One thing I am fascinated with in marriages is how individual couples deal with the...I don't know...icky bits. It's a favorite topic of conversation among my groups of married friends once the boys get tired of us and leave to go drink scotch in another part of the house. (Hellooo 'Downton Abbey'. Maybe I should ask the ladies next time to join me in a rousing game of Whist so the men can enjoy their snifter drinks in peace.) I, of course, always broach the topic because I am arguably the most obnoxious wife in the bunch. In fact, when Brett pops into the room to retrieve another bottle or glass and happens to stumble into the middle of a conversation that is particularly scandalous, he'll usually raise an eyebrow at me, like, "You totally started all of this." And he's right.
But people keep coming to our house, so I can't be all that bad.
Anyway, one evening the girls and I were gathered in the parlour, (ha) and the topic of "icky bits" came up. "How close is too close?" I asked. Our responses were varied. Some women were a lot more open with their spouses, others were more discreet and shy. We've all been in relationships for long-ish amounts of time, so it was interesting to see how all over the place the offerings were. Some women cackled about how when kids come along, all bets are off. "I'll just go to the bathroom. I don't care who is in there, I don't care if the door is closed or open, I don't even care. I'll go on the side-walk if I have to." I, surprisingly, was on the more modest side of things. I lock doors. I won't even shave my legs in front of Brett. I have never plucked an eyebrow hair or done a face mask or anything in his presence. No, I'm not trying to maintain this feminine allusiveness. I don't entertain frothy ideas that Brett needs to only see me in a perfect state. This man has seen me in many, many states- and I'm not sure he'd say any of them were perfect. I just...I just get stupidly shy about the whole thing. I get so weird about truly intimate bodily moments, AND I AM OK WITH THAT.
So, today was a challenge in our relationship.
Now, I've talked about my period on here before. I talk about it with Brett. He actually doesn't need to "talk about it" with me because he likes reminding me when he knows it is coming. (Why, men? Why do you do that?) So, as far as icky things go, we just acknowledge it happens, I buy all my own supplies without him around, and it's over. I complain, eat the cliche bar of chocolate, and- scene. So, we still handle this in our "let's-avoid-everything-bodily-function-wise" kind of way. It works for us.
But today, oh today.
Quick back story: I had a procedure done two months ago where a Dr. was all up in my baby-making parts and had to do a lot of stuff that was incredibly painful. She warned me that the next cycle would be worse than usual, and to be prepared. A month passed. Nada. Another month.
AND THEN HOLYCRAPIAMDYINGWHATTHEHELLISHAPPENINGTOMYBODY.
To put mildly.
The pain. Oh God, the pain. I actually got sick because of it. And curled up on the floor. And called Brett at the office. (naturally.)
Me: "Hi!!! um. So, I can't make dinner tonight..."
Brett: "Why? Is everything ok? You sound horrible."
Me: "Yes, everything is fine. No, no, everything is not fine. Oh, God. Brett, "it" came. "it" is kicking my ass. I can't even keep anything down because of "it."
Brett: "Oh, I thought it was coming. You've been-"
(and then I promptly burst into tears which is very helpful.)
Brett: (panicking) "Ok! uh...I'll pack up and head home. Thai take-out tonight? Should we go to the hospital? Is there...like,...a drug or something? You can take? I mean..."
Me: "No, I'm fine. I think the hospital would just make fun of me and remind me I am having a period NOT in need of an epidural or anything, so just... Yes, Thai sounds lovely. And maybe some scotch."
Brett: "Are you allowed to drink alcohol when you're..?"
Me: "Please come home."
And he came home. With Thai in hand. And he valiantly made me a plate and fussed over me and let me pick the Anthony Bourdain episode tonight.
But the best part?
When I went to the bathroom to frantically take stock of supplies and see if I needed to make the dreaded trip out to buy more, I opened our bathroom cabinet and found that Brett had already done it. He stocked our Cincinnati apartment that we are only in a few days a week.
I'm sorry. That, in my world of "icky" is a love letter.
When I tentatively asked him about it later, (after dinner, I'm still weirdly weird about it all,) he just shrugged as he reached over for my plate to dig into my left-overs.
"I could TELL it was coming,"
"But, you needed it. I wanted you to have everything you...needed."
So, no epidural or hospital visit for me today, just a lot of blankets, a lot of couch time next to the man who went entirely out of our mutual comfort zone and...(big breath) BOUGHT ME A BOX OF TAMPONS. ON HIS OWN.
Keep your long stemmed roses. This is where real romance is happening.
(But no, I still won't shave in front of him.)