The reason I've lasted 10 years with my wife is not because I make her laugh, which I haven't for about six years. It's not great sex, either (not for eight years). It's not even couple's therapy. I credit our romantic endurance to an uncommon medical condition. My marriage works because my wife lost her sense of smell.
When Jo Ann was 10 years old, an insect bite caused a case of encephalitis that resulted in traumatic brain swelling, three months home from school, and the foundation for what would one day be a happy marriage.
She can't smell a damn thing -- not freshly cut grass, a new car, or baking bread. She couldn't even smell the top of our newborn daughter's head.
I feel horrible for her.
But not that horrible, because it also means that, when necessary, I can go at least three days without showering. It means that I can have a beer with the boys and not cover it up with mints (unless I'm going to kiss her). And it means that I can I cook Sesame Garlic Tofu with absolute impunity.
Best of all, however, it means that I can "be myself" in bed, in the car, and on the couch, without dragging my comfortable ass into a bathroom every 12 minutes and building up resentment along with the methane. (I'm a vegetarian -- in case the Sesame Garlic Tofu didn't tip you off -- so this is more of an issue for me than most.)
Well, I can't completely be myself. Incredibly, even women who can't smell are still repulsed by farting. There's something about the idea of anus-to-sinus particle transfer that only males seem to find acceptable. So, while the smells I emit are not a problem, the sounds definitely are.
And that's why I believe that I am responsible for some of history's most perfectly crafted SBDs. (Even our dog, who sniffs other dog buttholes for a living, must occasionally leave the room.) If there is ever a sphincter-loosening Olympics, I'd qualify.
I can't recommend intentionally giving someone encephalitis, since they may die from it. However, there is no sometimes-fatal brain disease that's ever been kinder to me.
If you could, would you trade your sense of smell for a happier marriage?
Image via matiasjajaja/Flickr