I met my husband at a Container Store five years ago, and it was love at first sight. No sooner were we looking at Elfa units than I found myself a happily married expectant mother with a home-organization business. My life was picture-perfect – except for my secret life-long obsession with horses, which are just so shiny and beautiful!
I never told my husband how much I charged for home organizing, so when the money wasn’t exactly “flowing in,” he never suspected a thing. Meanwhile, I was blowing my wad on anything I could get my hands on: Appaloosas, French Trotters, Shires. You name it – I had a photo of it in my jewelry box or an ADORABLE figurine of it in my purse. I had to hide my desires because my husband shouldn’t – neigh – couldn’t know.
The first time he suspected something was when we were remodeling our kitchen. We had narrowed it down to a few different patterns for our wall tiles – a hibiscus flower, an arrangement of lilies, or a trio of tulips. But after a particularly rough K-Derby heat, I was in the doldrums, which meant a spiraling piaffe into my world of Warmbloods Today Magazine and Horse Illustrated. Before I knew it, I woke up alone and naked in the shower, my breath rancid, with one gross of Welsh Pony decals and a Thoroughbred appliqué quilt by my side. (It would have been depressing if it weren’t so adorable.)
But when my mane started to matte out of control, I could no longer keep my secret. One day when my husband and I were making love, he reached for lube and pulled out my travel-size Tail and Mane shampoo, which wouldn’t have been as big of a red flag if I hadn’t also just requested that we listen to my Horseplay mix to set the mood. He started asking questions. My single hair braid suddenly went from “quaint” to “what does it really look like, Martha?”
The following week he caught me buying “unusual” gifts for my son’s birthday, and claimed what I got was actually, “Lisa Frank pony folders.” First I corrected him and told him they were horses not ponies, and then I went into a blind rage (particularly because horses are not weird but are incredible beasts that could kill you an instant but instead choose to be your lifelong best friend), in which I threw out all my blouses and only kept my neutral neutrals. He begged me to confide in him.
So consider this my confession, Peter: I’m an Equestrian. You told me not to “sugarcoat” it, which I did not understand, because Sugarcoat was the name of my first Saddlebred and she was majestic. This letter may not be pretty, but you asked for it – and you can’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Additionally, you can’t ask for something and then inspect and criticize what you asked for.