Behind Enema Lines: The Day I Knew the Honeymoon Was Over

Author’s note: This was my entry for the 2016 Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop Essay Contest. Once again, I LOST. But bonus, you get to hear the most embarrassing story of my LIFE, which I have actually told to very few people. I was hoping it would garner me a win! Talk about your all-time backfires. Pun intended. ENJOY!

Behind Enema Lines: The Day I Knew the Honeymoon Was Over


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“Marry the person who will help you to the bathroom”.


So commands the title of a recent Washington Post feature in which the author describes her spouse’s tender care after her emergency C-section.


But I can do her one better.


My own emergency C-section added some marital challenges that my husband and I hadn’t foreseen. We’d always been private about “bathroom stuff”; we never dreamed we’d go from “I do” to “Can you help me pull up my mesh hospital panties?” in just under four years.


Courtesy of a surgery side effect called an ileus, I couldn’t poop or pass gas after birth. So, my belly, (you know, the one that just had a giant hole cut in it because my hoo-hah wouldn’t perform?) swelled back up to full-term pregnant size—and it hurt like a MOTHER. To remedy this, I got an emergency enema.


Fortunately for me, the enema worked. Unfortunately, it started working at the precise moment my mother-in-law chose to visit her new grandson.


Trust me, there’s nothing like hoping the moans of your intense pain will cover the seismic sounds of your backed up bowel contents exploding into the toilet so that your mother-in-law won’t hear. (She totally heard).


But the spastic colon party was really just getting started. Back in my bed, my bowels decided to prove their reactivation once again. And my poor husband? He alone had a ringside seat for this one.


Without warning, loud enema-fueled chemical farts started spewing forth from my nether regions. We looked at each other in shock. Farts? We don’t fart in front of each other! Before panic could even set in, volley after volley of the longest, loudest, stinkiest farts that have ever been farted came jumping out of my body. It was like an eleven-year-old boy ate a 48-ounce can of baked beans plus a tube of your grandma’s stinky antibiotic ointment and just went to TOWN.


Horrified, we could do nothing except laugh uncontrollably…but the laughing caused me excruciating pain. After about 15 minutes, this cycle of fart-laugh-moan had us in such hysterics that I had to banish my husband from the room so that my flatulence would be less hilarious and I wouldn’t DIE FROM THE LAUGHING PAINS.


Somehow, I survived—and after those odiferous fifteen minutes in that hospital room, I knew that man was in it to win it with me for LIFE. Twelve years later, we still roll with laughter when one of us brings up the “Chemical Fart Incident”.


So girls, please: Do marry the person who will help you to the bathroom. Or maybe? Be like me and marry the dude who can withstand your chemical farts.

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My Patronage, the Kiss of Death

Bobby reminded me on Friday (which was April 17th), that it was the tenth anniversary of the day we got engaged. I knew the date, but it hadn’t dawned on me yet until he said something. We just celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary in March (all you mathmeticians will figure out that this means we were engaged for eleven months), and the date of our engagement (which is now also my nephew’s eighth birthday) just snuck up on me.

The day we got engaged was really fun. Bobby told me we were going to go out that night and he took me shopping and bought me a fancy dress. Then, that evening he took me to our favorite restaurant, the Peasant Stock, which was right downtown on the river. After that we went to one of our other favorite downtown spots, Samuel Johnson’s coffee house, at First & Main. After we ordered our coffee and sat down, Bobby got down on one knee and proposed. I proceeded to bawl for about 45 minutes (saying “yes” somewhere in there), and then we went home and told my parents (who already knew it would be happening.)

The following March, we had a wonderful wedding, preceded by a wonderful rehearsal dinner at the Happy Palace – a Chinese restaurant that had long been a favorite of the Rapson family. They had a huge buffet for us and even made steaks for my dad and my brother, who don’t like Chinese. It was the YUM! A really great night.

A couple of weeks after our honeymoon, Bobby and I returned to Samuel Johnson’s coffee house to celebrate the one year anniversary of the day we got engaged. We were a little late getting in the door – it was close to closing, and the guy working let us stay late when we told him why we were there.

It was the last time we ever went there. Shortly thereafter, the coffee house closed.

For our first wedding anniversary, we got all dressed up and went to the Peasant Stock, the restaurant we’d eaten at the night we got engaged, to celebrate. We both noticed that things there seemed a little different.

It was the last time we ever went there. The Peasant Stock, which had been in Dayton for years, closed about a month later.

A couple of years after our wedding, the Happy Palace Chinese restaurant changed ownership, was repainted about a thousand times, and finally, closed down. The building isn’t even there anymore. It was demolished a couple of years ago.

Needless to say, Bobby and I had to find some new favorite places to eat and hang out. For our fifth wedding anniversary, we went for the first time to Dominic’s, an Italian restaurant that had been in Dayton for 30 years. I had been there before, but Bobby never had, and I knew he’d love it. And he did! We also went there for our sixth anniversary, and several times when Bobby’s mom was visiting, and with friends to celebrate their pregnancy. When Sophie was 4 months old, we went there for our seventh wedding anniversary.

That’s the last time we went there. A few months later, Dominic’s, which had been in our fair city for THREE DECADES, closed down.

I’m sure you’re getting the picture.

In order to do as little damage to our city’s economy as possible, Bobby and I try not to have any “favorite places” to frequent anymore. It’s just too dangerous!

For some reason, places of business associated with our marriage don’t seem to do so well. Rapp Jewelers, I’d be a little nervous if I were you!

What can I say? The marriage is good. If a little commerce is all that had to be sacrificed, well then, I think it’s been worth it!

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