Marriage is all about perspective. Everything depends on your viewing angle.
Yesterday morning I got up earlier than my husband, Bill. We work together, and both need to get to the office by 8:30. I was silently putting the finishing touches on my toilette when he woke up and sat on the side of the bed. (Cue beautiful dawn music from the William Tell Overture)
“Good morning. Boy are you a sleepy head today!” I said sweetly to his silhouette, dim in the dark bedroom. I spoke softly so as not to overly jar his just-awakened senses.
“How can I get any sleep” he snarled in a gruff voice “with Beeby caterwauling and you banging everything around?”
Whaaa??? (Insert noise of abrupt scratch of record in middle of sweet music.)
He had it pegged with our cat, Beeby. She has developed the nasty habit of meowing loudly outside the bedroom door each morning. When I’m feeling charitable, I think she’s trying to help by acting as the backup alarm clock. When I’m crabby and sleepless, she’s Satan’s agent sent to rob me of sleep with her unreasonable feline demands for attention. But as to the part about me… what alternate version of reality was this?
“Wait a minute. Even though it is 7:45, and you’re probably going to be late, I was tippy-toing around in the dark, risking life and limb so as to not wake you up.” I kept my voice low and sweet, despite my growing indignation.
“Every time you open and close the bathroom door, it’s like there’s a construction crew at work in here. I always go through the hallway door to avoid all that noise.” He replied, still surly.
Our bathroom can be accessed via a door from the hallway or a pocket door from our bedroom. Pocket doors, for the uninitiated, hang from 2 pegs on an overhead track that disappears into the wall. One of the pegs broke, oh, about 6 months ago. Now, instead of smoothly, silently sliding into the wall, you have to pick up one end and bump and lurch the door open and closed. We could avoid the hassle and leave it open all the time, but it tends to destroy all the romantic mystery when one is treated to the full glory of the partner’s bathroom habits.
“I don’t use the hallway because as soon as I open our door, Beeby would come streaking in here and jump on your face. THAT has a pretty good chance of waking you up, too.” I said, still sweetly, whispering, albeit through gritted teeth. I didn’t even say anything about the fact that HE had made no move to do anything about the broken door.
From Bill’s perspective I was deliberately banging and clanging about the room as an editorial without words about him sleeping in. That could not be further from the truth.
Here’s what really happened.
The alarm buzzed. I slowly, reluctantly crawled out from under the cozy down comforter. I felt my way through the dark bedroom, not wanting to turn on a light out of consideration for my dear husband. As I felt my way for the bathroom door I momentarily forgot that the thing is hanging catawampus on one top hinge, so even when pushed into the wall, the bottom of the door juts out at an angle. You probably see where I’m heading with this, even if I couldn’t.
I banged my toe on the damn thing. Smartly.
Picture me silently, oh so silently, hopping around on the one remaining good foot, stuffing an old (smelly) sock into my mouth to stifle my screams of pain. When my vision cleared, I limped into the bathroom, closing the door as silently as possible by using my thigh to push the bottom while I lifted up the top. After taking care of bathroom business, I cautiously went back into the bedroom and felt my way in the Stygian blackness to the chest of drawers upon which I keep my jewelry and various perfumes, lotions and deodorant. Locating the later by touch, I gave each armpit a swipe.
Then I felt for the bottle of Paloma Picasso, my favorite perfume, and gave a quick spray behind each ear. From the smell, I’d say I tagged the Aqua Net instead. A quick feel around located my classic, gold hoop earrings and I managed to insert them in the proper ear holes after stabbing myself in the ear only 3 times.
I played Blind Man’s Bluff around the foot of the bed and switched on the one, dim bulb illuminating our closet. This was my sole source of light. Squinting into the murky darkness, I tried to remember exactly what my clothes looked like.
I chose brown, herringbone pants, a cream blouse and a brown sweater. I got into the armholes and pant legs with a minimum of trouble, only falling over once. Luckily, I was right next to the bed so the mattress muffled the sound of my fall.
I was just putting on brown leather pumps when Mr. Sunshine deigned to get up.
I took the moral high road, had pity on Bill’s just-awakened-crabbiness, and swallowed any justifiably snippy comments that occurred to me. I quickly gathered my stuff and headed to my car as he lurched the door to the bathroom open.
It wasn’t until I arrived at the office that I saw my get-up in all its splendor, revealed by cruel, fluorescent light. Here are the elements, in case you want to repeat this look:
- The sweater jacket was gray. Not brown, like the pants.
- Based on the beach smell and stickiness, I had applied stick sunscreen instead of deodorant to my armpits.
- The Aqua Net hairspray-in-lieu-of-perfume spritz to my neck left a shiny patch that cracked when I turned my neck.
- Instead of classic gold hoops, I had come up with an old pair of large, pink plastic Hello Kitty earrings that my daughter wore when she was 11.
- I completed the ensemble with my navy blue Pilgrim-look pumps with the big buckles on the toes (why, oh, why do I keep those?) to go with the brown herringbone slacks.
All day I walked around like Helena Bonham Carter at a major awards event, garnering an equal number of looks of fashion sympathy and censure from all who had the misfortune to view me.
It just goes to prove that old adage – no good turn goes unpunished. Consideration for ones’ spouse may be good for marriage, but it’s hell on fashion.