For the past few days I’ve been letting friends and family members know that Jon quit his job. I usually tell people in the middle of a phone conversation by saying, “Oh, and by the way, Jon quit his job.” Every time I hang up the phone Jon asks me if I’m just going to go around telling everybody about it, do I have to announce it to the world? Um, Jon. YOU POSTED ABOUT IT ON YOUR WEBSITE. Hell of a way to keep a secret.
While I feel a lot of pressure now as the primary breadwinner for my family, I can’t help but focus on the super fantastic side-effects of having someone else who speaks Adult in the house all day. For instance, I don’t have to change every poopy diaper. That one benefit alone makes me feel like I have won the lottery. Also, I am now able to use the bathroom by myself. For those of you who have never had to share your bathroom time with a monkey-like intruder who routinely ingests tampons and scales your perched body like a roach up a wall you have no idea the luxury of solitude in the loo. Never again will I take for granted the ability to wipe my butt with no one sitting at my feet looking up to assess my technique.
And yet, I’m not so sure husbands and wives were meant to live like this, together with no mileage between them. He’s here all the time and he’s constantly doing things the wrong way. Let the list begin:
He doesn’t drive the right way to the grocery store. There is a right way and a wrong way to drive to the grocery store and not only does he do it the wrong way he takes PLEASURE in the wrong way and I don’t know if I’m ever going to get into the car with him again. I have always admired the way he drives on the freeway, aggressively and at thrillingly illegal speed. But on surface streets he tends to morph into a Grandma who can’t seem to remember the name of that nice man who, back in 1945, used to trim her hedges, and maybe if he stares out the side window long enough it’ll come to him. It takes every molecule of restraint in my body to sit there and take it, the meandering and inching ever so slowly toward a stop sign.
When we finally get to the grocery store four hours later he just leaves the shopping cart in the middle of an aisle for someone else to deal with. THESE ARE THE PEOPLE IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD. You cannot just leave the shopping cart sitting there, THEY KNOW WHO I AM. Next time I go to the grocery store they’re going to ask me who that was I brought in with me and could I please not bring him back.
Jon likes to talk, a lot, all the time without stopping, ever. When he and I first started dating I noticed this habit of his and I found it very endearing. It hasn’t necessarily lost its charm, but I’m definitely having to get used to it again because once he starts he cannot stop himself. I enjoy the fully-formed words and complete sentences but just like Leta’s incoherent rambling they tend to echo like noises through the Grand Canyon, repeating, repeating, going on forever, bouncing off the walls of eternity. The other day I stopped him mid-stream-of-consciousness-commentary and asked him if he noticed that he hadn’t stopped to take a breath and he grabbed his hair and shouted, “WOMAN! DO YOU KNOW WHERE I HAVE BEEN? I JUST GOT BACK FROM ‘NAM!”
Chuck is ever so excited to have Daddy at home because Daddy feeds Chuck much more than he is supposed to be fed. I caught him giving the dog an extra scoop of food the other night, and before I could do anything about it Chuck caught on to the fact of Daddy’s generosity and snorted every pebble in one loud gulp. I have gone to great lengths to do my part in fighting canine obesity, and hell if I’m going to have a fat dog who can’t climb into his bed without assistance because his beer gut gets in the way. Yes, I give him nibbles of pizza and let him lick our bowls but he earns those crumbs either through being very cute or by performing a series of complicated tasks. You can’t just give the dog an extra scoop of food for nothing because once Leta sees that happen we’ll never get her to roll over for food again. She’ll just expect food because she’s hungry.
We’ve only been at home together for four days now, so I expect that this list will grow exponentially. He’s going to need to start putting away all his cords and his shoes and I’m going to need to set a limit on the amount of groping allowed, especially during dishwashing and laundry activities. But right now he’s downstairs playing with Leta and this means I can walk around upstairs without being followed, scratched, pinched or yelled at. Watch how fast I’ll get over the Grandma grocery driving.