I am happily married. Not blissfully married, but in general, we are fairly happy. As I like to say 80% of the time it's pretty darn good.
We do, however, have our moments when we want to stab each other. Repeatedly. Because that's what love is, isn't it?
My husband is a teacher. With 2 school age children and my not being a teacher, May-June is complete and utter hell for me. Between the 10,000 activities at his school, the 10,000 activities the kids have, by mid-June, as I stumble off to work as the three of them vacation, I am a mess of a human being.
By August, I usually want to kill him. In August, and those of us who are married to teachers know the routine, the lament of "Boo hoo... I only have 3 more weeks off...." Yes, I know teaching has its challenges, but it's not like I sit around telling jokes and eating bon bons all day. Well, maybe some days....
ANYHOW, this past spring, with the kids getting a little older, it was a little rougher on me. And I work. And my assistant went out on maternity leave. And the 2 people that we initially hired to replace her didn't work out. And I thought my head might explode.
On Wednesday, June 13, however, the universe shifted.
It was Hump Day, so if you're a regular reader, you know we celebrate. Nice way to start the day with a little extra skip in my step.
Then I came home. I usually walk right in the door, glare at my family watching TV, playing something or talking about what a great day they had NOT working, and start making dinner.
But alas, on this blessed day of days, I opened the door to the warm scent of roasted chicken.
My favorite. It warms your soul and your tummy. And yes, I wrote tummy. Bite me.
I had been worried about the chicken because I had received a text from my husband earlier in the day saying that we were out of onions, so he was using an apple instead. His text was "It's the same, isn't it?" Oh dear. But to be honest, I just shove a halved onion inside the chicken, so for roasting purposes, it was a nice switch. I was actually impressed that he knew the onion was just for moisture. But still I worried- my husband is not known for his cooking skills.
I worried for no reason. The beautiful bird was crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside. It was heaven.
But wait-- there's more---
The house was immaculate. This is the first time that my husband hasn't had to take a class over the summer and we didn't have the kids signed up for camps. He actually is known for his cleaning skills, but this was extra shiny.
Then I went upstairs. My laundry had gotten really far behind over the last crazy few weeks. My closet looked like a disaster zone.
Or it USED to.
My husband did all my laundry and arranged my side of our walk-in closet.
It was beautiful.
As I came down the stairs, speechless, he looked worried. He has never seen me speechless. I don't know if anyone has.
Of course, he assumed he'd screwed up and he started talking..."I'm sorry... I hope I didn't mess anything up.... I hope you're not mad..."
And with a tear in my eye I replied "June 13th. Always remember June 13th. If I'm ever mad at you, say that date, for on that day, you were the perfect husband."
Not many men would organize shoes and fold my t-shirts perfectly. He even color coordinated the hanging items like I do.
And did I mention the chicken was perfect???
In some ways, he's screwed. He spoiled me. He played his hand. I know what he's capable of at his best.
But in other ways when he says "Do you mind if I play golf Saturday?" and I smile, blissfully remembering June 13, and reply "Go-- enjoy yourself!" I think I may have played my hand and he knows I can be bought with a chicken and clean undies.
Or maybe, just maybe, after 10 years, we figured out how to be nice to each other. Because maybe that's what love really is.