Mike’s been out of town for the past few days. Women who’ve been married for a long time always seem to think that having the husband gone is a good thing. When he’s gone, you get a lot done-you don’t necessarily have to worry about having food in the fridge or what you’re doing on Saturday night because it’s just you. You can walk around the house in homely outfits, giant PJ pants, eat peanut butter out of the jar and poop with the door open. There is, I must say, something rather lovely about not worrying—what he’ll want to do for this, and mostly, “Did you do this? Did you do that?” Nagging takes up a lot of time, and now that my schedule’s more free, I realize just how much “trouble” a husband is. It’s kind of…well…it’s kind of like having a child. Yup, I said it.
The other night, our friends, Cari and Aaron, picked me up so we could all go to dinner. When their Prius sailed up the street, I was standing outside. Cari was shocked. When I plopped into their backseat, I was greeted with:
Cari: “You’re so on time!”
Me: “I know! Crazy right? You want to know why I’m so on time?”
Cari: “Because Mike’s out of town?”
Me: “Exactly. Guys, you always think we’re late because it’s me when, in reality, I’m spending half my time running around asking Mike to do things and by the time he actually gets them done and gets himself ready to go, we’re late. So, the truth is that it’s not always me, guys. Sometimes, it’s him.”
Cari: “Fair enough, but a lot of times it’s you too.”
Me: “OK, maybe…fine.”
I couldn’t quite convince them of my innocence, of my innate talent at multi-tasking, of Martha Stewarting and Oprahing myself to the point of genius (all because my husband is out of town), but over the past four days, I’ve certainly convinced myself. I’ll be meeting Mike in Europe, and usually, packing is a nightmare, getting the house and the dog ready is usually such an ordeal that I wonder whether there’s a point to leaving at all. This time, though, I was packed 24 hours ahead of time. The dog walker had been de-briefed, the house cleaned, the bills paid, the unreturned calls returned and everything, generally, in order. I was feeling like a GIANT rockstar until about 1pm yesterday, when I went into my bathroom cabinet to get some nail polish and A GIANT COCKROACH FLEW OUT AT ME. And, not just a smallish bettle, it was so large it needed a leash. I yelped, actually I shrieked—it kind of sounded like the shriek of a woman who’s being attacked…bottom line is that if in fact I were being attacked, clearly none of my neighbors care because no one stopped by to ask if I was OK. No need, though, I was just taking my cockroach out for a spin.
My ammunition? The dustbuster and a rag-neither of which would suffice.
Eventually, he met his fate when a heavy bottle of rubbing alcohol landed on him and he got swooped up with a Lysol wipe. Juicy and dismembered, he’d given me an anxiety attack.
A few minutes later, I decided it was time to take out the trash. For those of you who aren’t regular readers of my blog, the trash is a BIG issue in our house. I’ve made it known that it’s NOT MY JOB—that I have many many jobs in the house and that’s NOT ONE OF THEM. Despite the fact that I believe that our job descriptions have been pretty clearly delineated, Mike still avoids taking out the trash and I still find myself in this position—“Honey, can you take out the trash?” “Honey, you still haven’t taken out the trash.” “Take out the f-ing trash before I rip your f-ing head off!!!!!!!!!”
Hence, yesterday. Hubby’s gone so wifey has trash duty. Simple enough. Do it all the time. I flick the lid open and am welcomed by a stench that most closely resembles day old vomit and rancid cabbage (yeah, that about covers it). No problem. In two seconds it’ll be a distant memory. Grabbing the bag from the top, I yank it hard and…nothing. The bag refuses to budge. I yank again. And again. And after developing some serious lower back pain and busting three holes in the plastic bag as I dug my nails into it in frustration, it became frustratingly clear that this bag was not coming out of the can. After ten minutes and the realization that a PhD program in “taking out the trash” might need to be offered at most major universities, I knocked the trashcan over with my foot and decided that I would coax the bag out horizontally. I hadn’t, however, been prepared for the white puss-like substance that oozed it’s way out of the bag with each tug. One…last…yank! And there I was. Tossed to the other end of the kitchen, a trail of the stinky liquid trailing behind. Sick. No wonder he hates taking out the trash. I’m never ever going to bug him about it again. Ever. I should give him an award for doing this, it’s so horrible.
And the piece de resistance. The last pre-trip dog walk. Our twelve-year old yellow lab, Louie, is in pretty good shape. Lately, however, he’s been limping about with some high maintenance dog allergy paw problem that I’m choosing to ignore hoping to forgo a $300 vet bill and instead, opting for natural healing. Keep your fingers crossed. Anyway, so we’re taking a late night stroll-something we always do with Mike (Louie’s on his best behavior with Mike). We run into a couple of neighbors, chat for a few seconds, Louie’s as tame as can be and ALL OF A SUDDEN…he DRAGS me across the brick divider between the sidewalk and a neighbor’s lawn, causing me to scrape up my entire leg…all for a piece of his most sought after delicacy…a piece of cat poop.
As I iced my leg last night, with the dog staring pathetically at me like a three-year old who has no idea why he’s taking a “time out,” my lower lip quivered. “I miss Mike,” I whimpered to Louie, whose eyes swelled with that exact sentiment. My bags were packed, the house was in order, but I was a wreck. Life with Mike runs later, is so much busier, is certainly messier, definitely stinkier (especially when he hasn’t taken the trash out in days), but it’s so much more fun…
Plus, he’s a hell of a cockroach killer.