My mother, filled with sage advice, once warned me about the failings of men.
She said, “No matter how wonderful they seem when you are dating them, no matter how elegant their manners, it is a fact of life, men fart.”
In her mind it summed up all I would ever need to know about the mysteries of men.
With four women in the house, my father survived in an estrogen-rich environment. Out numbered, out maneuvered and always on his best behavior, a testament to his stamina and ability to maintain the mother-perpetuated man-myth.
After Richard and I married, I did what any normal, naive, red-blooded newly-wedded woman would do. I went shopping.
With fragrance-coordinating potpourri, the essential melange oil for refreshing said potpourri and the decorative baskets for holding the potpourri which coordinated with each room in our apartment, how could I go wrong?
Richard went along with all of this.
Never again would I worry about any occasional lapses in Richard’s manners, my guest would never know.
When I returned home with all of my parcels, Richard helped me place them around the apartment, discussing the locations best suited for camouflaging any mild indiscretions.
A couple of years later, Richard and I watched a comedian on television.
He said, “Potpourri is the ultimate duping of the masses. Only naive people would be dumb enough to spend money on dried out, fragranced, yard waste because you couldn’t sell yard waste to smart people.”
During this performance, Richard clipped his toenails.
Instead of placing his toenail waste into the supplied tissue for proper disposed in the trashcan, he tossed each one into my carefully maintained potpourri.
My reaction mystified him.
He said, “It is my duty as a husband not to throw them on the floor that would be messing up the apartment and the potpourri is the ideal receptacle. It’s convenient. I don’t even have to get up from whatever I am doing to clean up after myself.”
Upon careful inspection of the now renamed “toe-pourri”, I discovered dental floss, scabs, naval fuzz and items I could not identify, nor did I want to know.
Since I kept refreshing the original scent, they never developed any unusual odors.
“Besides,” he said, “I figured, what you didn’t know wouldn’t hurt you. The only one I never added to was in the bathroom because it’s sealed in a glass jar making the trash can more convenient.”
I donned my cleaning gloves and grabbed the gallon-sized plastic baggies. Sealing each basket in an individual baggy, I placed them in a trash bag and took the trip to the dumpster.
Richard, a little disappointed, soon got over it.
Traumatized over the whole affair, I switched to candles.
In the end, Richard used a hole in the cat tree perfecting his targeting skills, but that’s a different story…