Five hours, that’s how long my husband took to power wash our backyard deck. Every single space between the wooden planks had to be flushed out, why I don’t know. Believe me, most dentists don’t drill out the decay in a tooth’s cavity as meticulously. I tell ya, that deck would have to stretch from here to eternity for me to spend that long cleaning it. Which is where he might have landed, in eternity, if he hadn’t finally shut that darn thing off. That machine sounds like a jackhammer and it bores a hole in your scull, so now I have one to match the hole in his head.
“Who spends that much precious cleaning a deck?” I annoyingly asked him.
“Somebody who takes pride in his work,” and he could hardly spit the words out he was so pooped. But wouldn’t you know, he was still able to utter more? Darn. He even struggled to stoop down to hand me the hose.
“ Here, wanna use this thing for the inside of the house?”
“Inside?! Won’t it strip the paint right off the ceilings and walls?” I gasped.
“Along with the dirt,” he sarcastically added. “Come to think of it, I’ve never seen you spring clean.”
“And you never will, because by your ridiculous standards, I could never do it throughly enough. Much to your chagrin, I’m into cleaning with something bigger than a cotton swab. Who beside you cleans with a Q-Tip? An otologist, that’s who, Stick that in your ear and see how you like it. And by the way, I do spring clean all right, but in the wintertime while you’re so engrossed with your sports on T.V. Haven’t you ever felt me whipping the cushions out from under your rump, and scrubbing the armrest in your chair?”
“Is that why when I get up my pants and shirt sleeves are all wet? I just figured I spilled my beer.”
“And that’s another thing,” I ranted, “if you profess to be so fastidious with everything around here, how can you, a man who uses a fingernail brush everyday, justify wearing the shirt and pants you’re wearing today, wearing them tomorrow, the next day, and possibly the next, and then having the gall to tell me, someone who changes her clothes several times a day, that I’M the slob? That hurts, ya know.”
He surprised me when he sadly shook his head.
“Maybe….maybe I sometimes put you down, so that I can feel good about myself.”
I was stunned. It takes a real man to admit his insecurities. “Do you mean that?” I softly stuttered.
“Hell no! Just thought that’s what you wanted to hear. Quit bawlin’, will ya? If you don’t know by now that I don’t mean half the BS of what I tell ya, we’re never going to make it.”
“I certainly won’t miss our garage that’s cleaner than our house,” I sniffled. “Or those razor sharp creases that you iron into your pant, and when my leg barely touches them, it feels a blade grazing my shin.”
“How about if I only hug you while I’m wearing my boxing shorts? That sounds safe, doesn’t it?”
He always ropes me in with his sweet talk, but so far he’s wearing those should-be-registered-as-a-weapon ironed pants 24/7. Such is married life---our married life.
To read more of Karen’s previously published articles, please visit homegrownharvard.blogspot.com
Tuesday, June 8. 2010
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