I love my husband. I do, I really do. Happily married to the dear man for 26 years. We still giggle at the same things. He is my best friend, the first person I share news with when something significant comes along… the only person who makes me feel ‘safe’ if the world comes too close or shouts in my face.
He still brings me a bunch of long stemmed red roses every year for my birthday. Not a lot to complain about there and I know it. Very well.
The thing is… Let’s face it. All men have their flaws. And he, as many others before him, is just a little bit of an eejit with certain things. Especially when it comes to finding items in our house. Items that have been IN our house for generations. Or are lying right under his nose. Like the butter in the fridge.
Now for some reason, this one pops up with alarming regularity. Some heinous member of our household ‘moves’ the butter from its usual place to a different spot on the shelf. Maybe 10cm to the left or right – and what does he do? He panics. Instantly jumps to the wrong conclusion, every time again. Standing with the door open he’ll yell to me, “There is no butter!!”.
“Yes there is” I’ll say.
“No, I’ve looked. There’s none!” He’ll reply.
“Yes there is. Look again” say I.
“I’m telling you, there’s none here!”.
Me (slow exhale of breath): “Did you look beside the cheese?”.
He, after a pause, “Well … who put it there??!”
Same thing counts for milk, bread… tins of beans. All of which can be right there in front of him but he just won’t see them unless they’re placed EXACTLY where he expects them to be. Every single time.
Nor does he flourish well if put on the spot to make snap decisions, as I was reminded last month when he was given just ten minutes to prepare an overnight bag for my hospital admittance.
As we waited for the last test result, I suddenly thought of it and wondered how he’d coped. “You did pack some things for me, right love?” I queried. “Yes!” he replied, pride glowing on his face. “Did you grab my nightgown from the bed?” I wondered, with a little bit of hope, “No… ” he replied, his voice a little weaker. This is when I got worried. “So, what did you put in?” I ventured. “The nice black one, hanging on the door” (still proud, but definitely some doubt in there now). “Jesus Christ, not the black, transparent negligee??” I squeaked, my face aghast to think of what the hospital staff would say if they found me lolling in the bed in my ‘sexy bit’. White faced, he whispered, “was that not good?”.
Half an hour later (and one super speedy race back home by him to walk the dog AND pick up a cotton nightie), he was back, the missing nightgown and a toothbrush bundled into a large, garish plastic bag. Smothering my inner, “Mrs. Bouquet” streak – I let that one go.
Two days later, when he showed up with a set of four, seriously HUGE granny knickers – I’m talking deep enough to pull up to my chin – in response to my plea for some new, loose underwear, I let it go too.
Because you know what? once we’d made it past the blips and bloops of the whole process, it was his face (and only his) I wanted, needed to see coming around that door at visiting hour. And when you think about it, finding the butter is a highly overrated skill, after all.