Tuesday, January 8, 2008

America's Happiest Couple Take a Break

We had just eaten at Buddha Belly. When I chose the booth closest to the Diet Coke refills, Danny sighed and told me how much he loved me. Later, we both reveled in my triumph of finishing my pork sandwich even though the spice was so hot I felt like I'd just made out with a bonfire.

We drove home, laughing, wondering if the lights in the sky were aliens or a secret government plane and inventing tales, complete with funny voices and sound effects, to go with either story line. Danny cracked up at my rendition of a martian getting annoyed at the family dog for soiling the spacecraft controls.

"My god," I said catching my breath "We're like, America's happiest couple. Could we be any happier?"

I should know by now that statements like this cause the universe to prove me wrong. For example, every single time we are out and wistfully mention how great our dog is, we come home to disaster. She's ripped up the back of the couch, destroyed a shoe or figured her way into the closed bathroom garbage can and pulled out my nasties.

If we don't talk about her, we come home to a peacefully napping Kiddo, but if we dare speak the words "good dog" while not at home, we suffer the consequences of destroyed property.

Despite this lesson, we recklessly clapped ourselves on the back for our model relationship.

We arrived to a house in perfect order. The dog wagged her tail as Danny went to put away the few things we picked up at the grocery store; two matching pints of Ben and Jerry's (light) and a replacement block of Diet Cherry Coke.

Then, our bliss shattered. The instrument of destruction: a large bowl of cranberry sauce. It fell from the fridge with a heavy thud, sending large shards of glass and blood red goop to the furthest reaches of the kitchen.

"God Dammit Danny! Be Careful!" I scooped up the dog, who was already trying to eat the glass, and put her in the living room.

"Well, who put a big glass bowl on top of the empty Coke box?" Danny shot back.

(This is an exclamation heard often in our house. As in, "Who didn't put a new bag in the vacuum cleaner?!" or "Who left the stove on?!" There's only two of us. It's not a big mystery.)

I froze, he had a point. In my defense though, the full box of Coke cans was more than capable of supporting the weight of a large bowl of cranberry sauce.

"Well…." I stammered. "You could look…with your EYES!!!"

Danny stood over the mess in front of the fridge.

I huffed, "You know what? It's fine. It's an accident, no one's fault." But I didn't mean that. The foundation of long term relationships is that everything is the other person's fault. Even if said person isn't even home at the time. If I stub my toe, somehow, someway, Danny is responsible for that. He must have moved the table, left his shoe in a bad place. I'm sure he feels the same way about me, that's why it works in the long run.

As we sopped up juicy bits and pieces into a paper bag, I marveled at how quickly we'd crumbled from Happiest Couple USA to What the fuck is wrong with you? Danny doesn't outwardly snap, but I know he's thinking it, just as I am in the heat of the moment.

But almost as quickly as we crumbled, we recovered from (Danny) spilling the Cranberry sauce.

When we finished sopping, mopping and sweeping he stood there holding the bag of refuse, the broken glass inside crunched and the wet towel we'd used and stuffed in looked like it was soaked with blood.

"God, it looks like we murdered someone." Danny said.

"Yeah, we murdered that happy ass couple we drove home with." I said as I tipped the last of the glass slivers in.

We both started to laugh. "So did we get all of it?"
"I don't know," Danny smiled, "Why don't you look? With your EYES!"

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