Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Anti-Valentine's Day Story

Here's my more practical, decidedly (and deliberately) less romantic version of the steamy scene over at The Clarity of Night.

I call it "Two Too Many in the Tub"

Maggie turned on the water, sighing. The kids were finally in bed. Ten o'clock. A bath to herself. Lovely.

She searched through the cluttered cabinets and finally found a bottle of nearly-empty lavendar-scented bubble bath. It had spilled all over the drawer, destroying a tube of expensive lipstick as well as soaking a package of heartburn medicine.

"Dammit," she muttered, but didn't clean the mess. It would be there tomorrow.

Slowly, she poured what little was left of the bubble bath into the tub. The smell of fake flowers hung heavy in the air. Maggie sneezed and turned off the water.

She quickly undressed and got into the tub without testing the temperature. "Ahhhh!" she yelled, jumping out and hopping around on the fuzzy blue bathmat. She looked down. Her legs were bright pink from mid-calf to her toes.

Suddenly, the door opened. Bruce stood there, silent at first, then laughed.

Maggie was pissed. "What the hell is so funny?"

Bruce's grin faded... a bit. "It's not every day that I see you looking like a boiled lobster."

Maggie flipped him off and gently got back into the tub. She turned her head from her husband of eleven years, hoping he'd get the hint.

When she didn't hear the door close, she looked back and was mortified to find him undressing. "What in the world are you doing?"

Bruce stood in his stained underwear, hairy belly flopping over the stretched-out waistband. "Well, I thought it would be romantic..." He stopped.

Maggie rolled her eyes. She had been so looking forward to time by herself for a change. But she knew Bruce would pout if she didn't give in. "Come on," she said, scrunching her body up against the faucet to make room in the tub for 220 pounds of testosterone.

Bruce disrobed in record time, knowing his window of opportunity was limited. He got into the tub, wincing at the pain of the steamy water. "This is hot."

Maggie stared at him. "No shit, Sherlock."

Once settled, Bruce smiled at Maggie, who returned his expression with a frown. She crossed her arms. "What now?" she asked.

Bruce tried to extend his legs so they intertwined with hers, but soon discovered that whenever he tried to move much, the water sloshed over the top of the tub, spilling onto the floor.

"You're cleaning that up," Maggie said without emotion.

Bruce desperately wanted to salvage the mood that had never come to fruition. He began to stroke her legs but quickly recoiled in disgust. "When was the last time you shaved?" he demanded.

It was time for Maggie to laugh. "I don't know. It's winter." She turned her head to rest her face against the cold water knob.

Feeling foolish yet determined, Bruce maneuvered himself so he was close to Maggie's face. He kissed her cheek. It felt like a moist, dirty sponge beneath his lips. He resisted the temptation to gag.

Maggie turned to look at her husband. She knew sex was inevitable tonight, but she was damned if she was going to do it there. Too much chafing. Too little pleasure.

"Let's get out of here," she muttered.

Bruce awkwardly escaped from the tub and began drying himself with a threadbare towel. Maggie got out, too, wondering if she had remembered to take her birth control pills and hoping to heck she had.

Without warning, Bruce pulled Maggie close to him. She could smell the garlic on his breath. His face came closer and she resigned herself to the knowledge that there would be no "down time" this evening. Again.

"Wahhhhh!" The voice wailed from down the hall. "Mommmmmmy!"

Maggie brightened. "Jenny's crying! Gotta go now, hon!" She pecked Bruce on the ear. "Coming, sweetheart!" she yelled to the nursery. In a millisecond, she was gone.

Bruce stood naked, dripping lavendar-scented beads and standing in a pool of rapidly cooling water.

"Happy Valentine's Day." He slowly walked to the bedroom. He needed a cigarette.

10 comments:

SzélsőFa said...

I laughed all the way. Oh the irony. Oh the psychology! Oh, the insight. Oh, the familiarity :)))
Thanks!!!

jason evans said...

Oh man, I really enjoyed that! Great one. :D

Did you ever see the movie Weird Science? There's a great line delivered by an exasperated Anthony Michael Hall that goes something like: "We know the reality. Don't mess with the fantasy." LOL!!

Seriously, though, I don't find it too hard to live the fantasy. Both people just have to seriously want it.

I don't look forward to older children, though. Those types know too much....

Aine said...

Ha ha! Fantastic piece!

It's all in how you choose to describe it.

I'm glad I married a poet.
:D

The Quoibler said...

Szelsofa:

Glad to have tickled your funny bone! :)

Jason:

My hubby and I LOVE Weird Science! What a hoot it is. And you bring up a good point -- it's all in how you treat it.

Aine:

You lucky lass! :)

Sarah Hina said...

I had to stop by here from Jason's. This had me falling off my chair! I loved Jason's piece, but this had the, um, stench of reality. ;)

Thanks for the laugh! I loved it. :)

Ello said...

That was too funny! I was actually right with there relieved that someone was calling for Mommy! Ha! You killed me with this one!

Sarabeth said...

Very funny. Great job.

Joni said...

Should I be ashamed to admit that my situation would much more resemble your story than Jason's?

Hmm, when was the last time I shaved my legs?

Happy Valentine's Day.

Mary Witzl said...

Yes, honey, you are telling it like it is! Whenever I read scenes of unbridled passion between between long-term married couples, I find myself snorting with disbelief. They might be able to fool a few wistful singles with that stuff, but not me, bub.

You ought to print this up and take it on down to a couple of churches. Get the priest to show it to soon to be newlyweds just in case they've been poisoned by a lethal dose of Hollywood.

The Quoibler said...

Sarah:

Stench is right, baby! ;)

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Ello:

ha ha ha ha ha!

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Sarabeth:

(Great name, by the way!)

Glad you liked my story...!

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Joni:

Hey, shaving's overrated, right?

Thanks for stopping by!

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Mary:

You had me cracking up. Yeah, I'll bet the priests and nuns would really want me to show this to their classes... then again, maybe you're right. It definitely shows the "after the passion" side of marriage!

Hey, in love you don't always get the big ol' fresh-baked cookie, so you gotta be happy slurping up the leftover crumbs.

Angelique