Gabe has come up with a new game for the bedroom, something spicy and unexpected. Here’s what we do: we get ready for bed, dive under the covers and cuddle up together until we’re all warm and comfy, then Gabe reaches down to the floor on his side of the bed and brings up a cooking magazine. He reads me the recipes and I tell him what I think. The ones we both agree on get bookmarked to try later.
He’s also started tormenting me with trickery and traps. Recently, he plotted to do me in – as we do – with a tumble in the dark and not the sexy kind. While I was getting ready for bed, he got the house put up for the night – locked the doors, turned out the lights, all that stuff.
We got into bed and once my eyes adjusted, I saw a faint light coming from downstairs. Gabe was already asleep and snoring loudly. I suspect, now, that he was faking it; all part of his nefarious plan to cause me pain since he’s an evil jerkface. I got up with a dramatic sigh and headed downstairs in the dark. The problem came when only half of my body made it out the doorway. The other half hit the door, head-on, at full shambling speed. I yelled, I cussed, and I shouted at Gabe that I DO NOT WANT TO SEE OR TALK TO YOU RIGHT NOW! and then I wrangled the door all the way open, stumbled through, and slammed it behind me with angry gusto.
We all know what it’s like to get hurt in a sudden, violent fashion, such as slamming one’s finger in the door or gouging a shin against a coffee table corner. Many of us get irrationally angry, full of hatred and vitriol. We jump around, cursing, ready to punch the next kitten that crosses our paths. Part of my response was that – I was alarmingly angry at my unexpected trauma. The other part, though, was that I know the ONE thing that will make Gabe laugh no matter what is seeing people take a spill. He’s a sadist. Children slipping and falling on ice doubles him over. Seeing someone trip up the stairs in a dark theater, flinging popcorn everywhere nearly makes him pee his pants. People like him are the reason those something-smacks-guys-in-the-testicles videos did so well on “America’s Stupidest Home Videos,” or whatever it was called. And the last thing I felt I could deal with at that moment was Gabe laughing at me walking face-first into the door. I’d have punched his lights right out in my sudden anger so I did what was best: I yelled at him, stomped downstairs, turned off the back porch light that HE was supposed to have turned off before coming to bed (it was a trap!), then grabbed the frozen peas and stuck them to my face. When I made it back to bed, peas on head, Gabe was all solicitous as if he had noooo idea that he’d just given me a goose egg on my forehead with his damn trap. When I told him I’d run into the door, he started laughing. Like, falling out of the bed laughing. I told him that if I got a black eye from this, I was going to tell everyone he’d done it. That sobered him up quickly. “You can’t tell people that! That’s a serious accusation! I could get in trouble!” and I said, “That’s the whole point. To get you in trouble. Because you’re abusing me.” He denied his culpability saying that he had been in bed the entire time. I told him he was going to be in trouble anyhow because if I told people the truth, that I’d walked into a door, they’d just assume that was code for “my husband hit me” He said I had a point and that he hoped there were no marks. Then he turned on the light, slowly reached down to his side of the bed and brought up the cooking magazines while I laid there with a throbbing forehead covered in frozen peas.
*Serious end note: In case you’re tempted to call the police to report domestic abuse, please know that neither Gabe nor I harm each other in any way. Sure, he irritates the snot out of me and I often personally consider his annoying ways a form of mental abuse, but in reality, we have a healthy, non-abusive relationship. We have yet to do any intentional harm to the other (though I do often imagine stabbing him).
No spouses were mistreated in the making of this post. I didn’t even have a lump on my forehead the next day.