Sunday, January 16, 2011

Who's this guy in my bed, and where the hell is my husband?

You remember all those thriller/suspense movies they used to make where the main character got like a heart transplant and started feeling all these new emotions or a brain transplant and remembered things that had actually happened to the donor? I think that’s what’s happening to my husband, or whoever this new guy sleeping next to me is. Because this guy is not the same guy I started dating ten years ago, in fact he’s not the same guy I was married to last year today. I’m not being tragic or anything, but I am talking major changes… like I think the donor was insanely verbose, because, since the transplant, my husband never shuts up. Unless he’s mad, then he won’t talk for days. There is literally NO MIDDLE GROUND. He’ll start talking about something, and I’ll be listening and at some point I start to think that he’s winding down, that there really can’t be more to say on the subject, everything’s been repeated twice, taken apart, analyzed and dissected and that’s when he gets his second wind. And that’s when I start banging my head against the wall, cause I already have two kids who never shut up, even the one who doesn’t talk yet just babbles non-stop 24/7, and this new guy I’m living with, I just think he’s trying to kill me with all the talking. Oh, and we’re not even talking about astrophysics or applied mathematics or, you know, 13th century French literature, no, we’re talking about the merits of switching toilet bowl cleaner brands. For hours. And two weeks later, when I happen to come home with the same toilet bowl cleaner, for example, he’ll be like “but we discussed this” and I’ll be all like “yeah, well, you discussed this, I was thinking whether arsenic was the way to go or if I should just drown myself in the toilet bowl to get out of the torture of this conversation”.
But that’s not all folks. This new guy… he went shopping. Twice. Just this week. My old husband? I used to have to go buy him stuff, he’d try it on at home complaining throughout, then I’d often have to go back to the store to change the size or color or possibly both, but not on the same occasion, and then bring the stuff home for him to try on again and complain about and on and on and on. The salesgirl at the store, she almost had a heart attack when she saw him. She was all like, so did you get divorced? is this your new boyfriend? And I was all like, well no, this is actually my husband. And she was like, wow, I thought you had, like, made him up or something, cause in the five years since you’ve been coming here I had never once seen him. And last week we went shopping twice. He bought six pairs of pants. This is an event so rare that no one can predict the consequences. Seriously, the donor must work in fashion, or he’s gay, or more likely he’s a gay shopaholic who works in fashion, because my husband, the old one, had shirts in his closet from 1983. I’m not kidding. Whereas this new guy, today he filled two garbage bags of old clothes to give away and this week he went on a veritable shopping spree.
So every day I wonder, what’s this new guy going to do now? Like the other day, we went to Ikea and didn’t fight, we didn’t so much as have a spat, nor a tiff, we didn’t even have words. He didn’t complain about being there, he didn’t complain about all the useless crap I was buying, he didn’t even complain about the lines or about how much money we were spending for useless crap. Trips to Ikea were the antechamber to talks of divorce with my old husband, to apocalyptic, slow motion, spittle flying in the air, and frothing at the mouth fights generally in the sofa section. But this new guy, he just moseyed along, looking around, totally relaxed, not a care in the world. But when we got home he waited for me to assemble most of the furniture. The guy who owns 3 drills and 4 electric screwdrivers. The guy who bought the official Ikea tool kit so he would have all the correct bits specific to assembling Ikea furniture. The guy who practically used to assemble the furniture in the car with one hand whilst driving home with the other. This guy let me put together the furniture and didn’t once check whether I was doing it right. And then he complained bitterly about having to drill holes in the walls to mount the stuff. Who is this guy??
So now I wonder, can the donor’s bone marrow be changing my husband, much like it’s changed his immune system? Are these changes permanent? Because after seven years of marriage and two kids I don’t think I’m ready to be married to some new, random guy I didn’t pick. I didn’t even get any of the benefits of a divorce settlement, or you know, the new exciting sex of a budding relationship. I feel gypped. Plus, I liked my old husband, though I do see the potential of a new shopping buddy and brighter, happier trips to Ikea in my future. Hmmm. Now we just have to work on the new, exciting, sex with a stranger, bit and it may not be all bad.


  1. This is really funny, and really rather poignant as well. Because, you know, sometimes in life and in marriage, time or events can alter us a bit. Often it's a temporary blip, but sometimes it's just a gradual progression into another one of life's phases.
    The theory that the foreign marrow could be morphing Alex into another man is indeed a romantic and interesting one -- perfect fodder for your debut novel, methinks.
    On the other hand, perhaps he feels the squeeze of time or wants to change his stance towards things right now to fully appreciate and absorb all that this life can offer -- you know, sort of like gazing at all the dimensions of a sculpture from each different angle.
    Surely it can be a bit maddening for you, in light of all the other uncertainties (like will he be okay) and certainties (like yes, the kids WILL wake up sometime tonight) you're experiencing right now.
    I suppose all you can really do is roll with it and try and hang in there. And yes, perhaps give that wild sex with an exciting new stranger who now owns six new pairs of pants a go ;P
    Hugs, Alcira

  2. Alcira, as I'm reading your comment it's three am and both kids already woke up. Certainty is a great and terrible thing!

  3. Ok, first, that's hilarious! Second, that's kind of cool in a weird way to think about, although I totally agree with being disappointed with not being able to pick your new spouse. Wonder what other surprises he has in store for you?

  4. I am still drying the tears from laughing... but since I knew the old furniture buiding, shopping hating husband I do have to admit it is a little weird, if not downright scary. Perhaps just side effects of medication? All I can say is TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SEX while it lasts! :o)

  5. Jessica Anne, honestly, I'm a little scared to find out!

  6. Nuts, I didn't get the new exciting sex with a stranger part, but we'll work on that!

  7. Alcira, as I'm reading your comment it's three am and both kids already woke up. Certainty is a great and terrible thing!