The truth about true love

By Mir
December 20, 2012

Here is where I consciously choose to get away from The Heavy because I just need to, and we all pretend that’s perfectly logical and seamless and not weird. Yes? Yes.

Sidebar: Chickadee is supposed to get on a plane in a few hours. As of this moment, that’s still on schedule to happen. If you wouldn’t mind just, you know, crossing all of your fingers and toes that she shows up here tonight, that would be super swell. And it’s really not even for me; Monkey told me all he wanted for Christmas was for his “sissy” to be here with us, and then I melted into a puddle of goo, and that means it’s not even me being selfish and missing her, anymore, but about THE CHILDRENS and so I am just going to hopehopehope that tonight goes according to plan because DAMMIT something has to, this year.

In the meantime, I always have Otto here to entertain me. That’s what it means to love, honor, and cherish another human—you also provide them with blog fodder. I’m pretty sure it was in our vows.

And really, even if it wasn’t, it’s kind of too late for him now.

So earlier this week I was… uhhh… a little bit stressed out. Nothing earth-shattering was happening, not really, but I was sad and tired and a number of small things were just making me crazier than usual, and the result of this series of events was that I came home from running errands one afternoon and I was FUMING because I had—in the course of a day of numerous travels and appointments—gone to two different grocery stores, and NEITHER of them had cilantro. NO BUENO.

(Little-known fact: The straw that broke the camel’s back was put there as a placeholder for some desperately needed cilantro, and—being heavier than the herb in question—overloaded our poor dromedary friend. True story.)

I had made a MEAL PLAN. Even though I was sad and tired and stressed out. And that plan required cilantro. Nay, it HINGED UPON cilantro. And yet: NO CILANTRO. And because of yet ANOTHER appointment I hadn’t been able to run to a THIRD grocery store, which is probably just as well because I was pretty much foaming at the mouth and speaking in tongues by then.

I banged my way around the kitchen, ranting about my day and putting away all the groceries which were not cilantro, and Otto listened attentively and Monkey patted my arm whenever I would hold still enough, and finally Otto put a reassuring hand on my shoulder and looked deep into my eyes and said, “In a little while here, I am going to go out and pick up something for dinner. And I will go to the store and get the cilantro for tomorrow. How does that sound?”

My hero.

So that is, indeed, what happened that night. In addition, Otto didn’t JUST come back with cilantro and dinner, but ALSO with a dozen yellow roses. When I asked why, he said, “You needed them.” That’s just kind of how he is. The roses are lovely and HE is the best, obviously.

And the next day I made the (cilantro-laden) soup I’d planned, and all was well. But the important thing to note here is that Otto knew exactly what I needed and HELPED in the perfect way(s). Because he’s like that.

Now, let us consider the matter of Christmas, this year. I made Otto promise me that we would not exchange gifts with each other, on account of we bought a new bed and that was expensive, plus the hospital and Medicaid are still doing the tango and we’re not entirely sure what our portion of the remaining bills is going to end up being. (Insert hysterical laughter or quiet weeping here. Or both! Sometimes I do both.) Plus: We don’t need STUFF. Not this year. I mean, probably not ever, but especially this year. No stuff required, thanks.

Otto—big strong manly Otto—made sad toddler pouty face when I first floated the “no gifts” thing a few months ago. I explained my reasoning, and he nodded, but that pouty lip, man, it was still there. I reminded him that we could certainly still stuff stockings for each other (not a euphemism, freaks), and he brightened considerably. I then felt moved to add, “AND THAT DOES NOT MEAN just buy me tiny expensive things!” He agreed. Finally.

Fast forward to now. I, of course, did my little bit of Christmas shopping for Otto months ago. Otto, however, is milking every last dollar out of our Amazon Prime, and boxes keep arriving. I am deeply suspicious, and have concerns, but he’s a grown man and after all, normally he is preternaturally perfect, so I am trying not to fret.

But today some boxes came and Otto whisked them upstairs and then later he walked into my office with a big paper-wrapped bundle and a sheepish expression. “This was supposed to be for your stocking,” he said. “But I am, uh, worried about the dog. So I’m giving it to you now.”

Wait. Worried about the dog?? Have we not had enough dog worry lately? I gingerly took the offered bundle of paper and began to unwind the paper. And as I did so, the scent of… dog toys… wafted up to greet me.

… the hell?

Once it was completely unwrapped, I found another dozen roses. Otto stood there, expectant, and as I peered at the bunch in confusion, he blurted out, “SMELL THEM!”

I leaned in a little closer and sniffed. Yep. They definitely smelled like dog toys.

“What… uhhhh… I don’t get it?”

“They’re bacon-scented roses!” he declared, all glee and pride. I sniffed them again. Oh, bacon. Right. Kind of. I was still mostly getting eau de puppy chew, but I tried to muster some enthusiasm.

“Ohhhhh…” I said. “Thank you?” Then when my folks wanted to see what was up, Otto gleefully asked them what my favorite food is, and my dad and I said, “chocolate” in unison, and then my poor thoughtful husband looked kind of sad so I insisted that ALSO I am very fond of bacon (true) and this was lovely. Though I am feeling like chocolate-scented roses (or chocolate roses, om nom) might’ve been a less… smelly… choice.

Nonetheless, when the man you love does something so thoughtful, you can’t help but love him a little more.

They do look awfully pretty here on my desk. And I’m sure they won’t smell quite this strongly forever, right? Right. And maybe sometime we’ll look back and not say, “Remember that awful year?” but instead will say, “Remember that year you gave me those bacon roses?”

True love, man. It’s smelly.


  1. Jen H.

    My goodness, how I love your husband! Your luck runneth over!

  2. Otto

    I think they smell wonderful. And so does Licirice, who has the best nose in the house. So she should know.


  3. Elisson

    “Truer love hath no man, but that he lay down his sawbucks for to purchase bacon-scented roses for his lady.”

  4. Brenda

    Saying a prayer for Chickadee’s travels!

    I’ve seen bacon wrapped into roses, but I’ve never seen bacon-scented roses. Still, let’s give a big “AWWWWWWW” for Otto! What a guy. :)

  5. Beth B.

    Bacon Roses? AWESOME! What will this world think of next?!

  6. Tenessa

    Too bad they weren’t roses MADE of bacon. That would have been something to see.

  7. Chuck

    Yeah, the trouble with anything bacon-flavored or scented is – it’s not real bacon. Well, I guess the bacon salt tastes like real bacon, but in general, it just doesn’t seem to be quite right and only makes you long for the real thing. In my case, anyhow. I still have two bags of unpopped bacon flavored popcorn in my pantry for this reason.

  8. Alison C

    I hope Chickie is in the air!

    I think I love Otto

  9. Gaylin

    Bacon scented roses, that is true love.
    You do know us single women all want you to clone Otto!

  10. bonuela

    the above post was clearly written by a woman who has never had a bacon chocolate bar. if you had, THAT would be your favorite food!!

    i hope your visit goes well. if you have no expectations other than to be able to hug chickie, no challenges will ruin the visit and any good stuff will be a bonus. little victories is my favorite saying during challenging times.

  11. Dad

    An ingenious gift for the woman that has everything.

  12. Bob

    I’m with Otto – you’re always raving about bacon here. I would have never guessed chocolate is your favorite, based on how you rarely mention it.

    I foresee a total lack of bacon-type-stuff from Otto from now on.

  13. Katherine

    Praying that Chickee makes it home safely and feeling better!

    DH and I agreed on no big presents this year, but then his Kindle died, so I got him a new one and I had already picked out something over the summer. He, on the other hand, took this to mean “I don’t have to shop” and bought nothing – no gifts, no stocking (we celebrated this morning as we’re leaving town tomorrow). I can’t help but wishing he had wrapped up a note or something.

  14. ellen g

    I love Otto. I hate Cilantro. Happy holidays.

  15. amy

    That’s odd, but also awesome!! Tenessa, I’m sure someone has rolled up bacon and put it on a stick and made a bouquet of bacon. My husband would LOVE that, that’s probably the only way he’d accept ‘flowers’!!

  16. el-e-e

    Otto gets an A+ for that one!

    Merry Christmas, Mir family!! I hope Chickie gets home safely tonight!

  17. Arnebya

    Once again the world is shown the power of bacon. Works in every situation, that.

  18. Karen R

    Awwwww. And it is not selfish to want your child home. I light up when my adult offspring come for a visit.

  19. karen

    LOLOL… Bacon scented.. roses. :-) Love that guy, Mir.

  20. Kira

    Otto is made entirely of awesome. And bacon.

  21. Amanda

    So…are they genetically mutated to naturally smell like bacon or is it added after?

  22. Tracy B

    Exactly what Ellen G said. There is always chocolate covered bacon….seriously, have you ever had it? It’s amazing. Only in Louisiana, I guess! :)

  23. Katie K.

    Heh. You defiantly got one of the good ones. And I don’t even have to hate you for it because so did I. Hope your little Chickadee gets home tonight and you all have an amazing Christmas together.

  24. Rachel

    This: “I reminded him that we could certainly still stuff stockings for each other (not a euphemism, freaks)” made me laugh.


  25. MamaChristy

    Otto’s the bomb.

  26. KarenP

    Crossing every appendage so that Chickie makes it home. Saying a few prayers too, that your end of year ends up so much better than the beginning.

  27. Elizabeth

    The Vosges store is amazing. They’re very generous with the samples when they are not busy.

    Merry Christmas! God bring Chickie HOME!

    My poor husband has my birthday tonight and Christmas next week, and I am admittedly hard to shop for. Totally sympathize with Otto.

  28. Lise

    i hope that by now Chickie has landed and is cuddled up next to you on the couch.

    My two favorite foods are bacon and chocolate. Otto’s gift reminds me of the year that my oldest daughter rounded up her younger sisters the day before Mother’s Day and they made chocolate-dipped bacon with a variety of toppings for my Mother’s Day brunch. It was delicious, but what was wonderful about it was that my oldest has been vegetarian for years and does not exactly enjoy handling meat products.

    Have a wonderful holiday with your babies.

  29. Mary K. in Rockport

    Every appendage is crossed for you.

  30. Chris G

    I sincerely hope chickee makes it home for the holidays I love Otto and how thoughtful he is. Just going out to get dinner and cilantro not to mention the roses. That act is a better gift than most receive. To just do that without being guided to speaks volumes about who he is. I’m glad you have him in your corner.

  31. Celeste

    My honorary sister, who always spends Christmas with us, came early one year and we all went out for dinner. The rest of us were unaware that she had brought a sealed, gift-wrapped box of chocolates and put it under the tree with the other gifts. But Doggy-woggy-doodle realized it while we were gone and he ATE. IT. ALL. AND. THEN. THREW. UP. THREE. TIMES. We came home from a lovely dinner to find shredded gift wrap, shredded candy box, shredded plastic tray that candy came in, and three piles of doggy vomit.

    Fortunately, we knew from prior experience that milk chocolate doesn’t kill dogs. It might make them wish they were dead, but it doesn’t kill them.

    Wishing you all your children safe at home tonight.

  32. Amy-Go

    You know what I got out of this? Chocolate bacon. Which I have had. And it was awesome. And now I want more. Dammit.

    Well, that, and Otto is a keeper. But you knew that.

  33. Korinthia Klein

    That is really sweet. And weird. And sweet.

  34. Melody

    I hope that Chickie is home. Merry Christmas!

  35. Stimey

    Sometimes silver linings come in smelly wrapping. :)

  36. Chris

    And now I also want chocolate bacon – two great things that must be better together right?

    Love that Otto.

  37. Cele

    Oh mi gosh crying here… so thoughtful.

    BTW I totally would have said bacon was your favorite food. Totally and that’s only because I’ve read your blog for years and … yeah… duh… bacon .

    Or in the words of Homer Simpson (whom I do not watch) “… is there nothing it can’t do?”

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