When my husband and I were first dating, we were discussing bodily functions. I don’t know why—we just were. That was when he made a very serious claim that went something like this:
“All I know is, when I get married, my wife will never hear me, smell me or see me. And I would hope for the same respect from her.”
And I was sad. Because I knew it could never work out between us, since I was completely unwilling to suffer a stomach ache for the rest of my life.
Of course this “respect” only lasted until the vows were made and it was too late to back out, which is also when I finally let him see my bare feet that were covered with quarter-inch-deep splits in my heels, because of some sort of family skin curse which would likely be passed on to his children. But as I said, too late to back out.
And then after filling the house with mostly boys, the hearing, smelling and seeing became the song that never ends...yes it goes on and on, my friends. Which is why I burn candles.
So as I was thinking about it, I realized that a lot of our lives are made up of unrealistic expectations. Take for instance when I was about four years old, I had a beautiful doll that sat upon my dresser, wearing a dress made of blue velvet. This set my imagination soaring, and every night I would lull myself to sleep with this story in my head:
I was a princess. One summer’s afternoon, I decided to step outside to stand in the middle of my lawn. Wearing my midnight blue velvet gown, fluttering eyelashes and my hair in an upsweep, I opened the screen door of my 1970’s tract house and walked several paces.
Suddenly, the warmth of the sun became too much for my delicate nature, and holding the back of my hand to my forehead, I fainted into a beautiful puddle of crinoline. Sensing my plight, all of the neighborhood boys came running to see the exquisite princess. And they were bearing gifts.
Silently they laid the presents at my feet, and then returned to their homes to adore me from their front windows. When I awoke, I gathered up their offerings and went back inside where I could prepare to do the whole thing over again the next day.
Fast forward forty years. My husband and I decided we were going to get in shape, so we joined a gym. Throwing on oversized sweats, my hair in a ponytail and only just washed the sleep from my eyes, we arrived for our hourlong exertion with Emil, our personal trainer, which culminated in being weighed in public.
Now I don’t know if that’s what threw me over the edge or what, but what I do know is that a radio plays in your head when you’re out cold. And guess what you don’t do when you faint? You don’t suck in. Guess what else? When one leg of your sweats rides up to your upper thigh, you don’t have enough presence to pull it back down.
Also, your lashes don’t flutter and your lips aren’t pouty and your dead weight is faaaarrr toooooo much for your husband to lift, so he just kind of lets you slump over and shakes you hard, calling your name loudly, which introduces you to all of the people on the treadmills who are watching the show.
This brings to mind the words of a wise, dear man, Gordon B. Hinckley; “Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed.”
But I think you and I both know that I REALLY WAS ROBBED, YOU GUYS! I MEAN REALLY, REALLY ROBBED, BECAUSE THAT IS NOT A DAINTY FAINT!
However, here’s the bright side; while I was coming to, Emil called me Princess. As in, “Hey there, princess. You wakin’ up now? See, Sterling–I told you it would just be a minute or two. CAN SOMEBODY BRING ME A COLD RAG? SHE’S SWEATING QUITE A BIT HERE!”
So you see? Although the circumstances weren’t quite what I originally had in mind, a princess did faint. And I kind of think a cold rag on a sweaty brow could be considered a gift. And the people on the treadmills were a lot like the neighborhood boys admiring me from their windows. Chhh...ch ch ch. (Eyes closed, shaking head and my finger to your lips) It doesn’t matter what you say. I see things the way I want to.
No, bliss is not normal. Husbands emit fumes, wive’s feet are gross and princesses sweat. But as long as we’re willing to toss on a pair of rose colored glasses...or hold a rose under our noses, for that matter...the less offended we will be when we see, hear or smell something we didn’t want to.
And the faster we lower those expectations, the more pleasantly surprised we can be. Bless our sweaty, stinky hearts.