Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The State Of The Marriage

Last week, I stood in the expansive personal hygiene aisle of a big box store. Staring back at me were thousands of toothbrushes in every shape, model, make and manufacturer. Some spun. Some vibrated. Some offered to scrape my tongue. In every color imaginable, it was a rainbow of choices. But I wasn't there for me. Oh, no. Erik had casually mentioned that he needed a new toothbrush and I was on a wifely mission to make it happen. Flanked with our children, I gazed at all the packaging. It really all came down to the size and firmness of the bristles. Full or compact. And soft or firm. I made my selection, confident that Erik's and his teeth would be clean and happy.

That night, he noticed the new orange brush sitting on the edge of the sink. He picked up the toothbrush and examined the writing.

"Compact? Firm?" he questioned. "We've known each other for over 16 years."

I bought the exact opposite of the kind of toothbrush my husband prefers. And it wasn't the first time. I also make this error with toilet paper. Let the divorce decree show, I slowly tortured him by erroneously purchasing incorrect health and beauty products.

I felt bad about this mistake. How hard is it to remember simple details? Apparently, for me - impossible. Maybe I need one of those scraps of paper in my wallet but instead of sizes it has crib notes that say: Soft. Full. Northern.

Saturday night after a fun family trip to another big box store, my husband asked me what I was unpacking from one of the bags. I turned around with a new & improved box of odor & dirt eliminator for carpet & room. (Package design bonus points for positioning three ampersands on the same package panel.) From across the kitchen he held up a matching box. We had both added the same product to the cart.

"What fragrance?" I inquired. Remembering that I had mulled over the options in the aisle finally selecting one that conjured up images of an April shower.

"Spring Rain" he replied.

Yes! I celebrated to myself. At least we're still on the same page with smell goods.