I knew I made the right choice after we were married. On our honeymoon, we went to Miami (no, it’s not coincidence that that’s where Steve’s favorite NFL team plays and there just happened to be a game [albeit pre-season] during our trip). I’m not a fan of heat and scorching sun, but Steve did want to spend some time in the ocean, so I came along, with my beach towel and my book. Just one hour. That’s all I could handle without shriveling up like a grape does into a raisin.
So after one hour, we emerged from the sun back into the shady, air-conditioned hotel where I belonged. It wasn’t long until I felt the burn. It started at my knee-pit, were all burns seem to begin. Then it crept up and down, until soon my entire body was inflamed. I looked like a tomato, and felt like a fried one. And not just for that day. For. the. rest. of. the. god-forsaken. trip.
Steve ran down to the CVS and bought me some “burn relief” aloe vera. It hurt so bad to be touched, even the cooling sensation offered no relief. Yet regardless, he faithfully triple-coated my arms, legs, my back, my stomach. And I laid there. Laid there watching $10 movies, keeping up on the latest of the Warren Jeffs scandal. He brought me breakfast, lunch, and dinner. His honeymoon was spent as an errand boy and mine as a vegetable.
Weeks later, my burn subsided. Or should I say, it flaked off to my incessant scratching in the O’Fallon, IL Cracker Barrel. Sorry about that server and busser. Just imagine it was shaved Parmesan, not mounds of skin. And Steve still isn’t scarred enough to consider going on a vacation with me somewhere tropical. Tropical? He’s crazy. I have been suggesting NYC, but he’s a sucker for the ocean and the idea of drinking cocktails with umbrellas in them (although I’m sure he would end up with a beer, and maybe a rum and coke if he was feeling exotic).
Just when I thought, three years later, my burn victim memories were behind me, that bottle of blue burn relief fell out of my bathroom cupboard today. I smiled, only because it’s over. And because, three years later, he is still taking care of me. And I’m still the biggest pain in the ass anyone could end up with.