Look, I know he’s going to kill me, but it wouldn’t be right to leave this undocumented.
And, when you live with a special someone whom you love so very, very much (I love you so very, very much) and also that same someone special does not, um, indulge ever in anything that results in a good story…well, it wouldn’t be right to leave this undocumented.
The short version: It was all legal and did not happen in Mexico.
Some fun facts about that special someone, whom we’ll call “my husband.” Because he is. Or was, at the time of this writing. And also at the time of this posting (status TBD once this blog hits his inbox).
Right. The fun facts. My husband has:
- A history of lower back issues
- A history of avoiding doctors
- A history of avoiding small spaces
- A history of never ever indulging in anything that results in a good story (for me to document)
The above items all came together this week in the most amazing perfect storm. I never would have known that it all came together had it not been for one moment in time, however, during which we both landed at the door to our garage, heading out for separate errands at the exact same instant…totally unplanned. At that gift-from-the-gods of a moment, we basically shrugged and hopped in the car together as, while all errands were different versions of “swing by here” or “pick up there,” they were also all in the same direction.
And so it came to be that, between my curbside pickup at Kohls and my husband’s inside pickup at Lowes, the following life-changing words came out of his mouth:
“Let’s zip through Taco Bell. I haven’t had Taco Bell in as long as I can remember.”
Evidently, as long as he could remember was…18 hours.
Which was how long it had actually been since he had last had Taco Bell.
I knew this because I had driven him there.
The previous day. Day. In daylight.
You see, the previous day, he had an MRI (in a very small space) on his lower back (finally checking on that issue) per his doctor (that he had finally stopped avoiding).
Holy Jesus, Joseph, and Mary.
The ten minutes following that declaration of Gorditas Gone Missing went something like this:
MH: Let’s zip through Taco Bell. I haven’t had Taco Bell in as long as I can remember.
BW: (beloved wife): Um, what?
MH: Yeah, I could really go for a taco or three.
BW: You had Taco Bell yesterday. You actually had three tacos yesterday.
MH: No, I didn’t.
MH: Are you serious?
MH: Are you effing with me?
BW: Do you not remember this?
BW: Yes? Do you not remember this? Wait. What don’t you remember? Do you remember going to Guitar Center?
MH: I didn’t go to Guitar Center, I said I was going there today.
BW: No, you went to Guitar Center yesterday as well.
MH: Are you effing with me?
BW: I am not. Although I am now questioning my decision to let you walk across the parking lot by yourself.
MH: Oh shit. Did I buy anything?
BW: No. Well, wait, now I’m not sure. You didn’t come out with anything. I don’t know.
MH: (frantically pulls up his Fun Money account balance) How did I get there?
BW: I drove you.
MH: But how did you know how to get there?
BW: (with a compass and an eye on the big dipper, how do you think!?!) I punched “Guitar Center” into the GPS.
MH: (frantically retrieves the GPS history and realizes there is some validity to the tale)
As we continued our jaunt through the Taco Bell drive-through for the second time in twenty-four hours, I continued to check off all the boxes of the previous day that were missed. The gap in time started, evidently, after the downing of 30mg of diazepam, provided by my husband’s doctor. This was dosed, evidently, to alleviate a repeat of my husband’s previous MRI experience in which he punched his way out of the machine approximately seven seconds into the scan. This time, he would be prepared (or knocked out cold, according to the prescription).
I do understand it, the claustrophobia. Really, no one is fond of small spaces. No one wakes up hoping that they get stuck in a shoebox or underneath a pile of oranges. MRIs? Oh, yes, the worst. They are very confining and very loud and a stranger pleads with you to lay very, very still. If you’ve not experienced it, try sliding headfirst into a PVC pipe and then have a friend beat it with a hammer for forty-five minutes while whispering, “you’re doing great, just try not to move or we’ll have to start again.”
When my husband had his first MRI, nearly a decade ago, it was because I had “hearing aids required” written into our marriage vows. Insurance required the scan to rule out that he was not simply ignoring me. While I didn’t see it happen, my husband said that that first MRI involved having his head screwed down to the table before he went into the tube and, well, I don’t know for sure whether he broke the machine during his retreat but I was just settling into a cup of coffee and a casual stroll through the hospital gift shop when I saw him sprint by, which I thought was an odd way to get an accurate reading.
I suppose that is why he has avoided the lower back issue doctor. While many have insisted that his MRI aversion was nothing to be embarrassed about, the thought of another one has been quite terrifying. And, as back issues are shared among his family members, we were well aware that MRIs are a common course of treatment. A few months ago, after my husband’s mother endured fusion surgery somewhere in the “L” or “C” range of her vertebrae, the most common conversation was that recovery would have been much easier had she not waited so long. This tipped my husband into action, even though he knew that it would eventually land him in that very tiny, very noisy tube.
So, yes, when the time came, I attended the scheduling appointment and loudly proclaimed the need for an open MRI and a boatload of valium.
Done and done.
My first clue to “oh, he might be stoned,” should have been wobbly thumbs he flashed me as he returned to the waiting area. He just looked…too…what…
Next, he tried to convince me that there were no stairs to exit the building, though we had actually come down two flights less than 60 minutes earlier. And then there was the near-immediate declaration, upon sitting in the car, that we go do some shopping. Sure, it was Guitar Center, but shopping is my love language, so I was one thousand percent on board.
It was on our way to Guitar Center that the golden chalupas caught his half-closed eye.
And, it was when we were sitting in the Taco Bell parking lot that I began to suspect that he might be trying to keep something from me. Shredded cheese was absolutely flying around our car. Our good car. The one he tucks in every night. And then the announced that he was having difficulty in “operating the sauce packet.” Ah yes, that explained why they were lined up like little soldiers waiting for battle on his leg. Those little fellows are tricky sometimes, right?
But then this:
“I’m not saying this because I’m stoned, I swear, but this is the best fucking taco I have ever had in my entire life.”
There it was.
“I’m not saying this because I’m stoned…”
An absolute declaration that he was, in fact, very, very stoned.
I’m not really sure how I hadn’t grasped this until then.
It seems so obvious now, in review.
He did not buy anything at Guitar Center.
Instead, he returned to the car within ten minutes and promptly fell asleep for the forty-minute drive home. As we approached our driveway, we had a quick conversation about dinner (it was waiting in the crockpot) and when we should eat (in thirty minutes, he said, he just wanted to take a quick nap).
Then he countered his own declaration with eating right when we got home (we were already parked in the garage).
“Yeah, that makes more sense, I’m pretty fried.”
“Great, I’ll just get it together and have the kids set the table and…”
I’m not sure which child asked who I was talking to…he had vaporized to the bed before I even hung up my purse.
Holy sauce packets.