Back in the 5th grade at Hansen Elementary, circa 1989, there was a special needs student named Bobby who would join our class for one hour each day to study history. Bobby was a nice kid, he was just really slow. Kind of like a guinea pig, he was round and furry and dimwitted. I would not remember him to this day if it wasn’t for the booger incident.
Bobby joined us at the end of the day, when our attention spans were spiraling downward and a fly in the classroom could divert our attention from the lesson on Amerigo Vespucci. Bobby sat at a table at the back of the room since there was no desk available. On most days, Bobby came in, sat down, and nobody noticed the portly kid in faded blue jeans and holy T-shirts.
I don’t know who saw it first. But a buzz started rumbling in the classroom, that arose at the back and worked its way forward, like the entrance of a celebrity in a night club.
But instead of Kobe Bryant entering the VIP section at Delilah’s, a ginormous green booger had emerged from Bobby’s right nostril. And over the course of what seemed like 45 minutes, this goober the size of a gumball dripped down Bobby’s upper lip like a snail crawling on sandpaper.
The whispers turned to giggles. Pretty soon even the teacher couldn’t control her laughter. Good ol’ Josh, the class miscreant, decided to assist our forlorn protagonist.
“Suck it up, Bobby! Suck it up!” Josh shouted.
Bobby stared at him blankly, like a basset hound eyeballing a playful kitten.
“Suck it up Bobby!”
The entire class burst into laughter and our teacher, wiping tears from her eyes, put an end to the episode.
So what does this story have to do with marriage (besides the fact that just last night my wife told me I had a booger in my nose)?
Well it seems that more often than not, when dealing in daily conversations, I feel like poor Bobby.
When we are at Macy’s, and Lisa heatedly asks why I refuse to try on a pair of shoes I have no intention of purchasing, my brain says, “Suck it up, Bobby!”
When Lisa asks why I dropped my dirty socks in the hamper instead of putting them directly into the washing machine, I’m thinking, “Suck it up, Bobby!”
When we are sitting on the couch watching “Chopped” and Lisa is telling me about her high school friend who recently started dating a co-worker but she isn’t sure if he is really into her because he didn’t try to kiss her at the end of their first date and now he hasn’t responded to her text message after two days and I keep nodding in acknowledgement but then she asks, “What do you think?” and I’m like, “Suck it up, Bobby!”
Is this what marriage is like? Am I going to walk through the rest of my life with a huge green boogie hanging off my face?
I don’t know. Maybe not. Lisa is pretty good at wiping my nose with a Kleenex.