My medicine cabinet is no longer my own. It's shared with a guy named Ken who happens to be my husband of sixteen years. Ken and I share an entire shelf.
It didn't start out that way.
I was the kind of girl who stopped doing drugs when bell bottoms went out of fashion, but I was never that huge a drug user anyway. I smoked pot and hash, and did cocaine on occasion when I wanted to impress someone with my ability to inhale and smile at the exact same time. And yes, I did quaaludes. I loved quaaludes more than anything for a while there. (I would, truth be told, sell a kidney to any Israeli and/or Prada executive for a couple of Rorer 714s right now, though I'd draw the line at selling a kidney for a generic quaalude.) But then I fell asleep face down— honest— in a plate of mashed potatoes and meatloaf, and along with the waiter decided it was time to both clean off my face and stop doing 'ludes. But that's in the past.
Now, my husband is older than me, which is really only important to disclose because if you were to look in our medicine cabinet you would see a variety of pills that remind me of this time I visited my parents years ago. They'd just moved down to Florida and were settling into their new community with all their retired friends from up North. Before you could say "Boca", they were eating early bird specials, going to movies in the middle of the day, and wearing pastel-colored slacks with white patent shoes.
And during this visit I remember staring into their medicine cabinet— I was searching for a tweezer— and thinking, "Wow. These are retired people pills." The bottles were lined up on one shelf, the smaller ones blending into slightly taller bottles blending into taller bottles and so on. They weren't alphabetized, they were height-tized.
And I swore that that would never be me. Never. I would not have a whole shelf of prescription drugs lined up neatly, bottle after slightly shorter bottle. I would not. Never.
At that time I was not dating anyone, so I believed my chances of actually having an entire shelf with all sorts of "his" and "her" pills was slim to none.
But I was wrong.
I got married.
And along with sharing most everything— razors and drawers and closets and credit cards and bank accounts and bulky winter socks and appetizers and a king-sized bed— my husband and I share an entire shelf in our medicine cabinet. "His" and "her" prescription drugs. And ours are not lined up by height. Ours look like a city skyline...
Amy Ferris is the author of Marrying George Clooney: Confessions of a Midlife Crisis reviewed in the Pages section of Boom Underground. The book is soon to become a one-woman play, a reading from which will be given in New York City on April 12th— visit the What's Up section of Boom Underground for details. To learn more about Amy Ferris and her marvelously skewed views on life visit her blog.