How Bathroom Deodorizer Spray Almost Ruined my Life
by Teri Bales
Our marriage was typical, or so I thought; it had its ups and downs but for the better part of 10 years we were happy, and happy to be together. That all almost came crashing down one not-so-special June evening. After a busy Sunday afternoon of yard work and the standard errands to the home improvement store, big box store and a few other shops, Ted and I returned home completely wiped out. Ready for a late Sunday afternoon nap, we both sprawled out on the couch, when I happened to glance at the calendar on the fridge. “Oh, crap,” I said, “I have that stupid dinner tonight, I completely forgot,” I said in answer to my husband’s grunt of inquiry. “Have fun!” Ted chuckled as he settled further into the couch and almost immediately dozed off. “Typical,” I groaned and willed myself off of the couch and towards the shower.
The dinner was uneventful, I think I met my cousin from Dayton, Ohio at a nondescript restaurant, but to be honest, I don’t really remember. What I do remember is what I ate, and not for the reason you might imagine. I ordered a petite fillet and for dessert I splurged on a giant piece of chocolate amaretto cheesecake, which I quickly regretted. You see, I am a sufferer of that less-than-sexy syndrome you may know as IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (lovely I know, bear with me). Without getting into too many graphic details, I soon found myself cordoned off in the far stall of the Ladies Restroom of that fine establishment. After about 10 minutes or so I successfully convinced my dear cousin to go ahead home with the promise to call once I found myself able to leave my newly acquired porcelain throne.
Finally, feeling it was safe to reemerge, I quickly sprayed the bathroom spray provided, a lovely forest pine scent, washed my hands and exited the restroom.
Arriving home about an hour later, I was exhausted from my gastro-phy and all I wanted was a hot shower and my bed. Not to be. Upon my entry, I greet my husband with a brief hug and peck on the cheek before turning to go into our bedroom. “Where have you been?” The question didn’t throw me off as much as the tone my husband used. “What do you mean?” I asked him with honest confusion. “I told you, I had that dinner tonight, with my cousin, remember?” I half believed Ted was screwing with me or at the worst his memory was starting to fail him a little. Never would I have guessed he had infidelity on his mind. “Oh really? That’s funny, cause I called your cousin about 45 minutes ago and she said you stayed at the restaurant after she left,” it was obvious this was no joke.
Now, I’m not proud of this, but in the 12 years of being with Ted, I had managed to keep my IBS a secret. It was something I was embarrassed about, and let’s face it, there nothing sexy about this syndrome. So, faced with the choice of providing a false alibi or explaining to the man I shared a life (and a bathroom) with that I was prone to ‘potty emergencies’ of the worst kind, I was leaning towards lying as being the safer bet. “She must have misheard me, Ted. I left the restaurant just a few minutes after Shelly,” I fudged.
“I see. So now you’re lying to me,” Ted shook his head in disbelief. “I know you were with someone, Teri. I could smell his cologne on your blouse,” he said sadly. My mind was racing, cologne? What could he possibly be referring to? Did I knock into someone, a waiter perhaps at the restaurant? I couldn’t figure out what he was talking about and told him so. He didn’t like that. After going around and around, arguing into the night, Ted eventually stormed out of the house and didn’t come back for days. I sat stunned on my bedroom floor, surrounded by discarded tear-stained tissues and tried to make sense of what had just happened. How had things deteriorated so quickly? How could my loving husband morph into this crazed, jealous angry person? And where had he gotten the notion that I had been with another man, what phantom cologne had he smelled?
Taking off the blouse that had started it all, I brought it to my nose for a good sniff. Pine.
“Oh God, you have got to be joking,” I almost laughed at the idiocy of it all. Somehow I had sprayed myself with the restroom deodorizer spray from the restaurant and Ted had mistakenly believed that it was another man’s cologne.
For more from Teri Bales’ best seller How Bathroom Deodorizer Spray Almost Ruined my Life, send check or money order for $14.95 (+ S&P) to Dyer Straights Publishers, LLC at 110 23rd Ave. New York, New York. And next year look out for the made for TV movie based on this #1 seller coming to the Lifetime Channel in December.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: In celebration of Father’s Day and my step-dad’s birthday, I endulged with a big ‘ol piece of chocolate amaretto cheesecake (and pizza, and Publix sweet tea). I should know better. The combo of caffeine, sugar and rich food was not good, as my mom’s bathroom soon bore witness to (classy, ain’t I?). While I’m not officially diagnosed as having IBS ( I refused the stool sample… I just couldn’t do do it, haha) I’m 95% certain that I suffer from a degree of this syndrome, and have since high school. It’s triggered by stress, certain foods or combinations of foods and when it hits, oooo boy! Pray that there is an available latrine for this gal, and it’s not occupied. Ok, enough of that talk.
TWO: Upon recovering from my most recent bout of IBS, I utilized the bathroom spray that was conveniently located on the back of my mom’s guest room toilet. “Forest Pine” is what I think it was called, so I gave it a few squirts…which immediately enveloped me like a piney-fresh mist. Several minutes later, on my drive back home, I kept getting a whiff of this subtle but masculine scent and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. Finally, I sniffed my shirt and realized that the deodorizer had soaked into my shirt so that it smelled as if I had rubbed elbows, and perhaps more, with a lumberjack or woodsman of some sort. That got my imagination going, what if some jealous husband or wife or whatever got all worked up over nothing more than a room spray? The thought tickled me and I thought it was too funny not to explore a little.
Love & Squirrels.