I have been married to husband #1 for almost 22 years. (For those of you new to my column, I refer to him as husband #1 because, so far, he has been it. Will there be a husband #2? Statistically, maybe, but for now he is still #1.)
We have been through a lot together, as married couples usually have. Childbirth was lots of fun. There I was, in labor for 22 hours and 30 minutes with son #1, listening to the relaxing Lamaze cassette tape that I made (hey kids, a cassette tape is what came before the iPod, I think. There could have been compact discs before that. Who knows? It is hard to keep up with technology when you still think that the 80s were last week.)
In any event, I am in labor with our firstborn, and husband #1 is watching Yankee playoff games. Really, what else was he supposed to be doing? When your wife attempts to have a drug-free, natural labor, they have her sitting on a rocking chair, sitting on the floor, head down on a chair, on her back, on her side, screaming her brains out…the only natural thing to do is to have her spouse watching baseball.
Then I am in labor with son #2, and husband #1 is watching “Days of Our Lives” while my OB yells at him to get up and help me give birth to his child. (At least I wasn’t the one yelling at him, for a change. Hey ladies, am I right?) As for son #3, I couldn’t tell you. It was 1:30 on a Friday morning, and statistically, I knew the baby was going to be a boy. This meant that husband #1 would have to make a shalom zachor without me home. (But his mom would be there. Enough said.) The doctor, in his infinite wisdom, said, “This baby has short eyelashes. It is going to be a girl.” And I said, in my infinite wisdom, “Hey dude, it’s a boy, just take out the rest of him.” And there was son #3, and I started humming the theme song to “My Three Sons.”
So there you are, with three kids, and life passes you by, both slowly and at the speed of light. But with all of the things I can say about husband #1, he is a really, really good dad. Enough about that.
So we have been through good things and bad things. We have laughed, we have cried, I have threatened him with a hammer (just kidding). Usual married stuff. But the other night, he came home and was sort of hunched over like the guy from “Beauty and the Beast,” and I decided to show some compassion and ask what was wrong. “Well, if you really want to know, as I was getting up from my chair, I heard a snap and now my back really hurts.” Hmm. Pain becomes more of an issue for husband #1 because he doesn’t swallow pills. (Insert gasp noise here.) And our doctor, who is also our neighbor and friend, is out of town. I decided to text his urologist. He is familiar with husband #1 because of his kidney stone issues. “Hi Dr. XXX, husband #1 hurt his back and he is in a lot of pain, anything you can do to help us? And don’t forget, he doesn’t take pills.”
After the doctor stopped laughing, because what 46-year-old doesn’t take pills? (The same 46-year-old who doesn’t know how to open a can of tuna fish, but I digress.) The doctor is kind enough to offer to make a house call and give poor husband #1 a shot of some sort of anti-inflammatory. At least that is what he said it was. We will never know.
What we do know is that when the doctor came over, our friends from the Island of Long were over, son #3 had a friend or two over, and the house was hopping. Then the doc walked in and said, “Um, I need you to pull your pants down.” Oooh, that’s where the shot goes….. I couldn’t stop laughing. I am a terrible wife.
And then I couldn’t find rubbing alcohol to disinfect the area, all I could find was nail polish remover, and apparently they are two different things. So we settled for soap and water and when husband #1 reached out to hold my hand before he got the shot, the doctor thought he was reaching for his hand and then I just started laughing again because, yes, I am a terrible wife.
It took a few days, but now he is feeling better. And it makes a great story for cocktail parties. Too bad we are never invited to any. But I think I know why….
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is very excited about her new home at the Jewish Standard, a paper she grew up reading. She is the mother of son #1, son #2, and son #3, and the wife of husband #1. (She calls him that because, well, you just never know….)