So much crap

My Husband Finally Organized His Water Bottles, And I Think It May Be My Biggest Turn On

I can be easily seduced by you simply putting your crap away.

by Emily Lee
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This is a story about the everyday menaces of domestic life, or how I almost perished in a mountain of water bottles. One sunny day, I was minding my own business, thinking about how I, too, could look like Salma Hayek if only I drank enough water, as the beauty gurus are always telling us to do. So I reached for a S’well bottle, placed bewilderingly on the topmost shelf of an overcrowded cabinet. But as soon as I opened the cabinet door, an avalanche of water bottles fell on me, hitting my head in a series of comical thumps from a Saturday morning cartoon, where the villain sits dumbfounded with stars circling his head. There were dozens of bottles my husband had accumulated in our decade of marriage. Plastic, metal, even one unfortunate glass bottle, all hoarded through sweaty zoo visits, resort stays with over-chlorinated water, and so many boring B2B conferences where dead-eyed marketers throw logoed swag at you as you pass.

The water bottle deluge hurt. A lot. So I yelped. Really f***king loudly.

“There is too much crap in this house!

My husband ran to me, upon hearing my dulcet tones. “Are you okay?”

I lay on the floor in a starfish spread. “Do I look okay? I’m concussed. You need to organize your shit.”

“Fine,” he said.

“I mean now. Otherwise, I’m buying a new house.”

Thanks to one-day shipping and the shared fear of having to navigate this absurd housing market, we found a solution. My husband bought several water bottle organizers designed to hold up to 12 bottles in neat little rows that assuaged my soul (though they did nothing for the mega-bump I was still nursing). He purged the excess bottles, even the ones from our post-college heyday, when we’d fill them with vodka before going to concerts. End of an era, truly.

When he presented that neatly organized water bottle cabinet to me, I nearly wept. I wanted to seduce my husband right there on the floor, underneath the water bottles. I’d whisper huskily, “You’ve been watching The Home Edit, haven’t you?” Afterwards, we’d hydrate ourselves like civilized people. This is, after all, what they mean when they say “through thick and thin,” right? Or maybe we should just switch that vow to: “through ridiculously petty household dramas and everything else.”

Marriage is not always glamorous. Actually, it’s almost never glamorous, and anyone who tells you otherwise is an A-list celebrity or a debutante who married the first man that flashed his Ivy League degree her way. And in remarkably unglamorous circumstances, you lean on comfort, familiarity —love, even. Like that little-known 1 Corinthians verse professes: Love perseveres.

Or, more likely, solid marriages are built on one thing and one thing alone: a credit card capable of purchasing miscellaneous products that will strong-arm two beings into marital harmony.

You do not need to go on a weeklong marriage retreat given by a stunning and terrifying guru and you certainly do not have to “work on yourself” (though those both might help in some circumstances). Here, in no particular order, are more products besides the water bottle organizer that have helped save my marriage.

Item #1: Sleep Apnea Machine

You’ve never known murderous intent until you’ve slept next to someone whose log-splitting snores jolts you from yet another vivid dream about Anthony Bridgerton sniffing your after-scent. The only way around this is by hooking your lumberjack up to a gurgling, hydro-fueled machine that looks just like something that would appear in Aliens. Sure, you may be stuck purchasing all the distilled water under the sun, and maybe he’ll suffer a bit of nosebleed from the plastic shoved up his nostrils. But it’s worth it. Marital harmony rests on the ability to dream about another man while sleeping soundly next to your husband.

Item #2: Kindle for Spicy Romance Novels

But if rakish dukes just don’t do it for you, and you’re feeling like you want to slowly and seductively run your big toe up your partner’s hairy shin one night? You can get in the mood with a spicy romance novel that promises everything from heaving bosoms to a vampire-themed menage a trois that leaves you squirming under the sheets, ready to jump your husband’s bones. Obviously, if you must protect your “virginal,” church-going reputation (looking at YOU, Sharon with the five kids and all the pearl clutching about Nicki Minaj), a Kindle is the best way to whet your sensual appetites while maintaining a facade of docility behind a circumspect screen. Pro tip: Kindle Unlimited is where the truly NSFW stuff is. Best $9.99 you will ever spend.

Item #3: Back Scratcher

People promise a lot of things when they’re in love: fidelity, loyalty, and above all, unlimited, on-demand back scratches. When I tell you the betrayal I felt the first time my husband refused to give me a back scratch in the middle of an episode of Ozarks. In order to circumvent the broken promises of courtship, you can purchase your very own back scratcher (or foot massager, or what have you) and break those physical ties altogether. And unlike a partner, back scratchers can be safely tucked behind the couch when their purpose has been served.

Item #4: Poo-Pourri

This is self-evident, and if it’s not obvious to you, then you might be living with an extraterrestrial lifeform that does not excrete in typically repulsive ways. If that’s the case: congratulations; I’m envious.

Item #5: A Big-Ass T.V. for the Basement

You can tell yourself it’s for “family movie night”; no judgment. Here’s where that shiny credit card comes in handy. You go to Best Buy, find the most mansplainy-looking associate you can, and have him take you to the hi-def television of your husband’s dreams. Make it so very big that everyone secretly wonders what you all are “trying to prove.” So big that Kristin from across the street tsks, proclaiming that her family prefers classic literature and the stylings of Beethoven over screen time, even though no one gives a shit what Kristin thinks because she’s having an affair with the mailman. Buy that gargantuan baby and install it right in the basement, next to the fold-out couch. That way, if you ever need peace and quiet, you just gently suggest that there’s a sportsball tournament that requires his loud and determined backseat coaching. He’ll be down there faster than you can say, “Solo daydrinking.”

Item #6: Nespresso machine

If you have a kid, chances are that there will be some late nights. And when one partner is attending to the baby, the other person will likely be sleeping fitfully. So before you even attempt to look at one another in the morning, you need to fuel up on coffee. I mean it. Don’t even breathe in the other person’s direction, much less begin expounding a decades-long list of grievances about your meddlesome mother-in-law, until you’ve had some life-giving caffeine. But here’s the thing: this is no time for a fancy Chemex that looks vaguely like a health class diagram, or a French press that is extremely tempting to throw across the room in a sleep-addled temper. You need a machine that does everything for you. Just don’t forget to refill the water when you’re done. Nothing prompts domestic warfare like an empty water canister.

And if you're looking for more marriage tips, please attend my next seminar on more ways to buy yourself into a healthy marriage, where I will sell you a timeshare you can’t afford in exchange for dry pastries and more embarrassing, overly personal revelations about my marriage.