The following is an excerpt from The Greatest Love Story Ever Told, the new book by married couple Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman, compiled from their off-the-cuff, unedited conversations about a range of topics. The book is available for purchase.
MEGAN MULLALLY: You’re not the boss of me—
NICK OFFERMAN: Goddammit.
MULLALLY: And we have arrived at . . .
OFFERMAN: Ow! Will you shut up for one second?
MULLALLY: It’s a new topic. Fighting! Although I don’t know what we’ll say, because we’ve never had a fight. (Laughs) In eighteen years. We’ve just been blissfully happy. Just cracking each other up. He acts like Ron, and I act like Karen . . . everything’s perfect. End of chapter.
OFFERMAN: Sometimes when we don’t fight, we don’t have sex afterward.
MULLALLY: We’re too busy having sex to fight.
There’s a perception of us as this perfect couple, so we’ve always been paranoid that if we get into a scrape at the grocery store, it’s going to be running on a chyron on CNN. That’s ridiculous, of course, but I’m exaggerating to make a point, the point being that people think that we have such an idyllic relationship that if we had a normal spat, like people do sometimes in public places . . .
OFFERMAN: It would be like the Death of Love.
We’re accused of being “couple goals” enough that it puts a pressure on you in the public eye—“We’re supposed to be amazing. Shit.”
MULLALLY: I will say—we’re pretty lucky. Early on, our fights were more splashy than they are now. Now they’re pretty boring. But we had some good ones early on.
OFFERMAN: I feel like we have a real complementary set of personalities and dispositions. The RPMs I run on, and yours . . .
MULLALLY: I’m a lot more mellow than Nick is. (Laughs)
OFFERMAN: You’re all chill. All the time. It’s hard to get a rise out of you.
OFFERMAN: And I’m like a f—ing moth in a lamp.
(Both continue to laugh)
MULLALLY: That’s going to be the name of my autobiography: Moth in a Lamp.
OFFERMAN: We had to figure out, pretty quickly, how to compromise our yin and our yang.
MULLALLY: I call Nick Farmer Joe sometimes. Or Grandpa Joe. Because he’s so f—ing slow. In the beginning of our relationship, we’d be walking, and I’d be like eight miles ahead of him. Because he f—ing WALKS s slow. And I’d say, “Use your legs! Let’s go!”
OFFERMAN: (Laughs) “Farmer Joe”?
MULLALLY: “Pick up the pace, Geegaw.”
OFFERMAN: And to his credit, Geegaw picked up the pace . . .
MULLALLY: He picked it up, and I slowed down. We’ve compromised. Because I was walking at full‑on Midtown Manhattan pace, and he was walking at Corn Shucking pace.
OFFERMAN: As one does . . .
Of the many couples I’ve experienced in my life, I feel like we take a lot less umbrage with each other. I took as a cautionary tale some of the relationships in my family, the older generations, that complain about each other. It goes both ways. The husbands would bitch about their wives, and the wives would hilariously bitch about their husbands. Once I got into this marriage—
MULLALLY: Which one?
OFFERMAN: This one right here. That occurred to me—this is when I go to my friends and I say, “Christ, guess what the wife did today?” and I immediately recognized that I didn’t want to be like that.
MULLALLY: It’s hard to complain with a mouthful of puss.
OFFERMAN: (Laughs) True dat. The example of my mom and dad has always helped me so much. In terms of swallowing my male pride.
MULLALLY: It’s helped me as well.
OFFERMAN: Go on . . . it’s right there.
(Inaudible for a bit)
OFFERMAN: But here’s a slightly different tack. We never really fight about the tangible things. The physical things. (Joking voice) “You’ve got to stop buying so many fancy hats!”
MULLALLY: I really need to stop doing that, though.
OFFERMAN: You’re welcome to do as you please in the hat department.
MULLALLY: Thank you.
OFFERMAN: So generally, when we fight, it’s about our state of being at the moment. And that always turns into a perceived slight. Or just anything—dealing with stress on some level. “I need to blow off some steam, so what the f— are you doing with that suitcase?” It has nothing to do with the suitcase—it has everything to do with our state of mind.
MULLALLY: Just us being stressed out in general. And then some fight will start over something really stupid. Like most people.
OFFERMAN: And as we’ve said—we certainly say it to each other a lot—just stupid schedules of traveling and high-pressure performance jobs of one sort or another—I think we fight pretty infrequently for the amount of stress we’re under.
MULLALLY: Oh my god, I agree.
OFFERMAN: F— off.
MULLALLY: But I . . .