If you follow me on twitter, you may have noticed I took a fall last week:
When I say I fell, I mean I FELL. All the way down. The bags I was carrying flew through the air. There was a nightmarishly loud THUD as I hit the ground – knees, then elbows, then the rest of me. I heard a ringing in my ears. I felt my pulse in my face. I thought I might vomit. It was humiliating. It was painful. I gathered myself up from the cold tile floor, assuring people (and there were so many people) as I left that I was FINE and the baby was FINE and I just wanted to GO HOME, PLEASE. I limped to my car. I called Josh to tell him what happened. He left work right away. I did not cry.
I stopped for a milkshake on the way home, which I ate with a spoon on the back porch, my leg propped up on a chair, mom on the phone. I told her the whole terrible story. I still did not cry.
Josh got home and sprang into action. He got me ice for my knee, set me up on the couch, propped a pillow behind my back, started cooking dinner. He let me vent about how embarrassed I was, he was appropriately sympathetic to my already swelling and bruising knee. I told him the whole story again. And still, not a tear.
Eventually, Josh headed back into the kitchen to finish dinner.
He called to me from the stove – “What do you want on your pasta?”
“Butter and parmesan cheese,” I answered. “Lots of parmesan cheese.”
“You got it,” he said. I heard him open the fridge. And then there was a terrible pause.
“…Corley? Did you buy parmesan cheese?” he asked.
I should clarify something here: I didn’t ask him to buy parmesan cheese. I hadn’t mentioned that we needed any cheese. Short of reading my mind, Josh would have had absolutely NO WAY of knowing we needed parmesan cheese for dinner.
“I thought YOU bought it,” I replied.
There was another pause, and I could tell Josh was choosing his next words very carefully.
“I don’t think we have any, babe,” he said gently.
You guys, this next part is not an exaggeration. When I heard that we were out of parmesan, I threw my arm over my eyes like an overwhelmed debutante from the early 1900s and cried out “I CAN’T BELIEEEEVE IT.” And then I burst into tears.
And here’s what a champion my husband is. He calmly walked over to the side of the couch. He sweetly gazed down at me, a sniveling, roly-poly mess of tears and matted hair and smeared mascara. He tenderly placed his hand on the side of my face. And he said this:
“I know your knee hurts really bad, and that’s why you’re crying.”
HE GAVE ME AN OUT. He could have called me on the absolute craziness that is crying over cheese. He could have laughed at me. He could have told me to suck it up. He could have pointed out that healthy, responsible grown-ups shouldn’t eat pasta with butter and cheese for dinner. And instead, he gave me the chance to pretend I wasn’t crying over the cheese at all – that I was in the throes of injury, a warrior whose pain was simply too much to bear any longer.
“Stay there,” he told me. “I’ll be right back.”
“Where are you going?” I sniffled. And then Josh, my darling hero of a husband, stood up straight and said the most beautiful words I have ever heard.
“I’m going to get you some cheese.”