Our eleven year wedding anniversary was on Saturday. We went out on Thursday evening (since I had to work on Saturday) and Arthur brought me a card and small bouquet of flowers. Sunday, Arthur got me up from my nap with the following words: “Hey, don’t freak out, but…”
“I think I saw a mouse.”
Management followed through superbly after I notified them and the exterminator came out yesterday. He placed a few glue traps and a childproof box of mouse poison. I winced. “So…if the mouse gets poisoned…I might have to pick it up?”
“Yeah,” he said, “or it might crawl outside to die. If it gets stuck in a glue trap, you’ll be able to see it, but you’ll just throw out the whole thing.”
I stared at him. As much as I sometimes complain about it, I adult reasonably successfully most days. I’ve dealt with job losses, infertility, IVF, miscarriages, and very premature birth. I have a job with a high degree of responsibility. I can balance my checkbook and figure out large swaths of paperwork.
Dead mice, though? No way.
Arthur shook his head when I told him when he came home for lunch that I was not touching this one. “But all you do is sweep it into the dustpan with the broom and get rid of it,” he said.
“Nope. Not happening.”
“You weren’t this upset on Sunday. You once had a live mouse in your hair during family reunion and didn’t start screaming because you didn’t want to cause a panic.”
“Live mice don’t ick me out as much as dead ones. It’s not rational. But I don’t want it living in our house, either. So you’re just going to have to deal with it. If I find it, you’ll probably hear the shrieks all the way over at work.”
Arthur was putting on his shoes to go back to work when we both heard it: a loud squeaking and rustling from the kitchen. “I’m not going in there,” I announced. “You go look.”
Arthur came back. “It’s under the fridge, I think. I’ll deal with it when I get home.”
I took the easy way out and called maintenance, who came, moved the fridge, and informed me the mouse had escaped. I texted Arthur the news. He texted back that he agreed “Mouse Hunt” would be a good movie to watch soon.
For our anniversary, I’d been working on a sweet, romantic sort of post about the reading we had done at our wedding called “The Blessing of the Hands”. There are a few versions out there, but it talks about how these are the hands that will hold you in sickness and through trials and in the good times. I had been thinking along the lines of how his were the hands that moved our whole apartment by himself and held mine during a long hospital stay and when we were pretty sure we’d never have a baby and so on and so forth.
That’s all true, but I have a very different, way less dramatic or romantic or sweet line to add now: “These are the hands that will check the traps and clean up the dead mice you hate so much.”
Or maybe not so much less romantic…after all, eleven years, and we’re still happily putting up with each other’s quirks and foibles. We’re laughing and joking together, working as a team.
And really, what else could be better?