My sister has been begging me to write this post. And I’ll admit…I didn’t want to write this post. Not only because it is utterly ridiculous and I like to hope that folks believe that I live my life with more dignity than I actually do, but because it represents an all-too-accurate portrait of what my life is really like.
So dear reader (and dear sister)…let’s raise our glasses in a toast to honesty and a good look at what married life is made of….
A few months ago, I had the supreme pleasure of contracting the insidious H1N1 (aka Swine Flu) virus. DH was out of town as the onset of the virus hit me, and was spared from exposure as a result, and thankfully, Pineapple had received the vaccine due to a hefty amount of begging on my part.
Despite the fact that I am a self-proclaimed hand sanitizer-a-holic, I still caught it. Why? Because these days I have the immune system of a gnat (or some other comparable tiny creature with very litte-to-no immune system to speak of). As a result of the virus, I developed bronchitis and upon DH’s return from his trip, my dad and stepmom invited us to come stay at their home so they could help take care of Pineapple and I. This way, DH wouldn’t have to manage us both on his own.
So, there we were. At my dad’s house on a Saturday night. The four of us (Doodle – that’s my dad, Stepmom, DH and I) downstairs, piled up on the couch, watching Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian while Pineapple played in her playhouse. DH had just returned from getting a glass of water. I was lounging with my feet up on the ottoman wishing I had additional nasal passages as well as exchangeable lungs so I could breathe just a wee bit better. I was also thinking that this movie was pretty darned cute when I felt DH grab my hand. I looked over at him and smiled weakly and he grinned back. I was just thinking that this particular grin was a bit odd when I hear a very distinctive ‘click’ emanate from my right wrist area and felt cold metal settle there.
I looked down and honestly had a blank moment thinking ‘huh – that is so weird – where did that handcuff come from’ before looking back up at DH just in time to see an odd look dance across his face…then he clipped the other handcuff onto his belt buckle.
What just happened? I asked myself. Then realizing that DH was still grinning I said “haha, where is the key – this isn’t funny and I feel like crap.” DH just stared at me with this little boy expression and said “I don’t have a key.”
“Not funny,” I replied – “Now go get the effing key and get this thing off of me because I don’t feel good and this isn’t a funny joke anymore.”
“But I really don’t have a key” says DH.
“Oh crap” I hear from the other couch as my dad sits forward and asks DH, “where did you find those handcuffs?”
DH is starting to look worried now…”they were in the drawer in the wetbar” he says.
Now, I’m starting to feel panicky and DH is starting to LOOK panicky and my dad is shaking his head back and forth and Pineapple is yelling for her ‘baba’ and my stepmom says “ooooooh no” as she carries Pineapple up the stairs and into her bedroom with a juice bottle.
It is important to note here that my dad has been involved with law enforcement to one degree or another throughout his life – from instructing officers on physical engagement with criminals to acting as a juvenile parole office – and there have always been spare sets of handcuffs around his house. Why on earth these were in the wetbar drawer downstairs, I do not – nor do I ever need to – know. Why the hell they didn’t have a key with them is a question for the ages…but I digress….
This was the moment I totally lost my shit. And when I say ‘lost my shit’ I mean I crossed over to the dark side in a way that Anakin Skywalker would have been proud of (yes, I’m a geek – and?). I tried to pull the cuff off of my hand – no go. I tried to pick the lock with a paperclip – impossible unless you are Houdini. I tried to yell at the cuff to get off of my hand – my powers of persuasion are weak. And then I started yanking at the belt and demanding to know “who in the hell handcuffs someone to a belt anyway?!” DH’s response to this question was “well I thought about it for a second (I’m betting that was the fleeting look on his face just before he clicked the cuff to the belt) and I realized that cuffing you to me might not be a good idea in case we couldn’t find the key and you decided to kill me.”
My dad who was frantically searching his desk drawers and old key chains for a handcuff key turned to me at this point and asked if I needed anything. “Get your gun!” I shouted. “I’d like to shoot my husband!”
Nobody ever does what I ask, so my request went ignored but DH went into a frenzy. Running all over the downstairs, randomly pulling open drawers and dumping the contents in search of a key while I stood alone in the living room crying and coughing and basically wishing I really did have some sort of torture device to use on my husband and thinking maybe the dog’s bark collar cranked up to 10 would be a good way to punish him….when DH reentered the room and announced that he had it “taken care of.”
“What do you mean you have it taken care of?” my dad and I asked in unison noting that I clearly still had a handcuff attached to my wrist. “I’ve called the cops” DH declares. “They’re on their way now!”
Once again, the dark side beckoned and I willingly went…“now I have to EXPLAIN to the POLICE – PERFECT STRANGERS! – why I am HANDCUFFED to my husband’s BELT – IN MY PAJAMAS – on a SATURDAY NIGHT – in my PARENTS’ home!!!!! DAD – GET THE FRIGGIN’ GUN THEY CAN ARREST ME FOR HUSBAND-ICIDE WHEN THEY GET HERE!!!”
As I stood there watching my dad and husband search for a key for those damned cuffs, I recalled one of my favorite quotes about marriage. Several years ago, I read an article about a little old lady who was celebrating her 80th (yes, 80th) wedding anniversary with her husband – they were both around 100 years old and they sat together on the couch – so cute, holding hands after all those years. The reporter asked the woman, “did you ever consider divorce in all those years?” The woman’s response: “Divorce?…never! Murder?….FREQUENTLY!”
Dear little old lady, wherever you may be….I CAN TOTALLY RELATE!
The handcuff dilemma ended when my dad found a key on an old key ring in his bedroom cabinet and DH called the cops to let them know all was well at our home. I cried and sniffled a little and felt sort of sorry for myself in general. And then I went to bed. Later, DH and I had a chat. I agreed not to kill him if he agreed never to do anything like that again. And then we – finally – had a little laugh about the whole thing.
Despite DH’s promise, Dad has removed all handcuffs in his home and placed them in a lockbox. Just in case.
This is my life folks. Giggle away. I always try to.