I love spending time with my husband. Now that I’ve begun with that statement, you should know that the rest of this will discuss attitudes that may seem in all ways contradictory to that statement.
I DO enjoy almost every second of playtime with Clayton. But I also have a schedule to keep. A very strict, late morning alarm, midday cereal, early evening nap type of schedule. And while I’m not completely anal, I do like to move through my day at my pace, completing my to-do’s in my way. I’m so fortunate to work from home, but I wouldn’t get anything done if I didn’t stick to some sort of routine.
Enter Clayton’s “easy” weeks. When his boss is out of town, Clayton sees less patients and gets home before I’ve fallen asleep in the previous night’s pajamas that I’ve yet to change out of in front of a “Friends” rerun. These few and far between days are necessities for him to continue functioning normally; he absolutely needs and deserves them.
But they really cramp my style. When he rolls in from a short shift at 11 a.m., he wants to party. And I am standing at the coffee maker, still dazed from the afternoon sun that woke me up, wiping sleep from my eyes. It’s a recipe for misunderstanding.
Hypothetical Easy Week Conversations
Something I might say: [Silence. Yawn. Silence.]
Something Clayton might hear: I could care less that you are home. I may have not even noticed that you are home.
Something I might say: Good morning, Mr. Bryson! Are you still sleepy weepy peepy? Wanna go potty soon? Huh? Do you have to make a poopie, my big sweet puppypie?
Something Clayton might hear: Good morning, Mr. Bryson! Don’t you hate it when that guy over there tries to third wheel all over our patented morning snugglefest? I do. Pretend like you don’t see him; that seems to be working.
Something I might say: I’ll be in the office.
Something Clayton might hear: Go back to your office so I don’t have to work in that cramped dungeon and can sprawl out on the couch like normal.
Something I might say: What time do you get off tomorrow?
Something Clayton might hear: Keep your dirty business casual loafers out of this apartment until the sun sets tomorrow. Or it’s going to get ugly.
Something I might say: Are you going to have any coffee?
Something Clayton might hear: Touch my coffee, pal. Do it. I dare you.
We’re maturing, one dose of the silent treatment at a time.
Today marks the beginning of an easy week. And I prepared. I had finished most of my work for the day before he even called to check in, i.e. ask permission to return to our mutual dwelling for which he pays about 99.9%. Look at us learning.
I was so excited to share in party time (that’s not dirty, btw), I had forgotten one crucial piece in the easy-week-adjustment puzzle. I hadn’t brushed my teeth yet. I’m not even going to request that you not judge me. I judge me.
Thanks to a spontaneous room re-do (I’ll tell you about that later), I saw Clayton driving towards our apartment complex entrance. I immediately realized my blunder and hurdled one dog, one computer chair and a bed frame to get to the bathroom. I brushed like a mad woman, trying to get rid of all evidence of coffee, devious plans to go to the outlets and the hours of chick rock I’d been singing along to all morning.
My sweet slacker of a husband waltzed in, none the wiser, to me waiting for him Mrs. Robinson-style all up in my newly arranged office. If Mrs. Robinson wore a men’s XL t-shirt and 7-year old pajama bottoms and smelled like she bathed in mint toothpaste. One day these easy weeks will be easy for the both of us.