Hubs and I have been married a long time, a very long time, almost thirty years. I believe we have a very happy marriage… usually. I would be less than honest, however, if I didn’t confess that occasionally, even happily marrieds like to poke, prod or push just a bit to get a reaction from our partners. We long-marrieds know our spouses as well as ourselves. We don’t even have to complete sentences, often don’t even have to say a word to fully communicate to each other. This also gives us the added benefit of being able to irritate with little to no effort whatsoever.
This gentle bedeviling doesn’t usually come from malice, it’s often done simply to elicit a reaction or emphasize a point. It is also a good stress reliever after a particularly arduous, still not complete do-it-yourself bathroom remodel. And to be honest, no matter how much you love someone, 24/7 can get a bit, well, dicey. Just for example, let’s say you and your partner owned a business and worked together for 10 years, then decided to take a joint sabbatical before the next journey. Then let’s say you two were ready to re-enter the workforce, and the workforce was ready for you to enjoy an involuntary retirement, seemingly deeming you “too old” for meaningful employment. Add a death of a cherished mother, a father’s descent into Alzheimer’s hell, and poof, the private stew that is your life can boil over in unexpected ways.
Hubs makes it so easy. He is order, everything in its place, neat, organized and clean. I am a tornado, a whirling, swirling disorder of half finished projects, piles and notes. He sets goals and makes to-do lists. The only concrete plan I have for the future is to let Hubs know I am still around post death. I will come back and haunt the kitchen, leaving multiple kitchen cabinet drawers open, just like I do now.
There is one other thing that I like to do, and have been doing pretty consistently for the last few years. I refuse to change toilet paper rolls. I’ll get a new roll out, and put it on top, but I won’t replace… drives Hubs nuts. This morning he walked into our newly, almost remodeled master bath and saw the toilet paper roll perched merrily atop the holder. He rolled his eyes and gave me a look that I can only describe as benign disgust. He wasn’t angry, or particularly taken aback, just slightly bored and perhaps a smidge irritated with the same old same old.
This was not our first bonding experience over this particular toilet paper holder. Hubs is very proud of his manly domination over said fixture, and he spent a good five minutes after installation expounding its virtues and showing me how the dang thing worked. I listened attentively, nodded my head at the appropriate times, and when he was done with his verbal instruction manual, I looked at him very lovingly and asked “What the hell are you telling me for?” He gazed at me for a long moment, blinked, and said “Good point.” I can still make that man laugh!