I was recently on facebook and someone asked a question, “Would you consider the first year of marriage to be a honeymoon? To which I responded, “Hell to the No. It is a period of adjustment and trying to find your new normal.” And here’s the cold hard truth about marriage. Very little of it is, “bells ringing, lustful sexcapades, skipping along and intertwining your wine glasses and toasting”.
Anyone who has been married long enough to weather- LIFE- i.e., the sewer backing up into your basement after you JUST bought your house and the previous owners failed to mention this one tiny problem, your son deciding to stick his finger in a tiny drain and having to rush him to the ER, the gutters of your house collapsing under the weight of the polar vortex, your in-law calling you a Svengali, your daughter telling you both that YOU ARE the WORST PARENTS- will tell you that surviving and thriving through those life experiences as a team– THAT IS WHAT MAKES A MARRIAGE.
The latest test to our marriage has been a small thing called, FLEA INFESTATION. Yeah, we had our first dog for 15 years and nary a flea on her which is why we never invested in FRONTLINE. Well about a week and a half ago I began to wake up with these big bites on my legs. And my husband ever the optimist and pooh pooher of all things said, “Oh it’s probably mosquitoes.” And of course because he is a man of medicine and a bit older than me, I usually defer to his opinion. ( I secretly believe that is one of the reasons why our marriage has lasted 18 years-I put so much trust in his judgement it borders on worship– of course after this FLEA DEBACLE- things are certainly gonna CHANGE ROUND HERE).
And then my son (who manages to sneak into our bed every night) and sleep right next to our DOG LAZER, who sleeps on my head each night- developed these same bites– and we knew something was up. Then my mother, the BED BUG expert, came over to survey the damage and said, oh yeah- you’ve got bed bugs- which is akin to saying- you’ve got leprosy.
For your edification–This is all happening on the first night of Passover- and I’m convinced my husband and I are being given a preview of one of the TEN PLAGUES because perhaps we didn’t CLEAN ENOUGH ( to which my husband tells me I’m delusional- and that There is no GD).
Fast forward to 3am on Monday night I wake up COVERED in bites. I pick up Lazer, who is sleeping at my head and there are three bugs crawling under him. I BEGIN TO SCREAM- like a GUTTURAL Scream. My husband- not one to give into my hysteria- doesn’t flinch. I show him the evidence and he is ACTUALLY moved and FINALLY BELIEVES yes we have a problem.
And this is where the real work and trying not to strangle your spouse comes into play: CLEANING UP a flea infestation, while my husband reminds me- these are MY DOGS and yada yada. We spent the better part of Tuesday; washing, cleaning and trashing stuff, took the dogs to the vet, got them FRONTLINED and today we wait for the exterminator.
So when I think back to that original question about marriage being a honeymoon this is what I would tell anyone who asked me– NO, getting rid of fleas is the glue that Holds a marriage together and here are three reasons why:
#1 If you can find the comedy in the situation, as you pull fleas off your dog as opposed to screaming at your wife about the insanity of why she has a dog in the first place- and you can love and care for that dog because she does- THAT’S what holds a Marriage Together.
#2 If you only have one bed to sleep on- while you wait for the other rooms to be exterminated and you tell your wife to take the bed and you’ll take the couch- THAT’s what Holds a Marriage Together.
#3 If you lovingly apply cortizone cream all over your wife’s bitten up legs and tell her how pretty she still looks and apologize for not finding out the culprit of the bites- That’s what holds a Marriage together.