I thought that after marriage I would settle down to the quiet life. Toast & tea in bed, The Good Wife episodes in the evening, adding my wife to my car insurance and occasionally picking up nail polish remover after work. Life was peaceful and I was content. All was going well until….
*cue dramatic music*
SHE STARTED A BLOG.
You’ve done a perfunctory scroll through this post, expecting to see funny gifs and found none so your suspicions were aroused. Now you’re absolutely sure that this blog has been hijacked. Well I’m here to calm your fears- Panda is still in charge.
Most of you know me as Fox, Panda’s behind-the-scenes husband.
complaining mentioning recently about what it’s like to be married to a blogger so Panda asked me to jot it down and turn it into a post. At first I was nervous. If you know my wife, you know that she uses words like “impeccable” and “preposterous” as part of her daily vocabulary. But she said she wouldn’t have asked me if she didn’t think I was up to it and after a while I got into the swing of things. Admittedly, this post might lack the sass and fire of my wife but if she is the spicy curry in life then I’m definitely a soothing mango lassi.
So if your significant other is thinking about starting a blog, get out while you still can! Just kidding… I think?
It takes a certain kind of person to hang out with a blogger. And it takes a crazy person to go out to eat with a blogger. But ultimately, you must be a complete lunatic to be married to a blogger! Why, you may ask? What is so crazy about bloggers? Well read on…
Here are some of the things you can expect when you’re married to a blogger:
1. You will be expected to be an expert on everything.
From basic survival strategies to advanced photography to an instant ability to drive any vehicle in any country. Being married to a blogger means that you are constantly venturing out of any conceivable comfort zone. Like when I landed in Kuwait and Panda hands me car keys and says, “Can you drive?” Uh… in a country I have never been to and on a side of the road I am unfamiliar with? Oh boy. What about when I had to suddenly become a photography expert when we were at the Beijing Olympic Stadium and a certain Panda expressed a desire for very particular shot involving silhouettes and a brightly lit stadium? Suddenly I had to assemble a DSLR, get the tripod out, adjust its height, fasten the camera, fiddle with the shutter and aperture speeds… Just to emphasise, I am an architect by profession. Everything I know about photography I have learnt through trial and error (and Panda’s annoyance when we don’t achieve the picture she wants).
As daunting as it may sound, this does give an adventurous soul, plenty of opportunity to find joy in the challenges and experiences that your partner gets you involved in. However for someone less enthusiastic about hiking for kilometres to get the perfect sunset shot, or braving the streets of India on a motorcycle while dodging cows, this life can be a completely overwhelming experience.
2. A trip somewhere does not equal a holiday.
I’m laughing a little at this one because I used to be a fool who thought this way. I thought holiday=relaxing. Nope, not when your wife is a blogger. Extensive research goes into planning what activities will get done. Yes there are ALWAYS activities when your wife is a thrill junkie and a blogger. Let’s look at this picture of Panda zip lining through Mehrangah Fort in Jodhpur at sunset. Did you know that you could zip line through a fort in India? Even people living in Jodhpur that we spoke to had no idea. But somehow, my never-been-to-India-before wife found out and booked it. And you can’t imagine on what precipice I was standing on, my life in my hands just to take this perfect photo!
Trips are usually meticulously planned. Activities, adventures and dining experiences are methodically categorized by order of priority and most importantly, how it will be portrayed in the blog.
On one hand, it’s like having your own personal travel agent. You will be guaranteed to see the best sights at the perfect times, find and make the cheapest deals and eat the most sumptuous food on offer.
However this level of organisation and planning leaves little room for spontaneity, and also means that you inadvertently become the outlet when things don’t go as planned. Be prepared for that!
3. Everything takes twice as long.
You know those stunning shots you like on the Expat Panda instagram account? They aren’t happy snaps. It takes time to set up a shot- perhaps we need to wait for people to move out of the picture or for the light to hit the subject just right. More often I need to adjust my position or get Panda into some unnatural pose to take the picture she wants.
My wife is exceptionally beautiful. Maybe all husbands think this way but I’m being purely objective. Some earrings, a bit of lipstick and she is ready to head out the door. I’m never hanging around waiting for her to get ready (in fact it’s usually the other way around but that’s for another post). But, for all the time we save with her not painting her face in make up or styling her hair, we make up for it in photo taking!
Like the example above. Since everything is blog related, it HAD to be perfect. This was a simple post brekkie photo which turned into an impromptu photo shoot including props, extras and the occasional wardrobe change to get that one perfect shot!
Look, I am a simple guy- I always aspired to be one of those couples I would see in the magazines, relaxing poolside. Now I realise just how much effort goes into creating those pictures!
Like this photo above which was taken in Thailand at sunset. It looks effortless but it involves a tripod, using a timer, running in between takes and adjusting position a million times! You can’t imagine how long all of this takes. I know lots of men complain about being an Instagram Husband but there is a silver lining too- when your blogging wife is a photo perfectionist, you get also get wonderful photos of yourself…
4. The blog becomes your pet/child.
Posts are planned months in advance, activities are coordinated to keep the flow going, stats are monitored with an alarming level of attention… the blogging wife nurtures and cares for her blog the way a new mother would for her child. All conversations eventually lead to speaking of the blog, all activities are centred around how it can be expressed in the blog. Eventually the blogger doesn’t run the blog, but in fact, the blog dictates the next step.
It sounds all consuming but it’s kind of like our pet project- the child we don’t yet have. We always have something to discuss and as resident proof-checker, it keeps me on my toes. When Panda and I lived together, there was never a dull moment and our activities were literally logged down on a Where’s Wally wall calendar. I remember when we went through a milkshake tasting stage all in the name of this particular post. I wanted to give up dairy for a long time after that.
With Panda and I living apart, the blog allows me to engage with her life in a way that isn’t possible through mere texts and video calls. Although, I will say that as her husband, I enjoy hearing the behind the scenes stories and reading how they’re portrayed on the blog!
5. Blog envy is real
It doesn’t take long to realise that as the partner of a blogger, everything comes after the blog, from future plans, to friends and family, and especially yourself. At first, you may find yourself actually feeling jealous toward this thing that has taken over your partner’s life; however you have to learn to share your partner with this entity that is her blog. She needs her space, her independence, her room to grow and evolve with the blog. Ideally, you make yourself part of this evolution and make the blog part of your life too.
When your wife has a passion that makes her happy, you will be happy too. Being married to a blogger, especially a free spirited-wanderlust-chasing-travel blogger, means that you’re married to someone who is a home and an adventure all at once. The best advice I can give to anyone who is married to a blogger or even better, soon to be married to one is to always remember-
Happy wife= happy life!
Don’t ask her to be a rock
for you to lean upon
Instead build her wings
And point her to the sky,
And she will teach you both how to fly