Bug Spray

Bug Spray

Our wedding was on October 14, 1966. But our marriage began three weeks later. We were dressed up and on our way to the swankiest restaurant in town. We had saved all week for the big splurge. One problem–my bride was wearing the most horrible perfume ever manufactured. Smelled like a mixture of mustard gas, black pepper, and vaporized maple syrup. I still get queasy thinking about it. We had stopped at a railroad crossing. It was cold outside. The windows were up and the heater was on. My nose and lungs silently begged for mercy. But I didn’t want to upset my bride with a comment about her perfume. I had decided the one perfect marriage in history would be ours. No conflicts…no harsh words…no hurt feelings…no tears…nothing negative. My wife had made a similar resolution. For three weeks we had walked on eggshells, protecting each other from the slightest unpleasantness. Dare I break the spell? Dare I be honest and open? She had soaked in that blasted stuff every day of our marriage. I knew I couldn’t hold out forever. So I said in my sweetest, softest voice, “Honey, that perfume smells like bug spray.” Silence! Like the silence that must have followed President Roosevelt’s announcement that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. I stared straight ahead trying

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