There comes a point in every relationship when your very future hinges on three little words. In our case, those words were “Fox on armoire!”
The Husband and I were living in California, renting a tiny apartment across from the beach. One night, I was awakened from a deep deep sleep by The Husband turning the lights on full bright, sitting up straight in bed, and yelling at the top of his lungs, “Fox on armoire!”
As you can imagine, this was slightly disconcerting. Would this wild fox try to bite us, or possibly steal one of my favorite sweaters from the armoire? And what, exactly, did The Husband expect me to do about this situation? Shouldn't he be trying to protect me from the fox, instead of the other way 'round?
Yes, I had a job where I dealt with random scenarios every day. I knew what to do if there was a medical emergency, a fire, or if a plane crashed in water. But, all my years of flight attendant training had not adequately prepared me for this moment. I had never dealt with a wild animal on the loose (sure, I’d dealt with a drunk passenger or five, but to my knowledge, they never had rabies).
I decided the first order of business was to actually see the fox. Even though The Husband was screaming and pointing to the (supposed) location of said fox, I did not see a fox. Since the armoire was at an angle in the corner of the room, it was quite possible that the fox had hidden behind the armoire.
The logical part of my brain started to thaw. “Sweetie, uh, do you think it is maybe a cat, and not a fox?” This was way before we owned our cat, but perhaps an errant neighbor cat had snuck in our (closed, locked) window.
“It! Is! A! Fox!” he insisted, adamant. “Right there!”
I rubbed my eyes, willing myself to see whatever it was that The Husband was seeing.
Now the truth was apparent. Not only was there no (mistaken identity) cat, there was no fox either. The Husband was having a nightmare, and as far as I could tell, was actually still asleep even though his (round, crazy) eyes were open and he seemed awake.
“You’re having a nightmare,” I soothed, all the while trying to put my own fast-pumping heart back into my chest. “Go back to sleep, Hon.”
“No, MOV, I’m serious! There’s a fox!” Still pointing.
I got out of bed and turned the light off. “I’m going to bed.”
Four hours later, the alarm went off and the Husband bounded out of bed, cheery and rested. “How’d you sleep, MOV?” he asked sweetly.
“Are you kidding?” I responded tersely. “After you woke me up, screaming ‘A fox! A fox! A fox on the armoire!”
“What are you talking about?” he asked. And then, “You sure have a great imagination.”