A few years ago, a friend sent me a gift: Aqua Notes—a waterproof notepad you can stick in your shower via suction cups, and a special pencil. She said that since the best book ideas strike in the shower, I could write them down.
Well, that turned out to be false. The Aqua Notepad has never been used for a book idea. Instead, McIrish and I use them to write sappy notes to each other. I draw cartoons of dogs, cats, bunnies, Santa. We wish each other well and thank each other sometimes— “Great job finishing your book, honeybun!” he might write. “Thanks for taking care of my mom’s driveway!” I’ve said.
We loved the Aqua Notes, so we started buying new notepads after we used up that first one. Now we have five or six stored in a keepsake box. It’s a sweet little documentation of our marriage.
One time, McIrish wrote “Thanks for the great shag!” The kids saw that one and were suitably horrified that their parents were still at it. McIrish and I felt quite smug. I had a girls weekend and forgot to take it down before letting my friend take a shower in my bathroom, and she wrote “Joss was here!” which made me laugh so hard. Our cleaning lady has never commented on it, bless her.
I drew a picture of Willow with angel wings after she died. Before I went to the Cape, I drew a picture of a shark off the coast of Cape Cod with my assurance that I would try not to be eaten. McIrish doesn’t usually draw, and his handwriting is so terrible that sometimes I have trouble deciphering what he says, but it’s always more or less the same. Have a great day! Love you! Glad you’re home!
If I were ever to write a book on how to have a happy marriage, I’d include Aqua Notes, I think. A small way to show your partner your love and appreciation. A way to horrify your kids, which is just a bonus. A marking of the ordinary days, when you had enough time to draw a cartoon just to entertain your sweetheart and let them know you don’t take them for granted.