Let me spin a hypothetical situation for your consideration. A man and his new wife are visiting his parents. She’s a pretty strawberry-blonde haired, blue-eyed girl-next door type with a sweet smile and pleasing mannerisms. Yet she’s still a little nervous around her new family, and when she’s nervous she gets an upset stomach. Maybe she has some flatulence.(One never knows in these kinds of situations).
I can picture her, this young woman eager to make a good impression on her new family, but embarrassed by the constant gurgling in her stomach. She makes a quick escape to the family room and, ah, relieves herself of any unwanted gas. Concerned for her welfare and her unexplained retreat, her dutiful husband comes to find her and immediately wishes he hadn’t as an acrid smell burns his nose and makes his eyes water (his words, not mine, er, I mean hers). He braves the stench he knows will close around him in such closer quarter and places a comforting arm around her shoulders.
Just when the new bride thinks things couldn’t be any worse, in walks her father-in-law. She cringes, realizing her secret has been found out. Before she could even utter an “excuse me,” her father-in-law waves his hands in front of his face and says, “Jesus, son! Did something die in your stomach? Turn on the fan!”
The poor new husband, caught between his concern for his wife and concern for stating the truth has no choice but to meekly accept his fate, knowing if he outed his wife, he’d be sleeping on the couch for months. He grits his teeth and says, “Sorry about that. Must have been something I ate.”
The young woman has escaped. But before breathing a sigh of relief, she says, “Yes, really, Husband. Have you been eating roadkill when I’m not looking? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m leaving.” Thrusting her nose in the air, she beats a hasty retreat.
From that day on a martyr was born and his wife, now not so young after ten years of marriage, knows her husband will take the blame if digestive woes strike again. He has learned to live with the indignity, though perhaps in recent years the ignominy of being held responsible for countless flatulent expulsions is starting to wear thin, for now he has martyred his youngest child. Or so I’m told.