I love my husband and I know he loves me.
I’ve met a lot of women who like to have their husband's love proved to them on a regular basis in the form of flowers, gifts, and jewelry. However, these are not my preferred forms of affection.
Although I appreciate flowers, I know within days the petals will drop, the pollen will cause my daughter Emily to be sneezing up a storm, and in a week, I will be the one hauling the dead bouquet to the green bin and having to wash a vase filled with skunk water.
In lieu of gifts, I would much prefer a gift certificate for "Free lawn mowing without the prompting of subtle hints" and "Complimentary kitchen cleaning – including wiping down the stove."
And although I love admiring the glittery jewels other women wear, I just couldn't appreciate showing off a chunk of bling when we're still up to our eyeballs in credit card debt.
My husband Tom shows me he loves me in subtle ways. He'll fill up the Keurig coffee maker with water if then light is flashing, even though he is already done with his own caffeine fix. If he's making a root beer float for himself, he'll offer to make one for me. And if I order a meal that turns out to be to the left of “just ok,” he’ll offer half of his meal, even if he’s starving and his dish is delectable.
We moved in together in May of 2005 and weren't married until October, and there was still a lot I didn't know about him. I volunteered Tom to man the grill for the annual Hartsook Street Block Party, which took place on the hottest day of the year. The temperature soared to 110 degrees and the humidity was so thick neighbors were sweating more liquid than they were ingesting. Tom lamented that the grill actually felt cooler than the air. He perched himself in front of that charcoal-induced sauna for four hours. Later he told me to never NEVER volunteer him for anything ever again without his permission.
Why does this scenario make him a more loving husband than the rest of the men out there? Because he wasn't a dick the entire time he was grilling, he told me the "no volunteering" request without raising his voice, and he didn't hold a grudge about it for weeks. How about it, Ladies? Would your hubbies have that reaction?
But the Grand Finale of Best Humbandry came last night, just after 4:00 am. The previous day, our dogs found a bin in our pantry filled with Special K bars and ingested about a dozen of them. Tom came home to crumbs, wrappers, and two very guilty-looking dogs. Then he cleaned up the mess before I could take a picture for my blog (more Best Husband kudos!).
In the middle of the night I awoke to a fearsome stench. I got up and started to walk toward the switch to turn on the light when I felt squish squish squish – the unexpected feeling of stepping on gooey wetness.
I turned on the light and started screaming.
"Tom! Tom!" He had gone out to the couch about an hour earlier because he couldn't sleep. Tom ran in like he was ready to fend off a home intruder and we both stared down at the bedroom carpet.
It was completely covered in runny diarrhea. It looked like someone had unloaded a paintball gun filled with caramel-colored pellets. The mess was sprayed all over the doors, the walls, and the mirrored closet doors. I was actually standing in the middle of the Feces Forest and had no idea how to get out of it.
I just stood there - stunned, paralyzed, terrified. I had no idea where to even start cleaning up such a sewage spill.
I was still a motionless statue by the time Tom arrived with the pooper scooper and started cleaning up the watery excrement. He looked like he was playing a game of miniature golf, but instead of a ball, he was easing the club over stinky slime.
I performed a standing long jump into the hallway, dashed into the bathroom, and scrubbed the bottoms of my feet so hard you would have thought I was a plague victim in Contagion. Then I prepared a bucket with Mr. Clean, poured the hottest water I could stand with industrial-strength rubber gloves, and raced back to the bedroom.
"I'm done," Tom said. "Go sleep in the kids' room."
Well, his idea of "done" and my idea of "done" are two completely different things. Granted, the piles had been smeared down from two inches to two millimeters, but instead of random piles of poop, there now was a smooth ground cover of crap.
And tomorrow morning it would be a dried, crusty ground cover of crap.
I kneeled down in the hallway safe zone, rung out a soapy sponge, and started to scrub.
"Go to bed," Tom gently ordered.
I was really beat. This was going to be the first time in over a week that I would be getting more than six hours of sleep, and now that plan had gone out the now-open window. The stench was truly unbearable and I was afraid I might even vomit, which would have been a nuisance since the pooper scooper was now outside.
"I'll take care of it in the morning," Tom said. I knew this really meant I'll think about taking care of it in the morning, but if I wait until afternoon, I know you'll do it anyway. But I was so tired, and the smell was so overwhelming offensive, I staggered to the kids' room and crawled into the bottom bunk. Fortunately for me, Jake has been sleeping in the top bunk with Mary since he's afraid of zombies (which apparently only make an appearance at his 9 p.m. bedtime).
I awoke this morning, dreading the job in front of me.
Mary woke up in the bunk above me and asked why I was in her room. She hopped out of bed the instant I told her what happened.
“Can I see?”
We headed through the hall and I plugged my nose as I opened the door, ready to be hit in the face by the noxious odor.
Instead, our carpet shampooer sat in the middle of the room and the carpet was clean.
Tom was already holding a cup of coffee.
“I cleaned it last night.” He gulped his coffee. “I couldn’t sleep.”
Later in the day he hosed off the dozen or so piles of diarrhea scattered throughout the yard that were ejected after the dogs had been banished outside.
“I also cleaned and shaved Spike’s butt,” Tom said casually.
Apparently the constant streaming of liquid excrement had created a hefty cement-like compound, and leaves, dead flowers and weeds were caked onto our Australian Shepherd’s anus.
So for all you women who treasure the glittery bling, the dozen roses and the fancy gifts, I’d like to ask you a single question:
Would your husband let you sleep while he shampooed a s***t-filled carpet and scrubbed the poopy ass of your long-haired dog?
This is why my husband loves me more than your husband loves you.