No one ever warned me of all the changes that take place when one gets married. Just when you think you have it all figured out, along comes a wife who takes your neatly organized bucket of life, and dumps it all over the floor.
My own wife could have warned me about her intentions with my apartment before we were married and she moved in. It’s not like she hadn’t ever been there before. She never mentioned that there were issues with the way I had things set up . . . she just moved in and started changing things.
The first thing she did as she entered our newly shared home was to walk straight over to my large Pink Floyd wall banner (that I had won at the fair) and remove it from its’s place of honor on the living room wall.
“Wwwwwwhat are you doing?” I asked nervously.
“This has to go,” she answered as she replaced the banner with two candle holders that were infested with fake flowers and little mirrors.
“Ummm… can’t we talk abou-” but before I could state my case, she had already moved on to the bathroom.
Little did I know, this seemingly small incident would set the tone for the next several days . . . actually years. It was from that exact point in time that the household was no longer mine, nor did I have any say in what happened within its walls. Our domestic relationship became one of her running around “doing things” to the apartment, while I followed behind saying things like, “Well, are you sure we should- . . . I mean . . . I really liked the way it was . . . How about we talk about . . . ”
But to no avail.
Immediately following the desecration of the Pink Floyd banner, she went straight to the bathroom carrying a huge box of variously scented hair, skin, body, and face products. There was every type smell and flavor under the sun . . . mango, rose petal, pineapple, maple, passion fruit, and many others that were even more perfumery smelling. The combined smell of all of these smelly things gave me a headache and made my ears ring whenever I had to spend more than a minute in the bathroom.
Next she brought in another box that was filled with electrical hair altering devices. There were hair dryers, hair straighteners, hair curling machines and even one that put small waves in you hair so that you looked like you belonged in a Whitney Houston video. My single wall plug next to the light switch had suddenly become extremely inadequate.
Why on earth does a human need all this stuff in a bathroom? When I was single, my bathroom had been a fairly simple room. It contained toilet paper, a dirty clothes basket, a basket for clothes that were almost-but-not-quite-yet dirty, and a towel. The medicine cabinet contained a toothbrush, my baseball card collection, and the bar of soap that I showered, shampooed, and brushed my teeth with. The only thing in my bathroom that needed plugging in was my electric knife which I used for filleting fish that I had caught.
But all that was gone now, or buried under the tonnage of her smelly stuff. She had even removed my collection of vintage fake vomit and poop from the shelf above the toilet, and replaced with “Precious something-or-other” figurines with creepy huge eyes.
The trauma from these changes was a shock to my system, and made it difficult for me to go to the bathroom . . . so much so, that I had to relieve myself behind the apartment dumpster for a week until my psyche was able to adapt to being watched by the creepy large-eyed figurines while I did my business.
Next in her sight was the kitchen. Once there, she attacked the refrigerator, which was emptied of nightcrawler containers and all similar matter of live bait. The beer crisper drawer was emptied and filled with various vegetable matter. Flowery curtains were also added to the windows where my dream-catchers once hung.
But the changes were not just limited to the objects in the apartment. Rules were also added. Rules that did not seem logical to me. In fact, I had such a difficult time remembering and adjusting to the new rules, that a list was posted on the wall in the dining room that read like this:
- Clothes must be washed after each wear (instead of waiting until they failed the sniff test).
- No showering with the dog (my attempt at water conservation).
- Pizza can only be ordered once a week (I lobbied for cutting back to every third day, but again, was soundly vetoed).
- Showering is now a daily event (instead of waiting until I failed the sniff test).
- And finally, I was expected to discuss with my wife prior to deciding to skip work and drive to the Star Trek convention, rather than letting her know from my hotel room in Toledo.
Over the course of the following year, more changes were implemented . . . too many to even list. But I slowly became accustomed to them, and eventually even felt like things were getting back to normal.
That is, until the arrival of two daughters. Where once again my neatly organized bucket of life was dumped out all over the floor.