Monday, November 05, 2007
Love Does Not Scream 'Woman, You're Making Me Crazy!'
Those of us married to an engineer understand they are a unique breed that (to my limited exposure) is tidy, on time, sees little need to rearrange the furniture, and would just as soon throw their laundry on the floor as cut off their own right arm. Engineers would never venture out to a new place without having visited MapBlaster, even printing out the return directions. Rather than driving off in a convertible with the top down for unknown destinations, family vacations are thoroughly researched, sometimes years ahead. Airline reservations are secured months before, and we generally sit and enjoy a meal before our flight, having arrived a good two hours before takeoff. This couple doesn't do the O.J. sprint very often. (If other engineers are contrary to this please let me know so I can tell God I am even more thankful for him than I already was.)

In keeping with that, the "Honey-Do" list on the side of the fridge is a happy place for my husband to live. Rather than being annoyed by it, it clearly sets forth what is expected or needed from him. He not only does these chores, but does them correctly. No standing back watching disaster take place, then calling the repairman on Monday morning. Once chores are done he will carry his ever so neatly arranged toolbox back down to his workshop, put each tool back in it's proper place on the peg wall, head back up the stairs, grab a cold one, and settle in the family room, immediately hitting the lever on the side of the recliner and grabbing the metal bucket of peanuts, staying there the entire day if it suits him. He's lived up to expectations and doesn't need to feel guilty. No drippy faucets or running toilets in our humble abode.

If you ask me to do something, I likely grab files, magazines, books off my shelf, or run down to my creative den and grab bolts of fabric, etc. I'll get it done, but it'll take me three times as long, and I'll likely make a mess in the process, a mess that might hang around awhile afterwards. I might not even get it all done, but rather the first three (of fifteen steps) that were exciting and fun. Not only do I stink at math, if I'd chosen a career, rather than engineering it likely would have been a high school Literature teacher, or interior decorator, or maybe owning a bookstore, fabric shop, or my new creative bent, a Yarn Shop - that would have been fun!

Our marriage is solid evidence that opposites attract. That's either because God had a sense of humor or just wanted to drive us a wee bit crazy down here, payback for being the pain in the patoot we are. We've been married long enough that we've fondly reminded each other one or a thousand times that those habits that so annoy our better half used to be seen as charming and delightful.

So yesterday the list was taken down and perused. There were hoses to put away, leaves to rake and discard, which meant going on a search mission through the yard for what looked like leaves but, being left by the dogs, was much squishier. The lawn needed a last mowing too. When he was done with the lawnwork, he said, "please go look at the lawn so you can tell me it looks good." The dogs and I went to the deck and surveyed, noticed every leaf that was no longer there, the even blades of grass, how neat and precise everything was for the moment. It was not the time to speak of how pretty the fallen leaves had looked. I kept my mouth shut on that.

Last on his list - "hang curtains in nursery". It should have said "again for the gajillionth time". During the eleven years we've lived in this house, the 'nursery' has been many things - an office, several people have claimed it as their bedroom, and finally the nursery. We've thrown some stuff at it to make it so, a crib, changing table, etc. but the curtains I put up were actually remakes of what was on our bedroom windows when we moved in. A nice exorcist green, fat and puffy stuffed with tissue paper, yes they were lovely. There were also custom blinds. Once in awhile a grandchild slept in there, but not often enough to fuss over the room too much. Then Leslie moved back, and we have a more frequent sleepy guest. One year old grandson Landon has some issues with sleeping in a light room, and since he's the most constant resident in that room we cater to him. Down came the blinds, up went a room darkening shade, but the light crept in the sides. Down came the puffy window treatments and up went blankets and afghans over the curtain rod - yes it's a regular House Beautiful around here. Finally I decided that was it - the room had to be 'fixed'. I went to Babies 'R Us and spent a wad of money on new bedding, a cute little rug, and window treatments, which I snuck into the house, hoping he would not spot them immediately. It wasn't the money, it was who would have to hang them. I jotted 'nursery window treatments' on the Honey-Do, and slunk away. The recently purchased $40 shade needed to come down, the blinds needed to go back up, and the curtain rod up there would most certainly not work, because I'd chosen a different style of window treatment. So another curtain rod hanging event.

As he trudged back up the stairs yesterday, toolbox in hand, ladder, measuring tapes, drill, etc. and didn't say a word, I knew what he was thinking. "For the love of God, will this woman ever quit redoing the windows in this house?" Down came the shade, up went the blinds, down came the rod, up went the brackets and rod, and finally the curtains were hung. Again. I said, "honey, don't you think they look so much better?" He was gracious enough to say 'I guess so' and nothing more.

As we chatted last night, the day over and the weekend being put to bed, I told him I was sorry he'd have to go to work, and when the men asked what he did, he'd have to tell them his team lost 44-7, he mowed, raked, poop-scooped, put away the hoses, and then hung up window treatments for the gajillionth time. That I appreciated him providing my food, my home, taking care of our lawn and all the flower beds we can't live without, but that I'm no fool. Those were all dandy, but putting up those brackets and rod one more time, while strongly suspecting he may have to do it again, and not speaking that it was annoying as the dickens, THAT spoke love to me. I just wanted to be sure he knew I knew.

Indeed this cobbler's children have shoes, and Mrs. Cobbler fully recognizes the love expressed, one window at a time.


  posted at 6:45 AM

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