It was the day after the fire. I’d been to the house for more clothes and to let Daisy pee, because she refused to pee on her walks, so we’d have to run her home so she could go potty in her own back yard. (She finally figured it out the last night and morning we were at the hotel.) I checked in on the Shih Tzus at my parents’ and brought them more food. (The Shih Tzus, not my parents.) They offered to keep Daisy, too, for a couple hours so I could get to the grocery store to lay in provisions for our hotel room, which came equipped with a kitchenette–a fridge and sink I used, and a stove I wanted no part of. I wanted to save Scott the trouble of running that errand after work, seeing as grocery shopping is my job anyway, and seeing as I’d just set our house on fire, and was feeling astoundingly stupid about and horrified by the whole thing, and was eager to make amends any way I knew how.
The Safeway closest to my folks’ place is not my Safeway, so I did a fair amount of wandering around trying to find things, many of which were selected purely on the basis of their chocolate content. (I needed comfort food; did I mention I set my kitchen on fire?)
As I came around the front end again, through the deli, and past the seasonal aisle, I saw him. It was his eyes that mesmerized me; I knew I had to have him.
You see it, too, don’t you?
So I pushed my cart over to where he was, reached to the very top shelf where he was waiting, and grabbed him. And then I hugged him, right there in the store, not caring who saw. And then he went in my cart.
I didn’t even look at the price until I was out of the store. I cared only that he was the only thing that had made me smile in the last 24 exceptionally shitty hours, and for that, I loved him, and would love him forever. The grocery checker loved him. The bagger loved him. The random lady that stopped me in the parking lot loved him, and I told her she could get her own: He was mine. And the best part was, he had the pleading eyes of our Shih Tzu Rocky, and the pouty lip of our Boxer Daisy. If Dr. Moreau had somehow created a crustacean lovechild of 2 of our 3 dogs, it would be this plush lobster. No question.
So as I drove my little Hyundai back towards the hotel, my lobster Larry (I had already named him) riding shotgun, I figured if Larry made ME happy, he would also make SCOTT happy. And frankly, under the circumstances, we could use a little happy.
Now, the truth is, Scott isn’t nearly as whimsical as I am, and I was 98% certain he would not appropriately appreciate a bigger-than-life stuffed lobster. Not like I would. Which is why I determined to stop by his office and leave Larry propped up in the driver’s seat of Scott’s car, peering at him with his earnest eyes and mopey lip as soon as Scott went to unlock his door. Because even if he didn’t appreciate Larry like I did, the very thought of him finding this ridiculous critter staring at him through the car window come 4:30 p.m. made me giggle, and that was enough for me. I cackled all the way back to the hotel, and then I took a nap, because I was exhausted.
Which is why I missed the text from my Mr. saying, “Did you lobster me???” As if there were any number of people running around the city that had keys to his car and were at all likely to leave a lobster in it. The fact that he didn’t instantaneously know it was me made me wonder whom he’s been hanging out with lately, because if, beforehand, you’d asked me how many people in his life would be likely to perform a covert lobstering, I would’ve thought my name, and my name alone, would’ve been on that list.
He carried it into the hotel room, looking more confused than amused. Which is kind of his default when dealing with me, and he asked me how we came to be in possession of this lobster, which I told him. He set it on the couch as he brought other stuff in from the car, where it was quickly discovered and slobbered on by Daisy, who takes no prisoners when it comes to fiberfilled animals.
So we had to put Larry on the top shelf in the hotel closet, lest Daisy destroy the most recent source of my happiness. And, under the understandable stress, plus, you know, being 42 and my ability to forget where I left my head, not to mention other things, grows daily at an astounding rate, I’d forget he was in there. So every time I opened the closet door, he surprised me, and I’d shout a delighted, “LOBSTER!” every time.
I am easily amused. Judge if you will; I happen to think I’m fucking charming.
Anyway, since we’ve been home, my beloved has been relocating Larry to various places in the house for me to find as I go about my housewifery. He has been perched on the laundry hamper in the closet, and on the stool of my makeup table, and nestled amongst the pillows in the bed, so far. I love it, and because Scott does it, I know he loves me.
23 years and counting. How do we do it?
Look at that face! Is he not the saddest lobster ever?