So This Happened

by Jennifer Ryan

This is my kitchen. No, it was not the site of a grisly murder or the backdrop for an episode of CSI. Allow me to explain.

Yesterday was actually a pretty decent day. After an eight-week break, I dropped my son at Mommy’s Day Out and skipped all the way to my car. I returned home, cleaned the house, and spent the next few hours doing whatever I wanted. I read. I wrote. I drew. I had a few beautiful hours of leisure. 

I picked A-bug up. We went to the gym, and I spent an extra half hour on cardio. We returned home, and I didn’t have to start dinner. We had plenty of leftovers. I wanted to fold some laundry and read some books to the kiddo. More nice leisurely afternoon. A-bug asked me for some apple juice. When I shut the refrigerator door, catastrophe. Unbeknownst to me, a bottle of red wine had been placed on top of the refrigerator, and it fell to the floor, where it shattered into a million pieces.

At first, I was sort of awestruck and motionless. I snapped a photo with my phone and texted the picture to my husband with a caption that said, “I know what I’ll be doing the next twenty minutes.” I was wrong. I spent close to an hour cleaning up my kitchen.

Bits of broken glass flew everywhere. I found them buried beneath the refrigerator and hiding in the crevices of the baseboards. The glass, however, wasn’t the problem. The real problem was the wine, and it was everywhere. The wine had splashed on the kitchen cabinets next to the refrigerator and the kitchen cabinets across from the refrigerator. I found wine inside the cabinet doors. As I soaked the wine into paper towels, more wine would magically appear. I felt like I was trapped in the elevator scene in The Shining. At any moment, little Danny Torrance would pedal through my kitchen on his tricycle. I could almost hear his creepy, raspy, tiny voice chanting, “Red rum, red rum.” 

Finally, I had succeeded in getting every piece of glass and every bit of wine removed from my kitchen floors. My husband, MC, arrived home from work around fifteen minutes later. 

I said, “I don’t know how this happened. I don’t even remember putting the bottle of wine up there.” He said, “Uh, I think I actually put it up there.”

 

During the course of our marriage, I’ve learned a lot about MC. His definition of the word “we” and my definition of the word “we” are somewhat askew. I have to use context clues in our conversation to understand exactly what he means by “we.” For example, he might say, “Wow, I’ve got lots of dirty clothes here. We need to get to the dry cleaner.” He actually means, “Jennifer, you need to go to the dry cleaner.” He also uses the term “we,” when he’s trying to mitigate the blame for a mistake he’s made. He’s sharing the wealth, so to speak.

After admitting his error, he turned to me and said, “I guess we need to stop putting wine bottles and stuff on the refrigerator.” Yes, honey. Sure, honey. We do. I nodded in agreement and was very rational, forgiving…on the outside. On the inside, I was thinking, “Sleep with one eye open, partner, because tonight may be your last.”

Happily, my husband survived to see daylight. I’d like to say I had some sort of moral epiphany. I love my husband, mistakes happen, and blah blah blah. Really, I just couldn’t bring myself to clean up another mess.

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