My husband is a ball of personality with a badge and gun—-Mel Gibson circa Lethal Weapon with New England vernacular. To quote Spinal Tap, his amp goes to 11. If he were an accountant he would do taxes while strapped to a bungee cord over train tracks scattered with broken glass. That’s just how he rolls. Living with him is never boring. It does at times require a safety helmet, but it is never boring.
As an officer of the law and self proclaimed magnet of the fecal variety, my husband is never without his weapon in close proximity. It is our constant companion, accompanying us on errands and date nights, to the beach and the store, to the loo and to the dinner table (but not without washing its hands first). If I could teach it how to babysit I just might.
(Author’s Note: I wouldn’t actually leave my children under the care of a gun. That would be irresponsible. Without opposable thumbs, how would it ever open my son’s applesauce squeezer?)
One of my cherished family memories occurred at the beginning of my marriage when I was first discovering the wide world of manic crafting. During that period of time I terrorized our apartment with my own gun and though only filled with hot glue, my gun was no less menacing to the innocent surfaces within my home. I had more blisters on my fingers than a back alley basehead and if something didn’t possess enough innate self preservation to move out of my way, I feverishly coated it with molten adhesive.
At the height of my craze I glued some marbles to a picture frame—a rookie mistake. A marble is really too heavy and a picture frame too smooth for the two to stay together permanently with just hot glue, but what did I know? I was young and in love and armed with stickum.
One night while laying in bed with my new husband, just relaxing into sleep I heard one of those marbles release from the frame and bounce across our dining area floor. I was just formulating the thought, ah there goes one of the marbles when my husband leapt nude, but armed with his service weapon, over my head.
I could have at that point shared the fact that the noise was only a wayward marble but I was stunned by the sheer speed and commitment of my husband’s response and also the horror of being nearly bludgeoned by his testicles. And if we’re being really honest here, maybe I also kept the knowledge to myself because watching a naked man clear each room like a one man Play Girl SWAT team is amusing enough not to want to stop the show. And he did clear each room just like they do on television, including outside the front door of our apartment (still nude, mind you), pivoting into each entrance with gun poised to fire at any immediate threat. He did all this while I sat in our bed, weighing the merits of full disclosure versus personal amusement.
watch dog husband returned to the bed, and presented the tiny round rabble-rouser for my inspection. I thanked him and took the perpetrating marble into custody with as much solemnity as I could muster.
Ten years later my husband still springs into action in the middle of the night, though now wearing sensible pajamas. It’s not unusual for him to leap out of bed, peer out the blinds of our bedroom window, grab his gun and exit the room. At this point, I don’t even bother asking what inspired his call to arms until his return and sometimes, if I’m especially tired I will let myself fall asleep and wait to be debriefed in the morning.
If there is a potential threat within several miles he will hear it. If someone racks a round two towns over my husband and his gun will be ready. If raccoons infiltrate our yard or the neighbor comes in at an odd hour, he is alert.
One day this late night vigilance will pay off. Our daughter will eventually be a teenager and it is quite possible that my husband will have the opportunity to confront a horny teenage boy and make the poor kid wet his pants. And once again I will be there to diligently record it into my collection of treasured family memories.