call Otto Otto in real life or just on your blog?
    Cool article!!

  42. tammy

    Am I invited to the Super Bowl party? I can have a baby on your coffee table for the halftime show. (Take that, Janet Jackson!)

  43. tammy

    Oh, and by the way:

    “Marriage means no more drinking at singles’ bars until closing, no more eating uncooked ramen noodles out of the bag and calling it a meal.”

    Who made THAT stupid rule up? Cause that is my idea of a fine Saturday night.

  44. becky

    I was so going to email you and tease you that Otto was unmasked. Sort of. I thought his quote didn’t quite sound Otto-esque, but also figured editors were involved.

    (editors, don’t shoot me. i’m occasionally one, too!)

  45. Cele

    It could have been so much worse, they could have interviewed your ex and had him and Otto compare notes. I thought it an overall positive and enlightening article.

  46. Therese

    Analgesic–isn’t that another word for antacid? My husband, the Tums!

  47. The Other Leanne

    (Sorry I’m late for work, boss, but I not only had to read Mir’s blog this morning, I also had to read an article in TIME magazine…)
    “Markomatic For The People” just doesn’t ring the same, so obviously he must now officially change his name to Otto.
    From the sound of things, Big Pharma could just toss the old Paxil/Prozac down the toilet and send Otto around to cheer everybody up!
    Srsly, congrats on your ever-expanding fame! TIME is probably wondering why their readership numbers are suddenly way up.

  48. Jodi

    The one thing I latched onto in the article is that you married your best friend. When you were older (hey, don’t slap me, I said oldER). And had a better grip on your life and how the world works.

    You know, all of that matters so much.

    Good for y’all on being happy AND famous(ish).

  49. Jenni

    it’s a great article about marriage. very interesting. i’m glad she interviewed you because otherwise i quite possibly would’ve never read it otherwise.

    however, did anyone look at the picture at the top of the wife leaning of her husband while he is cutting something for with a knife. seriously, if i ever walk up my husband while he was in the middle of something and just decided to lean on him he’d make me knock it off

  50. liz

    I’m with Jenni. Family togetherness is really great and all, but seriously? There’s a time and a place for everything. While the husband is wielding a machete and raw meat is not the time for a snuggle.

  51. Kay T

    I can’t believe hot much Otto looks like Richard Burton. And that hair party really poofed up your ‘do!

  52. J from Ireland

    Just read article, it came across just lovely and sweeet. Otto not Otto – shock, Mir, Miriam – guessed thats what is was!

  53. J from Ireland

    eh, sweet :)

  54. mel from freak parade

    Oh no! I never wanted to know Otto’s real name. Otto is Otto. I knew I shouldn’t have looked. Thank goodness you weren’t asked about Monkey and Chickadee….um,…I mean cool, Time magazine! Yea, Mir! :)

  55. Jan


    *ahem* I mean, *insert subtle and polite reminder here*.

    Am I the only one who thought it was weird that that one couple had their picture at the top of the article but then weren’t mentioned in the whole thing? How weird is that?

  56. Elizabeth

    Sheesh, they should have used a photo of you and “Otto”, not plastic-looking Doug and Naomi. I’m still going to think of him as Otto, too. Congratulations on being in TIME, the issue is sitting right here on my coffee table in fact!

    And how awesome is your Dad leaving you that comment? Makes me a little teary how much he obviously loves and supports you. You have riches in abundance, my dear.

  57. daring one

    I don’t know. I think he pretty much rescued you. You were all laying in a heap waiting for a man and, just like in any good movie, he showed up. I’m glad to “see” you so happy and way to be interviewed!

  58. Liz

    Just finished reading the article – good on your friend, by the way – but, I nearly dropped when I saw the baby in the photo and was all, like, buh-buh-buh-but her plumbing SO doesn’t look like that!

    Stupid editors.

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