She had trouble sleeping and typically didn’t drop off till after midnight but at least when she had fallen asleep, she stayed asleep. This made it all the more infuriating when she was woken by her husband as he tossed and turned because it was warm or a dog was barking, or whatever.
One morning she awoke before dawn to a light, fluttering sensation on her left foot.
When she looked down, she discovered her husband leaning over, tickling her toe with the tip of his index finger.
Later that morning, over brunch with their friends, she said that if she was in a bad mood it was because of the antics of her husband only a few hours prior, and she explained the tickling.
A friend said it could have been worse, he could have bitten her foot, to which everyone laughed heartily.
Another friend said, if a man bites your foot then I think you’re headed for divorce, shooting a look at her own husband who turned bright red and suddenly took a keen interest in the tablecloth.
The laughter, which had been so easy, died away as everyone stared curiously at the husband who continued tracing the pattern on the tablecloth, while his wife picked up a knife, and slowly began buttering her scone.
It is never a bad thing to go to somebody’s house expecting a swell dinner party only to have the hostess and her husband descend into a shouting match whereby one or the other or both end up locked in the bathroom. It instils in the guests a strange sense of normality, a feeling that their own arguments perhaps aren’t so bad after all. The guests depart the party deeply satisfied though for a completely different reason than the hosts intended.
But this is only temporary.
As the guests move further and further from the event they will find themselves waking in the night and wondering if they would have the audacity to make such a scene; wondering how it would feel, just once, to let fly of the situation, to stomp their foot and slam a door in public. Aloud, they denounce it— ‘what a drama’ and ‘how embarrasing’ —and dismiss it from conversation, but privately this curiosity clings to their minds like cobwebs to the unused corners of the room.
She finds couches offensive. The notion that she is to park her ass on a piece of furniture, that it will support her and comfort her throughout the day, is ludicrous.
Her husband tells her to just sit, she is blocking the television.
She erupts, he has no idea what it is like, he cannot imagine the stress she endures at home with the couch, let alone when visiting other people’s houses where they expect to her to sit on their couches like it is not extraordinary.
He yells that perhaps she should not visit other people’s houses, that she should sit at home and bake and sew, like a good wife.
She screams that they are not living in bloody caveman times.
He says, no they are not living in bloody caveman times, because if they were living in bloody caveman times there would be no couches.