When you’re hot and heavy at the start of a love affair, you might imagine you and your beau getting married, but you don’t imagine being married. You don’t imagine going to Costco, much less buying a freakishly huge bag of M and Ms there, much less fighting over the huge bag of Costco M and Ms. Because if you did, the love affair would end right there.
The other night, when I couldn’t sleep, in between scanning through my mental calendar and remembering all the Evites I’d forgotten to reply to, feeling guilt-ridden about how I’ve never bothered to teach my daughter her ABCs while my son knew the whole freaking alphabet at this age, and worrying about how I’d locate different elements of the kids’ Halloween costumes, I also managed to squeeze in some recalling of fond memories from the start of David and my love story. I recalled specifically one beautiful night, right at the very start of it all, in college, when he was dating someone else and we’d been forbidden to talk, but he picked me up in his car anyway and took me to a Greek diner off-campus for a heart-to-heart. I remembered how I rolled the window down, and cried my silent, cinematic tears, and how I felt compelled to empty my pockets while we were driving home, and throw everything that was in them out the window of the moving car. We didn’t kiss, we didn’t have sex – we just pined for each other. Ours was a love that could never be! It was tragic! It was the stuff of novels.
Then, immediately after playing this scene in my mind, I played another scene, from earlier that night – the scene of the M and Ms. David, family man that he is, usually handles our monthly trip to Costco, with Seconda in tow. On one such trip, he came home with a mammoth sack of M and Ms, which must have held at least four million M and Ms.
“Why’d you buy four million M and MS?” I asked.
“Oh, I told Sec she could pick something out and this is what she wanted.”
Now, I try not to surrender to the harpie hag instinct in me, which is why I didn’t voice my extreme annoyance at having to find a place in our teeny, tiny kitchen for four million M and Ms, which would go uneaten for months since none of us really eat M and Ms. I mean, I COULD eat them, and I have been tempted to, just to get them from taking over an entire cabinet, but the last thing my ass needs is four million M and Ms, so instead, I’ve just been silently seething over them.
Finally, I found a way to get rid of some of the candy. We were having a few kids over for pre-Halloween festivities and I thought. “GREAT! I can unload some of these space-sucking M and Ms onto the kids. Perfect!”
I went to pull down the sack off the high shelf where David had stashed it. What I didn’t know was that the two-ton bag of candy-coated chocolate had not been sealed all the way. And when I yanked it down, the entire bag of M and Ms poured from the high shelf all over the kitchen.
If you haven’t heard the sound of four million M and Ms hitting the floor from a high altitude, I highly recommend it. It’s something quite extraordinary The sound was so thunderous, in fact, that it caused the kids to run out of their bedroom, to see what all the fuss was about.
There I was, standing in a sea of rainbow candy. There were M and Ms all over the floor and the counter, inside the pots and pans on the butcher block, behind the stove, under the stove, EVERYWHERE. I just stood there, stunned, exhausted. The kids headed back to their rooms, chuckling heartily.
David ran in, too, and gave me what appeared to be a, “Oh, come on, not another huge mess” look.
This triggered the fight.
“This isn’t MY fault you know.” I pointed out.
“I hope you’re not implying its MY FAULT!” he said, “since I was no where NEAR YOU.”
“But you put the M and Ms back without CLOSING THE BAG!! WHO DOES THAT?”
“THERE WAS A TEAR IN IT!”
“AND you bought the STUPID, insanely-big bag in the first place!”
I’ll spare you the rest, mainly because it just went on like this, with more and more four- letter words for another ten minutes Then I spent an hour cleaning up the mess, and David helped, too, and then I went to bed and stayed awake, juxtaposing this scene with the First Blush of Forbidden Love scene from years ago.
In the morning, I told David about how depressing it was to replay the scenes back to back. I tell him whatever cockamamie, hysterical thought pops into my mind, without editing, and to his credit, he’s very good about handling it. Later that day, I got an email from him, which was titled. “Don’t cry over split M and Ms” and the message went something like this:
Of course we fight over stupid shit like spilled candy, he said, because that’s the dumb, mundane crap that tired, frazzled people fight about. It doesn’t mean our love isn’t as true and deep than it was oh-so-many years ago when the only Coscto-sized item we needed was a super-sized box of Trojans. In fact, he said, check the nightstand, and you’ll find just that, purchased along with the M and Ms. Because while we may be older, and tired-er, and haggier and craggier, we’re still in it to win it, which is to say, lovebirds.
It was a hell of a love letter. And I slept like a baby that night.