I fidget, I can’t sit still, I don’t like to do nothing, (double negative intended.) My husband fidgets too, but I think he believes fidgeting equates with doing something. That’s one of the ways we balance each other.
This afternoon he asked my help in closing the pool. My first mistake was letting my ever romantic self picture it - a man and his ‘help meet’ working side by side, fully enjoying each other’s companioship and efforts. Maybe afterward we’d give each other backrubs!.
So I put on jeans and a tee shirt and walked out to the pool. What we had left to do was filling the bags with water. The reality of the situation hit me as I approached the pool. My second mistake was not controlling my tongue. “How is this a two-person job?” I asked.
I honestly hoped he had an answer because I had a list of twenty-seven other things I ‘needed’ to do this afternoon. (My third mistake - thinking about them.)
“No.” he said.
“You’re going to fill them while I work on some other stuff. You just take the nozzle, jam it in the opening of the bag and squeeze it and start filling. You’ll want to pick up the end so that when you cap it off it doesn’t bubble out.”
He managed to say all of that because I was dumbfounded and wanted him to know it and was looking at him like a third eye had popped out of his face.
“You want me to stand here and wait while I run water into these bags?”
He ignored my irritation. “You don’t want them to overflow.”
“Seriously?! Stand here and do nothing while they fill?” I was flabbergasted.
“You’re not doing nothing. The bags need to be filled. I do it like this every year.” His voice was rising in self-righteous anger.
“And you seriously think that’s the way to do it? Do you know how much my time is worth?” (Talk about self-righteous.)
“Then go - I’ll do this myself.” Full-blown anger now - that vein in his forehead was standing out.
“No, no, let’s do it your way! (Those back rubs were long forgotten.)
I angrily crammed the nozzle into a bag and clamped down on the thing - hard. I saw no difference in the bag. I pressed harder. The bag started to fill. The nozzle slipped out and sprayed my leg. I prided myself on not saying a word. I crammed it back in. The bag laboriously got full. I pulled out the nozzle and released my hand-cramping hold. Oh my! The water kept spraying.
My other half was in the shed so I quickly threw the spraying hose to the ground behind me, not wanting to appear like I couldn’t handle such a simple job.
I clumsily capped the full bag, pickd up the next one, grabbed the spraying hose and maneuvered it into the bag. Now, I hadn’t let on about my ‘fauz pas’, but it wasn’t above me to take a jab at him.
“You didn’t tell me the thing locks on!” I yelled.
“What?” man of many words called back.
“The nozzle locks on - it won’t shut off!” (And you need to know I’m still mad.)
“Let up on it.”
At this point he was next to me and he spotted the problem. “Move the clip.”
Clip? Clamp? It’s a nozzle. I’ll move the whole thing in a second, right toward him!
“Here.” He showed me a little triangular piece that moved into place and locked the bar down so that water sprayed continuously.
“Why didn’t you tell me that before?” I demanded.
“I didn’t know it had that.” This he said through gritted teeth.
Without another word we both continued what we were doing. At first it was a stoney silence. While I was filling bags I noticed what a pretty day it was. I thought about the scripture I was memorizing and those bags got filled.
He asked what time it was. “Do you want me to grill some burgers?”
“That sounds great!” I said. “I’ll make a salad.”
And that’s how it goes. We get mad, we (I) complain. This relationship wouldn’t work for everybody and it’s far from perfect, but there is something deep within us. I think it’s a part of each other. God joined us together and together I pray we’ll stay.
Dinner tasted wonderful.
This husband who has passed his silver anniversary with me can certainly grill a great burger. And the back rubs were pretty good, too!
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