About a month ago my parents gave us a hand-me-down chair with matching ottoman (over half of our house is my parents' house 15 years ago.) The chair-ottoman combo has been sitting in our makeshift storage facility (the garage) for weeks, waiting for me to move things around upstairs so we could make the new-to-us furniture work in our bedroom. Naturally the cats think the combo belongs to them, as if I would give a cat an ottoman, of all things. "Look at us, all sprawled out on this chair AND ottoman - we sure do know how to use an ottoman, can't you see." They say this with their short-leg syndrome arrogance every time I come through the garage, and I always give them an eye roll that makes it very clear that they do not know what they are even talking about. That is not proper ottoman usage, dumb cats. I'm sure my eye roll communicates this perfectly well because one of them, whichever one is having his turn side sleeping on said ottoman, gives me the side eye and then rolls over for his seventh inning stretch, misjudging his size and falling right off and onto the cement. "Exactly" I laugh, as he clearly just made my point. Idiots.
So this morning after getting the kids to school, I walked upstairs and into our bedroom and voila! there sat the chair and matching ottoman. It was angled in the corner - like a very good and proper chair should be - inviting me to put my own darn self in time out for once, nuzzled between our most south-facing window (Vitamin D, be my boyfriend) and my very naughty plant named Rizzo. She's a majesty palm and a total snob. Very demanding, that one. "Water me. Now. Not so much! Prune my ends. Geez, you don't have to be so aggressive with the shears. Who taught you to use scissors? Leave my bangs alone. Who me - stuck in the 80s? Oh, the nerve." She's a total chore (did I mention she wets the carpet?) But she gifts us fresh air and such a beautiful shade of green, so I let her stay. And now she has company - competition even - that hand-me-down chair is just so right in that corner. You better make some room, Rizzo, Mama's got a brand new bag.
As I was saying, Matt brought in the chair - and ottoman (my legs aren't that short, thankyouverymuch), and I'm just so tickled - not just that the hubs is hunky and beefy and schleps furniture around our house without so much as a ding on the wall, but that he moved the chair without me asking him to move it. Better yet, he moved it without me NAGGING him to move it. That’s the real win here. You see, I speak three languages fairly exclusively: English, Sarcasm and Nag. So the fact that the chair moved into our bedroom, into the coveted corner that I prepared for it, and not once did I have to use my native tongue - it's truly miraculous. It's like we are mind readers - the hubs and I.
I'd say that's a testament to our incredible marriage - that we have become the couple that reads each others' minds - but strangely all other evidence points to that not being exactly true. Just the other day I was livid - completely irate - because of something he said. Technically, it was something I heard him say, but let's not get carried away with semantics. Anyway, I was all cold and pissy and grumpy - a real treat - and I was just waiting for him to take notice and beg ferociously for mercy by gifting me with a venti Starbucks and one of those I-have-the-best-wife facebook posts (even though he doesn’t use facebook - what can I say, I’m a visionary.) But get this - he didn't even know I was upset. He was just going about his business like it's freakin' Disneyland around here. Meanwhile I'm melting into a puddle of smoking green goo and attempting to level my rage by consuming all the contents in our pantry. Fast forward to later that day when I couldn't take it any longer and it just came spilling out, "I'm still upset about earlier." To which he sort of chuckled as if I was about to tell the punchline to a joke, "About earlier? What happened earlier?" So this is how it's going to be, huh? Alright then. So I spelled it all out - his crime against my sanity. Then he looked at me quite cluelessly - or was that concern - as if I was being irrational - me! of all people - as if his gentle expression could really diffuse the predicament he got us into, and in that calm rational voice he always uses at the worst times, he said, "But you misheard me. I didn't say that." Excuse me, what? You didn't say that? What do you mean you didn't say that? But that's what I heard you said. You mean to tell me that I just spent the last hour inside a bag of potato chips planning my revenge all because of something you didn't actually say? Well. Well. Well. That was a big fat waste of sodium and calories.
I wish I could say that this particular instance was the only time we've had such a miscommunication. I wish I could say that such momentary hearing loss has never before sent me down a rabbit hole of google searches that start with "how to" and end with "hurt husband without him finding out." I wish I could just read his damn mind and skip over the acting a fool part of this thrilling life chapter called marriage. Why is it that the only time I know what he is thinking is when it comes to what entree to mark for him on a wedding RSVP or whether or not he's going to want to watch a period war film or Juno (spoiler: it’s never Juno). Sure, we can read each others' minds all day long when it comes to clearing out the garage and what future meals we'll eat and date night movie selection, but when it comes to actual words coming from his mouth as I'm standing three feet from his face, nope, I got nothing.
I guess you could say I can be a wee bit hyper and a tad bit jumpy when it comes to the communication portion of this spousal arrangement. I really want to be the wife who is kind and understanding and gracious. I think those types exist - in real life, even! And I can be those things, certainly not all at once - I'm not a show off, it just takes me some time to get there - usually a couple days, a week at most. I just need space to sit and sift and sort, to move through the crazy and find the less crazy. I need a grown up timeout - put this baby in a corner - preferably a comfy spot with fresh air and great sun. Come to think of it, I know just the chair.