My husband Jamie is obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.
How is that for an attention-grabber?
Over the past several years, his passion for growing 1,000-pound pumpkins has not only taken over our lives, but landed us in front of a celebrity panel that included Jerry Seinfeld on NBC's The Marriage Ref.
And now another pumpkin season is upon us.
I first knew it was serious four years ago when he started sneaking around. I suspected his covert actions were regarding the gargantuan Mother’s Day surprise party he was likely throwing me.
It didn’t happen.
Or the second honeymoon he was planning.
We already took one.
So when I spotted him slip into the den and close the door, I knew he was up to no good. I waited a few minutes until I heard him tapping away on the computer’s keyboard, and then I went in for the kill.
Nothing could have prepared me for what I found. It was not a lurid chat room, nor was it nekkid women but it was pumpkin porn.
Yes, that's correct. My beloved, husband started a blog about growing pumpkins.
“This is why you’ve been sneaking around? You have a pumpkin blog?”
“Just when were you planning to tell me about this?”
I never imagined it would come to that. Our journey had started out innocently the previous spring when he planted the first pumpkin seed. Over the summer, he and our daughter Hadley religiously watered and watched it grow from a molehill to a mountain.
Unfortunately, so did his competitive drive.
Jamie decided to enter it into our local harvest festival and I, good wife that I am, humored him. Until the flood came. It started with his barrage of pumpkin-related emails and then it totally engulfed our dinner conversations.
“I read online that I need to cut the stem right before the competition.”
“It then says I should put the stem into a gallon of water.”
“Did you know a pumpkin can lose up to five pounds within the few hours of being cut?”
You get the point.
I was just ready for it to be over. For this to be a chapter carefully folded away into the Johnson Family History of Dysfunction, never to be spoken of again.
Until he won, and he has never looked back.
Top 10: How You Know Your Husband is Obsessed with Growing The Great Pumpkin
10) You sneak up on your husband on the computer and the only lurid site you worry about him viewing is BigPumpkins.com.
9) While most people are making their pilgrimage to the local garden center with the intention of planting food they can eat, your husband is prepping the soil for his inedible 1,000-pound fruit.
8) During the off-season, your husband has a grow room reminiscent of certain other sketchy growers.
7) a) Your family vacations are planned around The Great Pumpkin, and you are banned from taking trips during the two-week pollination period. b) He refuses to join you on a family vacation to visit HIS family because it means too much time away from The Great Pumpkin.
6) Your husband builds hoop houses that contain heaters to shield The Great Pumpkin from the early season weather.
5) Your husband carries around a digital temperature gauge and even sleeps next to it so he can constantly monitor the temperature in the hoop houses.
4) The only designer item you possess from Italy is his hail netting.
3) You become a widow for the duration of pumpkin season as your husband spends at least an hour a day and many weekends in the patch.
2) Your husband convinces you to invite all your friends to have a Pumpkin Party to commemorate the official vine cutting. And they like it.
1) You discover the most random things, in the most random places. From seedlings growing in your bathroom window to discovering your nice dinner plates covered in muck on the floor of your car. And when you confront him?
“Jamie, can you please explain why there were dirt-covered plates in my car?”
“Yeah, because I put dirt-covered plates in your car.”
At least he’s not in denial.