“Hey, baby,” he greets me with a smile as he makes his way over to the bed, leans over, and gives me a kiss. He lingers against my mouth and rubs his lips back and forth against mine before pulling away so he can look at me.
“Did you let our son watch 'The Sopranos' again today? I ask him with a raise of my eyebrows.
Carter laughs nervously and backs away. “No, why would you think that?”
Gavin stops bouncing on the bed and looks at Carter.
“Yes you did, Daddy. Don’t you wemember? Big Pussy cried and you called him a pansy-ass,” he says earnestly.
I look at Carter pointedly.
“And tell me you didn’t take him out in public today with that shirt on.”
We both look at Gavin’s shirt that boldly states, “They shake me.”
“I can neither confirm nor deny those rumors,” Carter says as he sits down next to me on the bed so he can put his shoes on. “Let’s just say we had lunch with Uncle Drew, and if I didn’t put the new shirt on Gavin that he bought him, there would have been a scene.”
“I’m pretty sure Gavin would have been fine if you refrained from putting him in that shirt,” I tell him.
“I’m not talking about Gavin. Have you met Drew?”
Gavin takes a leap off of the bed and runs out of the room. I scoot closer to Carter and rest my head on his shoulder. He lifts one arm and wraps it around my shoulder, pulling me against his side. He seems okay right now, so I figure there is no need to ruin the moment and ask him what his problem has been the past few days and if he still loves me.
“Sometimes I really hate that you work nights,” I tell him softly, wrapping my arms around his waist.
He turns and kisses me, easing both of us back onto the bed so we are laying in a tangle of legs and arms.
“You don’t have to lie. I know you like the peace and quiet during the week and having control over the remote,” he says with a smile as he brushes a piece of hair out of my eyes.
“You’re right, I do. But it doesn’t mean I don’t love you. It just means 'The Real Housewives of Orange County' can be watched without eye rolls and sarcastic comments. If anyone is going to judge Gretchen and Slade for their poor life choices it will be me,” I explain.
“Oh, that reminds me. I’ve got something for you,” he says as he pulled his arms out from around me and rolls onto his back so he can dig into the pocket of his jeans.
“Are you going to tell me that you have a present in your pants for me? Because I’ve got to tell you, I’ve been to that pants party a bunch of times. I almost got a concussion last time.”
Carter digs deeper into his pocket and huffs at me.
“It is not my fault I was unprepared for road-head. I thought you weren’t feeling good and were just going to put your head down in my lap. When a man’s penis suddenly makes an appearance in a moving vehicle on a Saturday night, an involuntary hip thrust WILL HAPPEN.”
He finally pulls his hand out of his pocket and holds it out to me, palm up.
“This is your present,” he says to me.
I look into his hand to see two small, orange, bell-shaped pieces of foam resting inside of a tiny plastic bag. I look at them quizzically trying to decide the correct response one should have when receiving something that looked like dresses for Polly Pocket dolls.
“Um, you shouldn’t have?”
Carter laughs at my obvious confusion.
“Oh I should have. Especially if I want to live through another night of sleeping next to you. These, my dear, are the best earplugs ever. They have bins and bins of them at work. If you like them, let me know and I’ll bring a bunch more home.”
He got me earplugs. He really DOES love me.
I take the bag from his hand and tear open the plastic with my teeth so I can pull the squishy orange plugs out and look them over. I roll one between my finger and thumb to shrink it, and then I push it into my ear.
I repeat the process with the other one and lie perfectly still as the foam slowly expanded until I can’t hear a single sound except for the whoosh of my breathing.
“THANK YOU SO MUCH, THESE ARE PERFECT!” I tell him.
At least I assume that’s what I said. To me it had sounded more like the teacher in a Charlie Brown cartoon.
Carter smiles and I see his mouth move.
His mouth moves again.
Does he not understand the concept of earplugs? The word itself is pretty self-explanatory. Ear. Plug. From the Latin root, “I can’t hear a f**king thing that is coming out of your mouth.”
I stick my finger in my ear and yank one of the plugs out.
“As I was saying, you’re welcome. I have to go to work now. Does this ensure that I can go to sleep from now on knowing all of my appendages will still be attached when I wake up?”
He pushes himself up off of the bed, and I pull the other ear plug out and toss them both on my nightstand so I can follow him out of the room.
“I do solemnly swear not to Lorena Bobbet your penis,” I tell him as we make our way down the hall and out into the living room.
Carter says a quick good-bye to Gavin who is sitting on the couch watching cartoons and then grabs his work bag off of the floor beside the front door.
“Don’t forget Liz and Jim’s co-ed pre-wedding party, that we are never to refer to as a bachelor-slash-bachelorette party, is this weekend,” I remind Carter as I plant a kiss on his cheek.
“I know. Drew already sent me three texts since lunch trying to get me to admit that I was joking when I told him there wouldn’t be strippers. I got a call from his phone after the last text I sent but he never spoke. I think he was just silently weeping in the background.”