“Brrr. It’s cold in here,” he says rubbing his arms after he walks through the door at the end of the day. “Remember I work in an air conditioned office.”
“Sorry,” I say closing the front door.
And on another evening, “Honey, why don’t you have the air conditioner on?”
“I’m not hot.”
“Honey, why do you have the air conditioner on?” He says on yet another evening.
“I thought you wanted it on,” I say perplexed.
And last night…
“Oh, honey…” he said at the table after I prayed a blessing.
“What? You don’t like the dinner?” I don’t remember what he said. “Seriously? It’s siracha sausage. You like spicey,” I was confounded.
He stared at me with an expression that had stopped in the middle of an intersection. ‘Which way do I go?’ he wondered knowing either way was not going to be good.
“Oh come on…” I said.
I made rice, he loves rice, roasted peppers with spices, onions sautéed with a little butter, not a lot of butter, a little butter. And the cabbage? I kept it separate because I know he does not like cabbage. No sirree, no cabbage on his plate…I continued my thought rampage as he continued to eat with a fair amount of speculation…I water the hostas, but you say I don’t need to water the hostas that I’m watering, ‘but the hostas over there need watering,’ you say. Now I don’t remember which hostas were, ‘over there’ and which were not. You made a comment about the floors, so I try to keep them wet mopped.
Seriously, I try to make it cozy for him when he arrives home, with clean floors and mouth-watering happy home scents, like onions being sautéed in butter, maybe a little paprika. I also know, his ability to smell is not like the average bear.
But last night? I’d had enough.
“Seriously? Would you rather have spaghetti or curry every night? Well, pick up some fricken’ curry (that may not be the exact word I used) and eat your fricken’ curry every night.” I didn’t even raise my voice. I simply slid my chair away from the table, leaving my plate untouched but taking with me a glass of wine, then retrieved my book, “West with Girrafes” from my nightstand. I went outside.
I wasn’t even hungry.
After some time had passed, I wondered if he’d come out and apologize, even though he’s learned to give me some space in situations such as this. Or, if he’d at least ask if maybe I wanted a little more wine. I did.
But the breeze was lovely, and that book?—one of the best ever—also, like I said, I wasn’t even hungry. There was that.
Marriage is a curious thing. How can someone you love so much infuriate you so intensely…?
I do have a tendency to overcook sausages. If there’s any possibility that there is pork in it, well, I was raised to allow no pink in pork.
Sitting in the backyard, I looked across the driveway at the new hammock he bought and assembled for me, because I’d asked him why he threw the old one away. “The trees are gone,” he said. “There’s no place to hang it.”
“I used to lay in that hammock and read during the summer, back in high school (when we first met),” I said.
When he surprised me with the new hammock, I cried. Now, I only needed to glance in its direction to feel a new surge of love.
I like curry and he can pick it up on his way home. It will save me a lot of time. And I just bet it will save us money.
But I do so love to cook…
“Let me cook the sausages next time,” he said after we made up.
Making up is the best part. “Okay.”
And that’s a picture of how this marriage has lasted these twenty-four years, and continues to thrive.
Granted, I don’t take that for granted.