Twenty Eight

Tamie and I are celebrating our 28th wedding anniversary today. Our success, I think, stems from a mutual desire to continually foster passion in our marriage. Last night, for example, I shaved, washed my face, brushed my teeth, then took off my shirt and snuggled into bed next to her.

“Gross,” she said, passionately.

Her response wasn’t totally unexpected. Or unjustified. Earlier in the day, she’d taken me to my first post-op appointment following my clavicle surgery. She’d insisted on accompanying me because doctors often tell me things that are open to interpretation. This time he suggested I take it easy for the next couple of months and I was like “okay, no problem” but then Tamie made him clarify this meant I could not ride my bike or run on trails or climb any stratovolcanoes even if they were dormant. I was afraid she was also going to have him medically ban some of my friends, but she quickly lost interest once he started peeling the bandage off my shoulder.

I think both of us had similar expectations about how the wound was going to look – something small, clean, and precise. Instead, it looked like someone tried to decorate me for Halloween using one of those elaborate makeup kits but didn’t know what they were doing so they just plastered a little bit of everything onto my skin until it became an unrecognizable patchwork of reds and purples and yellows, with lots of swollen ridges, spongy valleys, and jagged edges. There was even a lone strand of monofilament line poking grotesquely out from one side.

It. Was. Awesome.

I really felt like the doctor went all out to provide some indisputable proof for whatever stories I wanted to tell my grandkids someday. Tamie, however, really felt like he may have skipped over some important details. Like sutures, for instance. And medical school.

Poor girl. While I was selfishly wondering if our health insurance would cover the addition of a few large incisor teeth near the wound, she was desperately trying not to pass out. After working tirelessly to take care of me for the past three weeks, she’d finally hit her breaking point.

So, no, I wasn’t offended by her comment in bed last night. In fact, after we’d both settled in and she’d strategically masked my shoulder from view with a throw pillow, we did the same thing we’ve done every night for the past 28 years: we talked about our day and our plans for tomorrow, we gave thanks for the all the good things in our lives, and we held hands and we laughed.


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