Of mice and marriage

The mice are back. You’d think that with the warm weather and the enormous amount of edible biomass available to them outdoors, they’d much prefer to make their nests under the porch or over in the wood pile. I’m not sure what is so appealing about the wall spaces in my house, but then, I’m not a mouse.

I’m amazed by the amount of noise a 2-ounce creature can generate when it starts scratching around inside the walls. Equally amazing is the fact that The Husband cannot hear it at all. (OK, actually that part isn’t really amazing.)

Anyway, there we were getting ready to go to sleep the other night, reading (him) and doing the crossword puzzle (me).  In the late-night quiet, the sound was unmistakable: skritch, skritch, skritch. It was also coming directly out of my closet. I had left a shopping bag from Bloomingdale’s in there a couple of days before, and this noise was most definitely being made by a small critter scuffling up against the side of the tissue-filled paper tote.

“Can you hear that?” I asked. “Hear what?” he responded.

“There’s a mouse in the closet.”

“It’s probably just in the wall.”

“It’s not in the wall; it’s definitely in the closet.”

Being a guy, and not having any concern about the basket filled with pashminas or the many shoes that might become nesting spots for the unwelcome creature, The Husband promptly turned off his light, rolled onto his side, and began to snore. I returned to the puzzle, gave up after a few minutes, turned off my light, and tried to ignore the sounds coming from my closet. It was no use. I got out of bed, went into the kitchen and got the really big flashlight. My plan was to shine the light into the closet, scare the beastie out of there, shoo it into the hallway, and close the bedroom door. After five minutes of light-shining, no little beady eyes appeared. At this point, The Husband groggily joined the party.

“Go look under the sink and see if there’s a mousetrap. I’ll set it for you if you can find it.”

Back into the kitchen I went, found the trap and summoned my trusty hunter.

Here’s the scene no one ever imagines while they’re standing in front of God and Man making their wedding vows:

It’s 12:30 am. A middle aged couple (Wait–make that one middle-aged man and his Role Model wife) are in their kitchen on a warm June night, barely dressed. She is holding a very large flashlight. He is using a toothpick to blend brown rice and organic peanut butter with a toothpick; this is the bait that will be spread  onto a waiting mousetrap. Outside, a car passes by, its headlights glowing through the windows. The wife begins laughing so hard that tears come into her eyes. “What do you think that driver was thinking when he saw us in here?” she asks.

And there, my friends, is the Zen of fourteen years of marriage: preparing a healthy last meal for a small brown pest.

PS–the mouse never re-appeared.


2 responses to “Of mice and marriage

  1. I have learned through long practice the job of the partner who wishes to ignore or deny the mouse in favor of sleep. One must conjure or feign concern and participate energetically in selecting the walnut fragment and setting the trap, if not in making hotel reservations. Said trap should be placed deep inside a paper bag to minimize cooties. A big production should be made of inquiring whether a telltale SNAP was heard in the night and checking the bag. Squeamish mention should be made of tail upon capture. These appeasements will endear you to your spouse for life, and prevent ejection.

  2. “…prevent ejection…”
    or “…prevent er….”
    never mind

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