“Good night, Darling. Even if you don’t need me, I still love you.” I rolled over in bed, closed my eyes, and waited. I didn’t have to wait long. After nearly forty years of marriage, my husband knows better than to just say, “Okay,” and go to sleep. He knows this is one of those tests, and we’ve been married plenty long enough for him to get it right, every time.
“Of course I need you. Who would take care of me?”
This all started in direct response to a delightful, funny blog post I read yesterday from Domestic Fringe. This blogger admitted her husband always pumps her gas for her. It got me thinking because my George still puts gas in my car after all these years. I had to make him promise not to die before I do because I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere past the first week of his demise. I suppose I could move to New Jersey where only full-serve exists, but I put a clause in our wedding vows that precludes that (“Whither thou goest, I will go, except to New Jersey.” Sorry, New Jersey, but when you have billboards that say, “New Jersey doesn’t’ stink,” I find that highly suspect).
That blog post prompted me to think of all the things I need my husband to do for me besides pumping gas. For one thing, I need him to get rid of the dead bodies. I have finally gotten up enough nerve to kill bugs in the house but not to remove their remains. I once offered my son two dollars to remove a dead lizard in our sunroom in San Antonio. He was five at the time.
I have no trouble mowing the lawn in our postage stamp yard, but I need George to use the line trimmer. That thing terrifies me. I have visions of me losing control of it and it ripping me to shreds. I need my husband to do all the painting in places that are too high for me to reach without getting on a ladder (I have acrophobia), change lightbulbs in ceiling fixtures (see previous parenthetical comment), fix minor plumbing problems like running toilets, change the air conditioner filter (it’s in the ceiling; enough said), balance my checkbook and handle all other major finance business such as taking minimum distributions (I have no idea what that even means, but when he mentions it’s time to do it, I just nod and say, “Sounds good to me.”), and the list goes on and on.
That, of course, leads me to ponder what he needs me for (well, okay, there’s that, but I mean other than that), and I struggle to put anything on my side of the equation. Okay, my husband doesn’t cook anything on the stove besides eggs, but he’s great at grilling. I suppose he could learn to cook, but that would require him to actually read a recipe and follow it, and he’s not an engineer. According to my father, only engineers are capable of figuring out such complex stuff. My father was an engineer. Obviously.
Even though I clean the house, my husband is perfectly capable of doing that himself and wouldn’t have to do it very often if I weren’t around. I’m the one who usually trashes it. My philosophy is, “Why clean today? It will only be a mess tomorrow.” For the life of me, I can’t think of anything to put on the list of what my husband needs me for. Okay, we’re back to that. Maybe it’s enough. Anyway, my husband has promised we’re going together in a blaze of glory. I’m holding him to it.