faces of breath

Like everyone else in the whole damn world, my husband occasionally suffers from bad breath. It’s not chronic or anything, but it does happen every now and again. Just like it happens to me, and to you, and to friends, and to coworkers, and to that one guy who works at the bank and talks waaaay too much about his family to overcompensate for the fact that he literally can not stop looking at girls’ asses.

It’s no big deal, is what I’m saying. It happens to everyone, is what I’m saying.


When my husband’s breath is not so fresh, I personally do what I consider to be the polite thing and LET HIM KNOW. For his sake. For my sake. Mostly for my sake. But truly also for his sake, because no one likes to find out that they’ve been walking around with ass breath all day. It’s essentially the halitosis version of getting home at the end of the day and discovering a piece of spinach is still lodged in your teeth from the omelet you ate for breakfast 11 hours ago.

Now, I know that some of you might be asking: “But, Sarah. How I can possibly tell someone that their breath is bad without sounding like an inconsiderate jerk?” Well, believe it or not, it isn’t all that difficult. Here are just a few of the polite and courteous things I say to my husband when his fumes get a little bit stank:

  • “Jesus, what the actual HELL did you eat today?”
  • “Is there a rotting corpse in the room? I smell a rotting corpse.”
  • “So… I didn’t have to barf, but now I do.”
  • “HOO boy.”

Feel free to use those with your own loved ones, by the way.

But while *I* choose to adhere to a strict policy of refreshing honesty regarding my husband’s breath, he does not feel the need to return the favor. What I’m saying here is that he never tells me when I have bad breath. EVER. Even when I *know* I have it, he assures me that I don’t. Basically, when it comes to my breath, he is a Straight. Up. Liar.

In fact, my girl T and I were having a conversation about it just a few short days ago:


Me: My husband says he’s never smelled my bad breath. In twelve years.

T: BAHAHAHHAA seriously?

Me: Right? How much more of a lie can you get

T: My husband is like “What did you eat?”

Me: And when I’m sick? Come on.

Me: And yet… I want to believe

T: You should wake up and breathe right in his face and just stare at him

Me: BAHAHAHkajhaksjhdaks “WELL!?”

T: And when he starts to speak say “EW your breath stinks” and roll over


It was after this discussion, and a brief conversation with Megan at The Poll Vault in which she informed me that her husband lies about the very same shit, that I decided that it was time for me to embark upon A Quest.

Yes, that’s right. A Quest.

The Quest to Get My Husband to Admit I Have Bad Breath.

Unfortunately, over the first couple of days The Quest didn’t really go anywhere. My husband’s work schedule, which is unpredictable at best and downright bullshit at worst, kept us from having the the chance to spend much time together. And hardly any of the time we *did* spend together was spent in close quarters, which is where mouth funk most often reveals itself.

But then.


The moment came.

Yesterday, after eating a meatball sub with a side of HOLY MOLEY THAT’S A LOT OF GARLIC BREAD, I got a little sleepy. At which point I did, in fact, fall asleep. And did not wake up until my husband and son came home at 5:30 PM. Then it was dinner time, and homework time, and bed time, and before you know it — brushing my teeth had sort of been lost in the fray.

Along came 10 PM and my husband suggested we watch a movie together. I agreed, and we snuggled up in bed, our heads only about 3 inches apart.

And that’s when I noticed it.


Me: “Dear God, my breath is horrible!”

Him: “Hmm.”

Me: “It’s even grossing *me* out.”

Him: “Hmm.”

Me: “Wow. I’m sorry if I’ve been breathing that on you this whole time.”

Him: “You haven’t.”

Me (suddenly realizing that this might be the moment for me to fulfill The Quest): “You are such a liar. SUCH a liar. I can smell it my own self! It’s disgusting. It’s basically garlic bread meatball nap breath with a side of not brushing my teeth for 14 hours.”

Him: “Hmm.”

Me: “Admit I have bad breath.”

Him: “No!”

Me: “Admit it!”

Him: “What’s in it for me?”

Me: “Knowing that you told the truth to your loving wife.”

Him: “Not good enough.”

Me: “I’ll scratch your back.”

Him: “…”


Him: “…”


Him: “Fine. Your breath is not … as fresh as usual.”


Him: “All right, all right. Make with the back scratch.”


Okay, so it wasn’t much of an admission. It wasn’t like he flung out his arms and yelled “GIRL YOUR BREATH STANK!” But he *did* admit it. For the first time in twelve years, he (sort of) confirmed what I’ve known all along – that I am not an exception to the rule of bad breath. I am not exempt from the universal phenomenon I like to call “unfortunate oral hygiene.” I am not a delicate little flower who wakes up first thing in the morning with breath like essence of lavender and a melodious release of gas that smells like Chanel and sounds eerily like Simon and Garfunkel’s “For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her.”

These are the facts — I am Sarah, and I am gross.

Just ask my husband.


P.S. If you’re interested in reading some more new material, hop on over to Foxy Wine Pocket and read my guest post, “The Nagging Wife.” If your partner has ever complained about your nagging, while at the same time completely riding your ASS about sexytimes, this post is for you.

And when you’re done, stick around and browse the site a bit a lot! It’s super funny and I heart it. Also you should subscribe to it because I told you to.