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Dirt Blindness August 23, 2011

Posted by Sobek in AA - Uncategorized.

This will probably be one of the hardest things I will ever write, let alone post on the internet for the world to see.  But it’s something I think is important.  Not just to me.  Or to my wife.  Or my therapist, or the parole officer, or the nice gentleman who sells tamales in the Wal-Mart parking lot.  I think it is important for anyone who has ever struggled with something, thinking they were alone, not realizing that there’s help out there.

A Match Made in a Teenaged Girl’s Trapper-Keeper Doodles

Ten years ago today, I married the most wonderful woman in the world.  When the chloroform wore off and she decided, against all probability, not to seek an annulment under the surprisingly liberal laws of the State of Nevada, I knew she was truly the One.  Ours was an idyllic marriage, the perfect union.  She would feed me peeled grapes while fanning me with a palm frond, and I repeatedly promised to try harder not to get cracker crumbs on her side of the bed.  We were like the titular characters in the classic Shakespearean tale of romance, Othello.

But unlike Othello, it seemed we were destined for tragedy.

It Gets Real

One day, a few years back, Mrs. Sobek and I were both tired after a long, hard day of hunting the purple buffalo.  We wanted nothing more than to fall asleep and rest our weary bodies, but we knew that the house was a mess, and if we didn’t clean it, the house would be just as messy in the morning, assuming no helpful gnomes broke in to tidy up for us.  (Despite my best efforts and countless dollars wasted on gnome traps, this has never happened.  Yet.)  So we shrugged our shoulders and got to work, with Mrs. Sobek washing the dishes and doing all the laundry, and me playing Command & Conquer for a few hours.

Eventually I realized that she had been asking for my help with cleaning, so I grumbled a bit and went into the kitchen.

“What do you want me to do?”  I asked.

“Please sweep the floors, dear.”

“I’m a crocodile,” I reminded her.  “And what’s wrong with the floors?”

“‘Dear’ is a term of endearment, and the floors are filthy.”

“No they aren’t.  They’re fine.”

“They are not fine.  They are completely covered in dirt.”

“Whatever,” I rolled my eyes in my most seductive manner.  Seriously, though.  The floor was fine.  I could see for myself that there was no dirt on it, and she was making crap up.

I won’t bore you with the rest of the conversation.  Partly because my side of the conversation was mostly me quoting the live-action He-Man movie, starring Dolph Lundgren and Michael J. Fox’s principal from the Back to the Future movies.

Also partly because the details are unimportant, because the conversation replayed itself over and over again.  You see, clearly my wife was a crazy person, to be humored but not taken seriously when it came to whether or not the floors were fine.

 Cracks in the Facade … of DOOM!

We argued more and more frequently.  Eventually, we both agreed that for the sake of our marriage and me playing more Command & Conquer, we needed some time apart.  She packed up for a week of touring abandoned glass factories in and around Pittsburg, PA, and I played video games until my were literally on the verge of bleeding, and my body learned how to use Red Bull instead of plasma because, what else was it going to do?

That was a week of supreme clarity for me, in more ways than one.

First, I realized that GDI is essentially useless against a competent Nod.  Second, and more importantly, I realized I desperately missed Mrs. Sobek, and I needed and was willing to do anything to make her come home to me and stay.  A clean house, I realized, would be a great gesture.  So in blatant disregard for the oath I swear every week at my Man Meetings, I cleaned the house.  I vacuumed, I scrubbed, I washed, and I solvent-applied my way through that house from top to bottom, until it was so clean it sparkled.

Then I looked down at the kitchen floor.  It was perfectly clean, of course.  No need to sweep, mop or vacuum, because there was no dirt on it.

But something in the back of my head told me to look again.  I squinted and crouched down, with my head almost on the floor.  Nothing.  No dirt.  Satisfied, I stood up and grinned the smuggest grin I could manage, which is pretty freakin smug, as it turns out.

But no, something told me to look again.  I got down on my hands and knees, and I saw no dirt.  But something … some … thing, made me put my fingertip on the floor and trace it around in a circle.  And when I lifted my finger to my eyes, I could clearly see.

It was covered in dirt.

The Filthy Truth … And Hope

My mind reeled, and I sat down hard as though knocked backwards.  How could there be that much dirt on my fingertip, when I could so easily see that there had been nothing on the floor?  Was it possible that my eyes, rather that my crazy, hallucinating wife, had been wrong all this time?

Try as I might to explain it all away, I now knew the awful truth.  I was Dirt Blind.

Dirt Blindness is a rare condition that affects about 152,000,000 men in America, as well as all of the Hippy women.  All of the frustration, shouting matches and thumb wars that had plagued my marriage were due, not to my outlandishly selfish egotism, but to an actual medical condition.

I need not go into much detail about how happy my reunion with Mrs. Sobek was.  For her part, she could hardly believe her eyes when she saw that I had mopped, however incompetently, without physically injuring myself.  And I was just happy to have her back.  After a week of living like a severely mentally handicapped college bachelor, I realized just how much she means to me, and how much I love her.

We’ve only grown closer since then.  As we finish the first ten years of our marriage, and look forward to many more tens of years of marriage, we have a bond that can’t be severed, no matter what my neighbor Iago says.  And that bond is strengthened by our having passed through the furnace of affliction, thick with the soot of adversity, and filled with the fumes of carbon monoxide.

We laugh more freely now, and our days are brighter.  I sometimes think back with fondness on that first night, her limp body gently propped up against a ladder while the bored notary public quickly read through the vows that would make us man and wife, whether she realized it or not.  But we’ve both learned that the real joy isn’t looking backwards, but in looking forward to the life we have yet to share.  A life of trust.  A life of tender moments.  A life of me never having to clean the kitchen floors again.

I love you, Mrs. Sobek.


1. Jewel - August 23, 2011

Nature doesn’t abhor a vacuum as much as I do. And I’m not a hippy, neither.

2. guy who cries like a bitch - August 23, 2011

Happy anniversary!

3. Cathy - August 23, 2011

Happy Anniversary, Sobek and Mrs.Sobek.

4. harrison - August 23, 2011

That’s beautiful.

5. lauraw - August 23, 2011

*shakes head and sighs*

I don’t believe it’s a medical or genetic condition. It’s a bad lifestyle choice, like promiscuity, Lutheranism, or lefthandedness.

Get yourself to church, young man.

6. Mrs. Sobek - August 23, 2011

I am constantly reminding myself that one of the things that attracted me to Sobek from the beginning is his sense of humor.

7. Cathy - August 23, 2011

Just wannna add… Someone’s very good with metaphors.

8. Retired Geezer - August 23, 2011

I am constantly reminding myself that one of the things that attracted me to Sobek from the beginning is his sense of humor.

Me too.

Is that wrong?

9. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere - August 23, 2011

^ Not as long as you don’t come in for a visit when the hanger is hanging on the doorknob.

10. geoff - August 23, 2011

Sad to see a once proud man among men fall prey to hallucinations like this.

Dirt on the fingers indeed.

11. daveintexas - August 23, 2011

You can’t prove it’s dirt unless you licked your fingers.

So go ahead, prove it.

12. Cathy - August 23, 2011

I am constantly reminding myself that one of the things that attracted me to Sobek from the beginning is his sense of humor.

Me too.

Is that wrong?

Not in most states.

13. skinbad - August 23, 2011

I was an occasional floor mopper. Then I bought my wife a SHARK! MOP!!! WITH STEAM!!!! POWERRRR!!!!!!!

Now I can’t even help out by getting out the ol’ bucket and mop with attached crusty sponge (I’m old school). “You’re just stirring the dirt around.”

It’s not clean unless it’s SHARK clean.

14. daveintexas - August 23, 2011

Did you get one with frikkin laser beams?

15. Retired Geezer - August 23, 2011

I think Mitchell has one of them there Automated ones.

16. BrewFan - August 23, 2011

I’m so relieved to know that I am not alone. Thank you, Sobek. Oh, and happy anniversary! Mrs. Sobek is obviously a saint.

17. Tushar - August 23, 2011

Happy anniversary, Mrs. and Mr. Sobek!

18. lauraw - August 23, 2011


Happy Anniversary to the Sobeks!

*looks up traditional ten-year gift*


*gift wraps special His n’ Her GM Performance ZL1 Aluminum Engine Blocks*

I just KNOW you’ll get a lot of use out of these!!

19. daveintexas - August 23, 2011

*looks up 29 year gift.

Dog biscuits.


20. Russ from Winterset - August 23, 2011

*remembers his High School auto shop courses*

Aluminum engine blocks? Like the Chevy Vega? Yeah…..that worked out well.

21. Gengap - August 23, 2011

Yes, she is a saint and she also came in first in a half marathon this week-end. Congrats! I stand in awe.

22. sandy burger - August 24, 2011

I, too, suffer from dirt blindness. I think I need a hug.

I have two coping mechanisms I use to hide my horrible secret from the judgemental eyes of casual visitors. One: a Roomba. It’s not just a robotic domestic assistant; it’s also a loyal life companion. And two: minimal possessions. I’ve suppressed my inner pack-rat; if I don’t use it, I get rid of it.

Anyhow, happy anniversary, internet weirdos!

23. Retired Geezer - August 24, 2011

*smacks forehead*

Oh yeah, it was Sandy that had the Roomba, not Mitchell.

24. Cathy - August 24, 2011

Geez, I think Lippy has a Roomba too.

25. Mitchell - August 24, 2011

No robots for me. I insist on human servants to clean my floors.
*Polishes monocle*

26. Lipstick - August 25, 2011

I have a Roomba AND a Scooba. (The Scooba is for tile floors)

Mitchell, you crack me up. Did you figure out why your garage door was open?

27. Mitchell - August 25, 2011

^No but our prime suspect is a Culligan Water dude who may have done a scheduled service on the water treatment system and forgot to close the door.

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