I startled a skunk. Seeing the tail rise, I ran to the house, thinking it didn't get me.
"Whew! I almost got sprayed by a skunk!"
Seconds later, the foul stench caught up to me.
We ran to the laundry room, past the thongs and bras that were hanging to dry. I tossed my clothes into the washing machine, and instructed her to run it with OxiClean while I went to the shower.
"Could you fill a basin with white vinegar and dish soap? And bring the white face cloths."
Moments later, she appeared with a basin of 5% vinegar and dish soap. I covered myself in it. Standing naked behind the glass shower door, I discussed with her what needed to be done next.
After I had been soaking in vinegar for 25 minutes, she returned from the store with their entire stock of hydrogen peroxide and double strength Febreze. She provided consecutive basins of fresh peroxide, dish soap, and baking soda for me to clean my body as she cleaned and deodorized the house.
Each time she returned with a fresh bowl of peroxide, she had something to say.
The first thing it says on the Internet is not to go in the house. The whole house is going to smell!
(laughs) "Stand naked in the back yard for a couple of hours? With a skunk and mosquitos back there? No way. Besides, the neighbors might not appreciate it!"
All my delicates stink! What if we can't get the smell out?
"When my clothes are done, run the delicates with OxiClean - it will get rid of the smell. If it doesn't, then we'll go to the store together and buy you some new pretty underwear..."
If you smell like skunk, you can't sleep in the bedroom.
"Haha, yeah, maybe I should sleep in a hotel!"
Is that stuff okay for your skin?
"Meh, just a bit of a chemical burn. (laughs) Did you spray the kids' backpacks? I don't want them to stink when they go to school."
How are you doing?
(steps out of the shower, stands naked in front of her)
"You tell me."
She laid her hands on me, sniffing, laughing, decompressing.
It's late, come to bed.
"Sounds good. Can you grab me some clothes?"
"That was fun, in a twisted sort of way."
Each of her comments was calmer and happier than the last, as she overcame her anxiety and settled back into my frame. Anger, frustration, and helplessness would have had the opposite effect. Her behavior was a reflection of mine.
It was late, so we slept. The next day, she was all over me.
Every night is date night. She will remember the skunk episode more than any restaurant or show. She excitedly recounts the story to anyone who will listen.