One plus one equals two. But, apparently, two minus one equals supernova.
My husband is one of those people who naturally assumes control of everything in the situation around him. He gets it from his mother. It’s a nurturing quality that stems from his desire to take care of everything, especially his loved ones, but that is inevitably embellished with his natural tendency towards compulsiveness. The compulsive side of this instinct of his sometimes drives me nuts. It also drives me nuts that his desire take care verges on the absurd: “When you go to the bank, don’t forget your bank card.” “I will pack the car for you, but I will put the things you need to remove immediately on the seats, and the rest in the trunk I will remove when I get home, so don’t worry about it.” Stuff like that. Most of the time, it’s cute, but my husband and I do sometimes have tiffs about the fact that he seems to think I’m useless on my own, and I usually beg to differ. Ok, perhaps, I exaggerate; he doesn’t really think I’m useless on my own. Phrased differently, I excite paternal neurons, and induce protective proteins, and end up thoroughly coddled. It leads me to answer with haughty comments, such as “You know, I survived before you, and I would survive without you!”
However. My track record of times when I was left to fend for myself would lead one to believe otherwise.
A long long long long time ago, before the wind, before the snow… Well, it certainly seems that way, but actually, it was just before we had kids. He goes away for Christmas… and hilarious hijinks ensue.
First, there was a snow storm, and a scary message popped up on my dash: REFILL WASHER FLUID! scary, because I don’t know what washer fluid IS. This was years ago, and I still don’t know what it is.
Then, on account of said snow storm, and a couple more in the following few days, I was forced to dig out my car four times, all by my lonesome. Until you, as a 5 foot 3 inch shortie attempt to sweep 3 feet of snow off the roof of your car without getting hit on the head by a giant snowcap, you have not lived.
Then, I got pulled over for speeding, for the first time in what, fifteen years?! (By the way, I totally pulled the doctor card: “I’m a doctor and I’m going to work, here is my ID.” It worked too. Got a written warning and got to keep my clean slate.)
Finally, as the straw that definitively destroyed the camel’s back, my pee turned pink… It was a really pretty pink, but pink pee is just not right. That may be personal to share, but you gotta understand, I’m thinking I’m dying of a terrible disease! I even dipsticked it for blood and other evidence of impending doom. I kept thinking, “But I feel so good, I feel so normal, how could I be dying…?”
A moderately frantic call to my mother and…
Beets. Freaking roasted beets with feta cheese and balsamic the night before.
So, I tend to get pretty haughty when all the coddling reaches a threshold and makes me feel like I’m not trusted to be on my own. But there is no denying that there is truth to his madness, when he’s gone, shit seems to hit the fan. Thank GOD he eventually came back: pee turned back to normal, washer fluid was filled… can’t do much about the warning for speeding but my point still stands.
And I wish I could say it was just that one time; maybe I was in fellowship and was extra-stressed, or it was the month of Aquarius in the house of Venus or something, but sadly, this is a story that repeats itself.
When Munchkin was about ten months old, hubby happened to have two weeks off in a row, so he packed up the baby, and traveled off to Spain to visit the fam. And this is what happened literally on the FIRST day I’m alone.
I was fairly proud of myself for spending a tremendously productive evening after they left cleaning and being all grown up. I did laundry and even folded it and put it away, which does’nt usually happen. Usually, clean clothes are folded, and migrate their way slowly back to the hamper bypassing the closet and dressed almost completely.
So, I was feeling smug. I got ready in the morning like a big girl, and walked out the front door with my purse, keys, and iPhone. I got in the car, laid all that stuff on the front seat and started the car. Then I remembered that I forgot my pager inside. Cursing myself for being such a shlemazl, I turned off the car, took the keys and went back in the house. I needed the keys, you see, because I locked the door, like big girls do. The car is new. It has one of those things where when you walk away with the keys, it locks. So, I walked away and it locked. I got back in the house, I grabbed my pager, checked myself out in the mirror, and walked out again, shutting the door behind me.
The very instant I did that, I realized that I left the keys in the house. I could even picture exactly where they were: on the kitchen counter, next to the basket where we keep all the breast pump materials and baby bottles.
So, now I was standing outside my house without keys, and therefore, unable to get back into the house. Also, unable to get into the car that locked automatically because the keys were inside the house that I couldn’t get inside of.
Fortunately, the car garage opens with a code. Aha! I thought. I am saved!
Unfortunately, I don’t know the code. Doh! I thought.
Fortunately, I have it stored in my iPhone. I am saved!
Unfortunately, as you may have surmised, the iPhone is in the car. Which is locked. And I’m alone for the next week. And no one has an extra key; the extra key is with hubby and baby in Spain. The circle closes.
What’s more, I couldn’t call the landlord, who might have either the garage code OR an extra key, either because the phone number was stored–you guessed it–in the iphone, which was in the locked care.
So what did I do? Other than attempt to use a friendly neighbor’s phone to reach hubby in Spain (which I did, got no answer, but felt much humiliation), I had no choice than to walk to work and wait for him to call me back. Good thing it was nice out and the hospital is close.
I left him a pretty stern message with strict instructions not to laugh. When he called back, the note of the very laughter I forbade and mild derision in his voice drove me crazy…
Being on my own is bad bad bad for my health and is contraindicated.