“He sits right across the table and eats his breakfast when I have my zoom class,” she said and I could almost picture it and felt instant relief. I am not alone, there are others like me. We both laughed on the phone, understood each other.
I love my husband as much as my friend loves hers, but in times like this, when we are obliged to stay at home, you have to be a saint to not be irritated ones in a while -and a saint, I am not.
He is so sweet, he helps me and by doing so is more in my way than ever. I am older too. I am set in my ways and I am not an easy person -and mighty proud of it.
One more question starting with the word WHERE and my head will split open. How can he not know where our STUFF is? This is our home, we live together for decades. Various homes, different cities and states, multiple houses -yet always the same concept. Socks are in the sock drawer, bandaids can be found in the bathroom, in the kitchen, and in the left drawer of my desk in the workroom. Dogfood is stored in a big rolling container in the laundry room, and the iron board is hidden in the closet under the stairs. It’s not that complicated.
Finding THINGS is now part of his daily routine, which seems to excite him. “Honey, where is …?” It puzzles me. I feel like an old librarian. “Third shelf, fourth book from the right.”
I had a daily routine, which he totally ignored.
The first time I heard him say, “I am going to check the mail,” left me speechless. How dare he, it’s my job. I grimaced a bit, mostly about myself, and watched him mishandling our mail. He brought the flyers in. Doesn’t he know we never read them and that they go in the trash right away? We only give the weekly ads on Thursday the chance to be looked at. Yet, here he was, ignoring my system. He opened the envelope and studied the coupons -all 50 of them. Then he asked me if I wanted to take a look. He really doesn’t have a clue!
He fed the dogs, half an hour before they should get their food. He pulled weeds out of MY flowerbed, and he put the dishes up, which made me search for some of them the next day.
“Mine, Mine!” I want to scream and I can almost see myself stomping my foot like a spoiled little girl. It’s comical and very interesting. Being cooped up for weeks -in our case months due to his bypass surgery and shoulder operation- how could we not lose our marbles?
“I can help,” he said and I secretly sighed. He feels a bit lost. He is not used to doing nothing. The time it takes for his shoulder to heal, is hard on him.
And so he helps and drives me bonkers. He is not fast enough. It’s not clean enough. Not efficient enough. Just wrong from the start. Take your pick. Goodness is he challenging me and by doing so, he forces me to take a good look at myself.
It’s comical to find out how set in my ways I am. I am too young to be that old. I remind myself of my Grandma more and more. “Close the door, don’t let the warm air out.” Did I really just say that? I sound just like her fifty years ago.
The lockdown and the recovery time from his surgeries showed me who I am, and who we are as a couple. We are perfect together because neither one of us is perfect, to begin with. We work well together, we enjoy each other’s company but we also need time apart. Perhaps I need it more than him. I am not easy to live with either, and I am more complicated in my simplicity than I thought I was.
Looking at my husband I feel love. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner for my life and for the time of the 2020-lockdown. I am a lucky woman!
But -and there is always a but – the time spent together now, also gives me lots to think about before the last chapter of our life will begin. Retirement won’t come naturally! It will require some prep work. It will be fun! I think we will be prepared.