Make Yourself At Home

My heavy breathing and contorted face were to be expected after being jolted from such a horrific dream. It was the first nightmare strong enough to launch me to a sitting position in bed (just like in the movies).

Hours earlier I felt the perfect amount of "tired" to slip into easy sleep. As my eyelids grew heavy I felt contented. Life was good and promising. I would be married in a few days and was looking forward to cohabiting with a woman for the first time. My home would become our home. I was excited and curious about the style she would add to my bachelor pad. She would, after all, add style -not, uh, replace it -right? So I began to doze -expecting dreams of perfect style-coordination with my future wife.

Home from work, I paused outside the front door to notice my rug was replaced with a colorful new doormat. It read: "Be to her virtues very kind, be to her faults a little blind."

"Hmph. Interesting touch," I mumbled. Inside, a strong, sweet odor hit me before I could notice the all-new, "fluffy" pastel furniture and carpet. "What's that smell?" I said aloud. I then tripped on an unfamiliar basket placed in the foyer. It held several sets of pink and baby-blue slippers that matched the carpet. A sign above them demanded: "Place these on your feet before you have a seat."

"Huneeeee?" I hollered -failing to mask the panic in my voice. I hoped she would rush downstairs with an explanation that would magically make me feel good about this flagrant assault on our environment. There was no answer.

I went to the den and gasped to a halt. My recliner was gone -replaced with gold, wire-frame chez lounge. Then my knees literally buckled when I saw that the flat screen TV was adorned with a fresh lining of purple lace! A note on it said, "Sweetheart, notice how this Victorian lace border makes the dull, gray TV so much cozier!" I sprinted to the front door and locked it before any of the guys could stumble in for Monday night football.

The strong, sweet odor was spreading. I followed it to the kitchen where I was happy to see that the kitchen appeared to be mostly untouched. Several candles were lit along the counter. A note partially slid under one candle read, "Baby, I want us to start Aromatherapy. You're breathing a blend called 'embrace change.' I put a 'confidence and victory' blend by the TV for you and the guys to light for tonight's game!" Oh, the horror!

My mouth had been agape long enough to dry out. I needed a drink so I opened the cabinet to find all the cups and bowls had been replaced with formal crystal. The refrigerator no longer had pizza coupons magnetically stuck to it. Instead, it displayed a cliché inspirational quote-of-the-day and a useless flower magnet that multiplied each time I tried to remove it.

I opened the fridge to find it fully stocked with vegetables, dressings, meats, milk, and eggs. None of the ingredients were immediately eatable but could be used to make a balanced meal. The oddity of this gave me the creeps.

I was startled by a loud "Meeoooooow" and realized our phone was now a plastic cat lying across a fake birdcage. I picked up the cat, placed its ear to mine. "Hello?"

"Yes, we're confirming delivery of 1,200 decorative wall plates tomorrow?"

"No, that order is cancelled." I dropped the cat phone.

I felt dizzy. I stumbled to the dining room where I found a checklist on the table.

Must Do!

1. Paint all halls with nature imagery (both bathrooms = gardens of Eden).

2. Nameplates for every room (animal or mood).

3. Install "Mad about Plaid" curtains (all windows).

4. Discard all his sheets / replace w/happier floral patterns.

5. Move excess cosmetics & feminine products to his closet.

I was then flung mercifully into consciousness. I sat upright, panting and clutching my solid "bachelor pad" sheets with both hands. I touched my face -was I still me?

My wedding continued as planned and I am thrilled to report that my nightmare was fiction. Cohabitation has not resulted in a conversion of our home to a "Bachelorette pad." My wife has successfully added art, color coordination, class to our home in an unbelievable, comfortable way. She made no drastic changes and coddled me like the insecure bachelor I was. I know things could have been much worse. And best of all, when company compliments the home, I get to say "Why, thank you!"

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