Blaine and I have been married for nineteen years (nineteen and a half, if you’re really counting) and I think it’s a pretty good marriage. Solid, based on mutual respect, similar beliefs, and the fact we genuinely like one another. He’s the one person I would choose to have with me if I were going to be stranded on a deserted island the rest of my life. We can talk for hours and I really respect his opinion. Plus, he would do the hard jobs like gathering coconuts and constructing shelter from bamboo leaves and arranging HELP signs on the shore with driftwood. He is dependable beyond reproach, trustworthy and I am completely, 100 percent comfortable with him.
That said, there are still a few areas in our relationship that are off-limits. Private, personal things. Places where we respect one another’s space.
For example, certain aspects of personal hygiene. I don’t floss in front of him, or put on my deodorant. I have no idea if he trims nose hair or ear hair, because in a million years he wouldn’t do that with me as an audience. If either of us is going to be attending to business in the bathroom that takes more than twenty seconds, we shut the door. Absolutely no clipping of nails in front of one another, but that’s probably got more to do with my freaky aversion to feet than a privacy issue.
And, although some will find this odd, despite nineteen years (twenty-one if you count the two years we dated before we got married) and three kids together, we absolutely, under no circumstance, EVER, would pass gas in front of one another. Pass Gas. See? I can’t even say the “f” word. That bodily function is simply off-limits and not shared, even in the privacy of our own home.
I know some of you (KW and LL, you know who you are because we’ve talked and laughed about this) have the same rule of sensitivity in your own households. Others (I don’t want to name any names JH you know who you are, too) go to the other extreme, having contests among family members, or have told me that your husband finds great amusement in holding your head under the covers and letting it rip. I guess, within some relationships, it’s considered entertainment. Hey, whatever floats your boat.
But not us. We love each other dearly, but we are much more private than that. Some might call it “uptight”. I prefer to think of it as “respectful”. Which is why the following conversation, which took place yesterday, amuses me all the more:
Blaine: “What’s that you're eating?”
Kristie: “Russell Stover candy. The caramel kind. I was in the mood for some chocolate so I bought them at the gift shop”
Blaine: “Save some for me.”
Kristie: “No. I don’t want to. You don’t even like chocolate that much. Plus, they haven’t OK’d you for clear liquids, let alone solid, chewy candy.”
Blaine: “Still, save me some. I’ll be able to eat them later.”
Kristie: “No! I’ll buy you more later …. These are mine.”
Blaine: “If you loved me, you’d prove it by saving me some of your candy.”
Kristie: “You want me to prove my love for you by sharing my chocolate?”
Blaine: “Yes. Prove your love by saving me some.”
Kristie: “Prove my love for you? By saving you chocolate? You want me to prove my love for you? How about the fact I’ve WIPED YOUR ASS for you the past three days??? Hmmmmm?? Doesn’t that PROVE MY LOVE for you??????”
Blaine, coming out of his drugged state long enough to look at me, goggle-eyed: “What? Wipe my ass? You did not! Uh-huh, no. THAT didn’t happen!! Oh God, did you…… “
And I’ll admit. While I wiped and cleaned and suctioned and patted every other bodily orifice he has, I never went anywhere near his backside. But the lie was totally worth it to see the look of horror on his face. I giggled for twenty minutes just remembering how mortified he was to imagine.
And that’s how you know Blaine is getting better. Because despite my respect for our personal private boundaries, it’s becoming fun again to get a rise out of him.