During our honeymoon phase, a closed bedroom door meant he was occupying the back bathroom. I found many ways to occupy myself, no matter what I needed from the bedroom, in order not to blow his cover. Once he returned to the living room, I waited at least 30 minutes before going in that direction just to help him keep his little secret. His secret that sometimes, just once in a while, he uses the bathroom. He was equally considerate, although he didn’t have to try quite that hard. I think it was at least a month before I could even pee if he was at home. Now that over 13 years have passed, the bathroom door rarely gets closed at all. How else are we supposed to discuss what’s for dinner and whether or not we are out of toilet paper?
In the long ago, we were both reticent about displaying our personal hygiene products. To my knowledge, his neatly-groomed appearance was a natural gift; not the result of a task force the likes of which would make a beauty supply store stand up and take notice. To his knowledge, Mother Nature seemed to leave me alone instead of visiting once a month. These days, his nose hair trimmers share space under the bathroom cabinet alongside my Midol and Tampax.
In the dreamy-eyed good old days, a long car trip meant carefully avoiding any foods that might produce an uncomfortable tummy. No store-stop hot dogs, and certainly no microwavable burritos. A travel size can of Lysol was always in the glove box. If for some reason a strange sound or odor did happen to drift through the car, neither of us acknowledged it. Now, we agree to just leave the windows down, even if it means cranking up the heat in winter. He does love store-stop hot dogs.
Over the years, and if they are lucky, a couple tends to find fewer and fewer things embarrassing. Mr. Vagabond has no problem waking me up 10 times a night to remind me that I am snoring. I don’t miss a beat in handing him a tissue while telling him he needs to check his nose in a mirror. If I trip over my own feet like I often do, he only rushes to see if I’m ok after he’s stopped laughing. I have no problem telling him that for the good of all mankind, socks are usually meant to be worn only once in-between washings.
Time erodes the facade of perfection that we try to cling to in the beginning, but it reveals something a lot better. At least now I don’t have to worry about leaving the house with a dryer sheet sticking out of my back pocket, and he can be confident that I’ll always tell him if his shirt is on wrong-side out.