My wife is the coolest person I know. She’s smart, hilarious and strikingly, magnetically beautiful. She also has an admirably strong moral compass, which helps someone of my questionable integrity stay pointed in the right direction and out of the local penitentiary.
My wife is also German. As such, she inherited cultural traits very different from those I adopted as an American, and these differences never fail to amuse me. Her Germanness — in conjunction with a unique personality all her own — keep me counting my lucky stars I got to marry her sweet, Teutonic ass.
But what, specifically, makes her so awesome, you ask? These things — this list I comprised over the last couple years — describing the top 15 things I love most about my German wife:
- She loves beer. Now, I come from Portland, Oregon, so I’m actually accustomed to being around women who love beer as much as I do. But still, there are a lot of ladies out there who still can’t stand the taste of this clearly divine nectar of the gods. Jesus’ tits, beer is so good it’s like drinking liquid sunshine infused with happiness bubbles. And my German wife gets that, man. A nice cold brewdoggie on a hot summer day at our favorite beer garden? FUCK YEAH. She’s all about it.
- She has zero tolerance for credit card debt. We Americans go through our teen years being actively targeted by credit card companies — like a bunch of professional hunters machine gunning us to death with small, seemingly innocuous, plastic rectangles. (“Oh yes, just swipe that little magnetic strip and you can have anything you want. You can have it right now, in fact. Go on, swipe it, you naive little shitling. The first hit is free… but not really.”) Hell, by the time I was 25, I was up to my nipples in credit card dept. But not young Germans; most of them learn the true meaning of debt early on, and they absolutely hate it. (Also, it’s a bit harder for young people to qualify for credit cards in Germany, which gives them an unfair amount of common sense.)
- She can burp louder, harder and manlier than me. My wife can burp so loud it hurts my ears. She can even burp the alphabet, which is truly disgusting. I actually thought I could fire off a decent skull fart before I met her, but I have since learned I am but an apprentice to the master. (Though the base, volume and duration of my oral emissions have vastly improved under her ladylike tutelage.)
- She hates Werner Herzog’s voice. Werner Herzog is a very famous screenwriter, film director, author, actor and opera director from Germany. You’d think my wife would laud his achievements based upon shared nationality alone, but no; she can’t stand the eerie, somewhat menacing hiss of this man’s voice. (I love it, by the way.) Herzog directed Grizzly Man — perhaps the single most unintentionally hilarious documentary film ever made — and he provided the narration as well. I thought his voice was perfect — watching this bizarre array of people mourn the loss of their halfwit, closeted homosexual, suicide-by-bear-committing friend — all to the tune of Herzog’s dead-on James Bond villain inflection.
- She will eat absolutely any kind of meat product. You know Germans and their freakish appetite for all things flesh? Almost as if the weirder and more revolting the meat product, the more they love it? My wife is no exception; she will eat animals of all kinds: cows, chickens, guinea pigs, hamsters… none of God’s creatures are safe. She especially enjoys eating straight pig fat, which in northern Germany is called “Speck,” but more closely resembles Italian “Lardo.” Sometimes I enjoy pig fat too — like when I’m drunk or something — but most of the time it just makes me gag.
- She is disgusted by all things Bavarian. My wife hates traditional German stereotypes, especially those rising from the southern state of Bavaria. All that Oktoberfest, oompa-loompa, schunkeln-swaying, bullshit schlager music — along with the requisite dirndls, lederhosen and feathered hats — leave my wife facepalming and doing her almighty best to shatter the stereotype that all Germans act like drunken Bavarians rabidly mainlining beer and bratwurst until their hearts implode. To put this into perspective for my fellow Americans, this would be like the entire world thinking we’re all swaggering cowboys with ten-gallon hats watching the Super Bowl while shotgunning Bud Light and firing our pistols into the sky. That is Texas, goddammit — the Bavaria of America — and there are 49 other states which would appreciate a little distance from that shit-kicking stereotype.
- I gave my wife 50 Shades of Grey — in German — and she never read it. Never even picked it up. See, guys watch porn. That is a fact. Women watch it too, but they don’t need to watch it like we do. Not on a regular basis, anyway. And although they might not watch as much porn as us, they’ll read the everloving shit out of it. That’s what I assumed, anyway, when I bought 50 Shades of Grey for my wife for Christmas back in 2014. Ladies have been beating the boatman over this literary porn ever since it was first published, but not my German wife; she would rather curl up in bed with the latest issue of professional women’s magazine, Brigitte, and fart under the blankets until she passes out.
- She doesn’t think Tom Hanks is, “that great an actor.” Now, I’m torn on this one. On the one hand, I grew up with Tom Hank’s movies and I’ve loved many of them right on through to adulthood. (Hell, to Americans, Tom Hanks is a national treasure, and putting the man down is likely to earn you a sound beating all about the face and hands.) But on the other hand, I love seeing a beloved icon and household hero to millions get forearm shivered for no apparent reason. It takes some real testicular fortitude to go up against such popular opinion, and agree with her on this one or not, you can be sure my wife touts one magnificent pair of cojones.
- She thinks German politicians are all hideous. In America, we tend to keep our teeth pearly white, our hair coiffed and our fashion sense in line with all the latest trends. We look good, in other words. Well, not all of us (*ahem* People of Walmart); I mean those of us in the public spotlight, like politicians. (Excluding Donald Trump, of course. He looks like a bag of smashed tangerines.) It was my wife who noticed the stark difference in appearance between many American politicians and German ones — namely, German politicians tend to focus more on actual politics than personal grooming habits. Personally, I don’t care what a politician looks like, so long as he or she is a competent leader with constructive policies. My wife doesn’t either, but when we walked past an election sign last winter, it was my wife who remarked, “German politicians are not like yours in America. Ours look like dog shit.”
- She can drive stick shift. Not all Germans can operate a car with manual transmission, but most of them can, and my wife is one of them. She’s an awesome driver, smoothly navigating the gears like a butter patty melting betwixt my American thighs. I, on the other hand, haven’t driven stick since I was 16 years-old, and it did not go well. (Especially not when my dad was teaching me to drive and he accidentally left the car in 3rd gear the first time I tried to start it from 1st. “GIVE IT GAS, SON! GIVE IT GAS! IT’S STARVING FOR GAS!” *Ka-KLUNK, klunk, klunk…* — as the engine kicked itself to death while I began to cry, frustrated with my inability to achieve this virtually impossible automotive feat.)
- She distrusts nearly all forms of prescription medication. I’ve talked about this a bit before, but wariness toward drugs and pharmaceutical grade medicine in general is an interesting German cultural trait. In America, we tend to overmedicate — employing the nuclear option as our first resort in an attempt to eradicate even the weakest of germs from our bodies — so I understand my wife’s hesitation; we probably are breeding an unstoppable god-virus, which will someday wipe us all out and then spit on our bloated corpses. However, her much lauded ‘chamomile tea and honey’ panacea isn’t going to do a god damn thing come flu season. Luckily, after a few years of constant ridicule, I’ve managed to get her to take an Advil when she has a really bad headache. (See? Marriage is all about compromise, people.)
- She believes cold things — cold floors, cold hair after a shower, cold drafts of air in the house — magically cause infections and other illnesses. Fear of the cold is a hilariously German cultural trait. I would imagine it is shared by other stiff-nipple countries, like Denmark, Norway and Sweden, but that doesn’t make it any more scientifically valid. Cold things do not breed bacteria or viruses; warm, damp things do. (Like filthy animals and unwashed children.) Still, I get where this fear comes from: under the right conditions — especially back when we used to rely upon fire to keep ourselves warm — the cold can kill you. Even a momentary plunge into a frigid lake can shock your system into hypothermia and take you out within 15 minutes. But blaming your urinary tract infection on that cold sidewalk you sat on when you were 9 years-old? Come on; you know as well as I do you got that infection because you hit your brother and made him cry, forcing God to punish you.
- She loves scary and/or violent movies and TV shows. The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Reservoir Dogs, No Country for Old Men, GoodFellas, Fargo, Narcos… she loves ’em all, and I love her even harder because she isn’t put off by the violence. She’s interested in quality storytelling — interesting, believable and engaging storytelling. If it’s a gritty, awesome story, and it just happens to contain the goriest, most emotionally scarring scene in television history (I’m looking at you, Walking Dead, Season 7, Episode 1. Jesus Christ.) — well, them’s the breaks; it’s still an awesome story. But when something is gory or violent for no real reason, like in a classic slasher flick, my wife just rolls her eyes as the killer slowly pursues his extraordinarily hot victim through the woods: “Why does she keep falling down like that? She needs better shoes.”
- She loves America but doesn’t think it’s, “that cool, jeez.” My wife loves the States, and we lived in Portland together before we moved to Germany, but she doesn’t want to live there permanently or anything. Maybe a couple years at the most, you know, to be with our friends and family members, buy a few pairs of affordable jeans and then fuck right off back to Hannover. I can’t tell you how much this attitude of hers pleases me. See, we Americans tend to assume our country is the greatest place on earth; we know it’s awesome, but we don’t know why, exactly. All we know is that it’s the best country, and everyone wants to move there. Everyone is just gunning for a US green card, right? Nope. There are lots of countries with high (or even higher) standards of living than the States, and their citizens are perfectly happy staying right where they are. (Norway ranks number one in terms of quality of life, apparently, but I wouldn’t make it through a single Norwegian winter without pounding a fifth of rye and smooching the naughty end of a 12 Gauge.)
- Her self-confidence is sky-high. This is the big one — the one which keeps me retardedly in love with my German wife year after year — and it is perfectly exemplified by one, simple example: When I told her I was writing a blog post listing the top 15 things I love most about her, she said:
“Well, that shouldn’t be very hard.”
Sorry for being more than a little biased here, but I just gotta award my wife with a very rare, very prestigious score of 5 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds:
Way to go, Hunzo! I love you!
And thanks for reading, everyone. Have an awesome week!