First of all, let me state that I love my husband. Let it also be known that this fact may not save him from becoming a new "compost heap" in my back yard. Maybe I'll plant a few shrubs on top, that would look nice. Ooh, a nice gazebo covered in climbing roses and maybe a swing with....what? Oh.
I have tried to come to terms with something that sends me into a state of near panic at the mere mention of the word. Retirement. There... I said it and didn't swoon. I have heard the stories from married ladies with retired husbands, and with, first my father's and now my husband's lay-offs, I have experienced brief glimpses into this world. So, I have learned some things.
The main thing, really, is that I would like to opt out but cannot, in good conscience, do that. He can't work forever. Right? My dearest other half is only 40, so this retirement isn't happening anytime soon, but still. He works as a carpenter, which means- aside from the fact that nothing in the house is fixed- he sometimes has a lay-off because a job isn't quite ready. Goody! This also means he becomes, in a word, insertive.
Yes, I meant insertive. I'll admit that can be a bonus right after lunch and sometimes twice on Tuesday but that isn't what I meant. Geez, you people. Go wash your mind, I'll wait. Better? Good.
What I was trying to say before sally-naughty-pants interrupted was he inserts himself into everything I do, and tries to do the same with me. I understand these are opportunities to spend time together, honestly, I get that. But when I hear the phrase, "Uhm, Hon?" I usually cringe. I've tried hiding but that only works for so long. (Besides, I don't fit under the bed.) That phrase, you see, is usually followed by either "what are you doing?" or "do you wanna...?"
The "what are you doing" is generally obvious in answer. Some old stand-by answers include---
"painting a wall mural" --going to the bathroom
"knitting" --washing dishes
"talking to the president" --making dinner
and the ever popular shriek "what does it look like?!" --everything
The other phrase "Do you wanna...?", is usually followed by something that, no actually, I don't "wanna do". Why he thinks I actually "wanna do" most of the things he ever suggests still completely baffles me. Allow me to set the most recent scene. I have filled the bucket and have just begun to mop the kitchen floor when..."Uhm, Hon..." he says eagerly with keys in hand, "do you wanna go to the tractor store with me?" Now, this isn't so much a question as a-- request, let's call it.
Now I know what you're thinking, "But Mina," you say "why wouldn't you want to stand around in a store that smells like motor oil and regret, staring at weed wackers and leering lube jockeys?" Normally, you would have a valid point (if there were any shot in hell said lube jockeys would be passably attractive) but today floor mopping and ground beef have captured my attention. Like that matters.
I sigh, loudly. Knowing that if I do not head straight to the nearest tractor-hawking establishment the rest of my day will be ruined. If I say "no, thank you" he will proceed to look at me as though I have crushed his very soul. It is very trying. So, instead, I sigh again and rub my forehead. I know, universal, right? This is his cue to act like a giddy 4 year old who has been told I will be serving ice cream for lunch. I sigh. A lot. Stupid tractors.
Thus go my days, until the call comes for him to head back to work, and I have to admit that I don't really hate packing lunches all that much.
In closing, let me reiterate that I do love my husband. He is a great father and provider, friend and worker. And there are still gonna be those days when I really want that gazebo.....