Have I ever said why I decided I needed to marry my husband? I have talked quite a bit about how it’s great that he is my husband at the moment because all evidence points to me being unable to survive without him, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually described the confluence of events that led to us getting married.
If you analyze it (no pun intended, keep reading), I think there were two major events that basically cinched our fate.
1. My visit to Spain in 2001
We were about 6 months into a very long distance relationship where he drove 8 hours from Ohio to Philadelphia every weekend to visit me so he could make me salad while I studied in medical school. He had to move back to Spain because his apprenticeship had ended, and while we hadn’t made any major decisions about what we would do now that that it was an ocean between us and not just an 8 hour car ride, we did plan on me visiting him, which I did.
I think there is a thing about hand hygiene in Spain because literally EVERY time I go there, I end up with some sort of Gi illness, and this time was no different. I promptly came down with the GI bug while I was there, puking and having fevers. It was awful. We had to cut our tour of the Basque villages short after I ran out of the medieval torture museum to puke (the biggest torture of all was that there was no toilet at the torture museum).
Back at the apartment, I was lying prostrate on the bed moaning, and not in a good way, while he ran to the on call pharmacy. The pharmacist, a conscientious professional, advised that if I have an emetic illness, it might be useless to give me an oral anti-pyrrhetic as I might throw it up. So the boyfriend of 6 months comes back with some paracetamol rectal suppositories, per pharmacist advice. I was like, dude, for realz? Apparently, yes, for realz, and he was extremely diligent about waking me up q 4-6 hours so that he could administer the suppository personally. I’d be assuming rectal suppository acceptance position while feebly protesting: “I really don’t need anything up my ass…” and he’d retort, “It’s just a little thing,” and insert it.
After that, what choice did I have but to marry him? I mean, in some cultures, we were probably already married just by the virtue of the suppository exchange…
2. Our squirrel infestation of 2002
As if that wasn’t enough, there was also the thing with the squirrels. After spending about six months apart, him in Spain and my in Philly, and after numerous soporific phone calls like this:
ME: Hi honey, tell me a story….
He decided to move to America and be with me. But on account of a major parental freakout, he couldn’t actually live WITH me, so I lived with a bunch of roommates, and he lived with a roommate also. And we had some sort of rodent infestation, but we couldn’t figure out what the fuck was going on. I was reading Harry Potter at the time, and so when I’d get up in the morning, and come to the kitchen to find basically little mini hand prints all over the counters, I was legit convinced that we had house elves. Then, one day, there was a package of Wonderbread left on the counter and in the morning, one of my roommates accused me of using excessive force on the package, as it had been ripped open mercilessly during the night,and the bread burrowed into and destroyed. I was like, “Really, girl? You think I did this?!”
When I studied, I could hear frolicking squirrels above my head, and I assumed that they were on the roof, except when I’d peek out the window, there wouldn’t be anyone on the roof, and all the frolicking sounded so close to me, that it had to have been in the walls. I think the squirrels were in the walls rolling around, mating, doing whatever. It was so disturbing. My boyfriend, who’d be making me a pork chop to break my Yom Kippur fast (what? pork chops are good?) down stairs, also heard it.
The breaking point came when a roommate woke up from a nap and surprised a squirrel sitting on top of a microwave enjoying more Wonderbread. Roommate screamed, squirrel did the same, and then hopped off the microwave and disappeared behind the stove.
We called the super.
The super, a big black guy named Fred with summer teeth, moved the stove aside to find a huge hole in the wall that had been burrowed and chewed through by industrious squirrels as a portal into our apartment. Fred left and came back with a large metal cage and a candy bar that he put in there as bait.
“This will never work,” I said.
Then I came back from morning classes to find the following scene: a squirrel in the metal cage, with crazy eyes, watching my boyfriend now husband singing rock a bye baby to it. Then it would lose interest, and freak the fuck out, and bounce off the walls of the metal cage, shit all over itself, and then stop again and look at my husband, mesmerized by his voice. He went through his whole repertoire: Rock a Bye Baby, “Y ese lunar que tiene cielito mio…,” “Le vi a mi novia… la pantorilla..,” “Sardinas Frescue,” “Bilbao tiene un sabor…” or whatever it is his father sang in the Basque men’s chorus.
I was totally flipping out: “WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU SINGING TO THE SQUIRREL??”
He said, “She look nervuss.”
She definitely looked nervous, and so did I.
Fred came and took the box away.
The next day he came and sealed up the hole behind the stove.
“What did you do with the squirrel?” I said.
“I ate it for lunch,” answered Fred, rubbing his belly and sucking air through his summer teeth.
Boyfriend now husband nodded, understandingly.
Any man who will stick a small object in your ass while you’re vomiting without batting an eyelash, AND sing to a shitting squirrel in Spanish because it looks nervous is obviously good in a crisis, and there was no way I wasn’t going to marry that.