The Old Diarrhea Ruse

Saturday morning, 8:30am

I wake up groggily, the fog of Benadryl having coalesced with yesterday’s makeup into a sticky gum holding my eyelids shut. Dain is already wide awake, messing around on his phone. “You’re up!” he grins, “Lesgo-sgo-sgo, I want to do all the things today!”

“What?” I ask, “We’ll get everywhere, calm down.” Dain is never pushy, Saturdays are a ritual of chill for us: snuggle the cat in bed for a while, flop out on the couches in our underwear with coffee and our laptops, shower, get pretty, deposit our paychecks, farmer’s market, lunch, shopping, radio station, home. Today we have a couple of small additional goals, like getting him a nice ivory shirt for the wedding and finding a birthday present for one of my friends, but he’s bouncing up like the house is on fire and turning the hot water on, pulling the blankets back from my face where I’m hiding.


“I don’t feel like shaving my legs today,” I tell him as I glance down at two day’s (barely visible) stubble. “There’s no time like the present!” he says, handing me the razor. I laugh and shake my head, taking it. What the hell? I can’t recall him ever having an opinion about my sporadic leg-smoothness. He’s in a quirky little mood today, but I’ll just roll with it—worst case I’ll have nicely shaved legs and we’ll be home early from shopping with nothing to do…


I’m sipping coffee and reading the news with a towel around my hair. “Aren’t you going to get ready? I’ll make some breakfast while you’re in there.” Oh, right, hurrying.


“Oh, dang. You’re fast!” I’ve come out of the back room with freshly painted face and blow dried hair, dressed and in heels. “I know I am, it’s a gift!” We sit down and eat the eggs and chorizo he’s cooked up. I look at him in his uncharacteristically schlubby t-shirt and shorts, unshaven. Normally he’s crisp and man-pretty when we go out. “…and you?” I ask teasingly. “I don’t feel like shaving,” he says, and we both laugh. “Get your ass back there, you’ve been rushing me all morning!” He looks at his phone, smiling, in no hurry whatsoever.


“Sooooo… are we outta here?” He’s pensive for a minute, then looks at me with some alarm. “Ruh roh,” he says, “I maybe shouldn’t have downed that whole bottle of probiotics.” He scoots off to the bathroom in a comical penguin walk.


“Um, are you OK in there? You’ve been gone for a really long time.” I’d almost forgotten he went to the bathroom, it’s been so long. I’ve read all the news, caught up on all the facebook, and emerged back into the land of non-cyberspace. “I think I’m OK,” he says in a cute voice, “go back to whatever you’re doing.”


“Alright, all set!” he comes swaggering into the living room, still dressed in that cat-hair covered tee and shorts, with the addition of a pair of sneakers. “Are you sure,” I laugh. I gather my purse and things off the kitchen table, catching a glimpse of him checking out his camera in the other room. That’s odd. Suddenly there’s loud grinding horn sound—my irrational first thought is that his camera is exploding. I turn, and see all five of my bridesmaids bursting around the corner blowing party-horns. “Surprise! It’s your bachelorette weekend and we’re kidnapping you!” Dain snaps pictures of my reddening face, and tells me earnestly that they were supposed to be here a half hour ago. “I wasn’t pooping,” he whispers. Sure you weren’t.

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Managing Editor for Synthesis Weekly. Amy likes to make clothes, plant flowers, and chase butterflies.