When the ordained minister said “for better or worse”, a tiny talk bubble erupted from my head with words like “job loss”, “health problems” and even “financial crisis”; all things that my husband and I have dealt with over the past 6 years. I was reeling and ready to go. After all, we had already lived together for almost two years. What would possibly be dealt to us that we couldn’t conquer together?
Before the wedding, I was so consumed with planning that I never really stopped to smell the roses. My sense of smell was on hiatus along with my sanity. After the honeymoon, I decided to relax and enjoy the time we had together, just the two of us. The time we would never get back, after we had a kid (or for at least 18 years after we had one). Well, I reinstated my senses and that’s when I got a whiff of “it”.
The stink was so foul that my lunch nearly revisited my plate. It was something that I couldn’t mask with a shirt. It was something that air freshener only made worse. Cinnamon and “this” reminded me of the “fish and roses” commercials, but magnified by 10,000. I needed to open the window, stick my head out, inhale and repeat, so I wouldn’t pass out from a lack of oxygen.
I thought, the government should bottle this stench and send it off to Guantanamo Bay. I was suddenly a POW with no possible escape. I immediately checked the gas on the stove. Maybe there was a leak and we should evacuate the building.
“Sorry, that was a big one. That burger just isn’t sitting right,” said my husband.
Huh? Is it possible that this smell evoked from a human being? How had I never smelled this before? Maybe this is a one-time event and his stomach is just upset? Should I take him to the hospital?
I ran to the bedroom and buried my head into my pillow. I also put Vicks under my nose, so I could return to breathing or at least catch my breath every few seconds and survive this atrocity. “Go in the bathroom, turn on the fan and close the door!” I shouted, “Light a match! Or, go outside or something! Please!”
“What? I can’t help it,” he responded.
I heard the bathroom door close and I decided to release the pillow to see if the smell had subsided a bit. It was better, but only livable, not long gone. I sat up in the bed and remembered those words, “for better or worse”. This was what the cliché meant, when it referred to “worse”. This wasn’t just “worse”, it was the “worst”.
About a week passed, things went back to normal, and I slowly forgot about “the smell”. Maybe my senses were in shock. Maybe it was all a bad dream.
Then, in the dead of night, it happened again. I was woken from a deep slumber by “the smell”. It was invading my bed now!
This was the one, safe place we used to call our boat. The place we would relax and forget the world, surrounded by 20-foot-swells and great white sharks. Unfortunately, this time, the shark was in the bed and its jaws were a terrible stench.
I pushed my husband, “Get up! You just farted! Oh my god! If I’m going to suffer, then you are too.”
“What? It’s not that bad,” he replied and turned over.
Clearly, he was created with a bad sense of smell to survive his own flatulence. My husband and I are definitely opposites, but never did I think this would apply to me having an impeccable sense of smell and him dealing out the nastiest farts any man could ever create.
That was when it hit me. This is what they meant by “the honeymoon is over.” We had signed, sealed and delivered ourselves into each other’s dark side. It was no longer about holding hands or drinking wine together and laughing. We had hit REALITY. The flatulence was probably there for the past two years, but the marriage certificate gave me the ability to smell it. We were definitely a married couple now.
I sat up in the bed, after I had figured out a way to hot box the smell. I looked over at my husband and smiled. That’s when I heard it, a snore louder than a train’s whistle.
Happy anniversary to my big, snoring stinker!