Thursday, April 3, 2014

An Anniversary To Be Remembered ... If Nothing Else

My wife and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary earlier this week. Though, celebrated might be the wrong term.

The night mercifully ended with me sleeping on the couch in the living room -- and not because I bought her a pair of lamps as a gift either. Though, I’ve figured out since that may have been couch worthy on its own.  

No, I wasn’t on the couch because I was in trouble. In fact, she was sleeping in the living room too, on the next couch over.

How did we end up uncomfortably asleep on separate couches on our 13th wedding anniversary? It actually involves something of a mystery. And who doesn't love a good mystery.  
Still, this is a story I’m reluctant to tell. Just thinking about it makes me want to vomit in my mouth, and then take a week-long shower. It’s just gross.  

Sure, I’ve written about gross stuff before: Most notably here. But this one takes the cake … or more aptly, the pile, or something. Here comes that familiar gag reflex.

Anyway, it began with what was by all accounts the most unmemorable of anniversaries. And that’s not my description. As we sat near each other in the same living room earlier in the evening, watching some lame television shows after the kids had gone to bed, my wife said, “This is the most unmemorable anniversary we’ve ever had.”

In hindsight, we both wish it had stayed that way.

We did not set out to have an unmemorable anniversary. We’d hoped to at least go out to dinner during the weekend days leading up to the annual celebration of our vows. But the sitter fell through one night, and logistical restraints impacted the other. (That means we were stuck driving kids to parties and dance recitals, and other child-centric crap).

And I didn’t set out to get her a couple of crappy lamps as a gift either. The 13th is supposed to be the Lace Anniversary, after all, not the Lamp Anniversary. But I couldn’t find anything lace she’d like. (Any more would be too much sharing). So I got some lamps she didn’t like instead.
I like to think our level of lameness is typical for people with four kids under the age of 12.

When is the Hazmat Suit Anniversary?
As we sat there that evening, watching television, thinking about the poor job we’d done celebrating this anniversary of ours, we heard the familiar sound of footsteps upstairs. From the lightness and frequency of the steps, we both knew it was our 3-year-old boy. And it sounded like he was on the move from his bedroom to ours, just down the hall.

This was an almost nightly occurrence.

From the living room, we could hear him enter our bedroom then scoot across the floor to the sweater chest. There, he likely sprang up onto our bed, crawled across the comforter, and under the blankets, making himself at home right smack-dab in the middle of our bed.

A few moments later, we heard a sound we didn’t expect. He let out a ghastly cry. This was not the “Where are you guys” cry; He cried loud. Nor was it his “I’m-hurt” cry. Still, something was amiss -- severely.

My wife went up the stairs to investigate, and let out an audible gasp.

I’d rather not describe the scene she discovered. … But here goes.

For starters, she found the boy covered in poo and in our bed. And, as you might suspect, also covered in poo was our bed, and our sheets, and my pillow.

She immediately took the boy back down the hall to the kid bathroom to hose him off, asking him what happened, while he just cried and cried. And that’s when what had happened became a mystery -- one that begged to be solved. For, while the boy had poo all over his clothes and his hands, there was none in his undies. 

I’m no crime scene investigator, nor is my wife (though she always says she should have been one), but it was clear to both of us that the poo in question was not his.
As my wife cleaned him up, I began to strip the bed, starting with the poo-covered comforter. The comforter appeared to be ground zero for whatever had transpired. I knew this because a soft pile of poo sat right smack in the middle of it, complete with knee prints and skid marks (sorry) leading up to the pillows and onto the sheets.

I took the comforter and my pillowcase outside into the cold night air to begin the initial cleansing process. I really wanted to just light a fire and burn the damned thing. And maybe I should have. But then, I’d likely be writing about how I got arrested for violating a village ordinance against openly burning feces, or some such. So, instead I just cleaned it up, gagging a few times for good measure.

My wife, meanwhile, finished tidying up the boy, tucked him back in his own bed, and turned her attention to our sheets. The whole while, we both turned over in our heads what must have occurred. And we both came to the same conclusion.
The dog.
It must’ve been.
The dog must’ve gotten “sick” – which is our family code word for having uncontrollable poo – and been unable to get outside quick enough, or even get off our bed, apparently. She’s a good dog, and doesn’t do stuff like this usually. But she’s getting old, and I know from reading Marley and Me that stuff like this is gonna happen. Tear drop.
Plus, it was the only logical answer. Unless you consider my wife’s other theory. Like God would smite us for her saying how unmemorable our anniversary celebration was.
I’m going with the dog. Though, piecing it all together, I figure it happened at about the same time she made that proclamation.
Once the poo pile was on the bed, and the dog had moved on to a less smelly room, the boy must’ve awoken and gone on his nightly commute across our comforter, only to find himself confronted with poo on the journey. And, as they say in the I'm Going on a Bear Hunt book, he went right through it.
With the mystery solved, it meant only one thing: I had to give the dog a bath. At least, that’s what my wife decided.
So, well after midnight, on our 13th anniversary, after I’d already spent half-an-hour outside cleaning a loose pile of poo off our comforter, I was in the bathroom with our dog giving her a full-body scrub down. My wife, for her part, was in the basement in full hazmat gear washing sheets, and putting the stain spray bottle to use on the pillow case and comforter, attempting to eradicate the remnants of the poo pile and poo prints.
Afterward, we both retired to the couches.
Now, I’m not a terribly superstitious person. I can’t afford to be, as I was born on Friday the 13th way back in the day. But it’s safe to say our 13th anniversary will not be remembered as the “Lace Anniversary.” No. Several other titles come more readily to mind.
Yet, if nothing else, it will be remembered.

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PS. This is the story I shared for the Clorox ickies twitter party, #ickies .


Unknown said...

That will always be an anniversary to remember.What a night!!

Unknown said...

Annie said...

I have belly laughed 2x today. Both from ruddy fb posts, both about dog poo. I'd say thank u but that seems "mildly" inappropriate. Our dog got sprayed by a skunk last week, I still swear I smell skunk.. Good luck extricating all evidence of yr unfortunate event from yr home & nasal memory:)

Cort Ruddy said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Annie. Your own story reminded me of the time our dog got sprayed years ago. It happened right before bedtime. We didn't know what to do, so my wife checked online. Next thing I know, I'm at the 24hour grocery store buying 5 bottles of douche. Talk about an awkward check out.