Thursday, August 13, 2009

I'm Surrounded

Sure, we look happy enough, the six of us, but face it, this was posed. If I weren’t smiling, the Hub would have brought in reinforcements, and then where would I be? (Probably under the table with a bottle of gin and a funnel.)

Yep, I love the guy and I’m grateful that we found each other, but it’s possible that now that he’s working from home, he finds me a little too often. It’s not exactly like house arrest, but there are some stark comparisons. Before I get ahead of myself, let me set the stage…
Hub’s work is very computer-based, therefore he spends hour after hour planted in a very noisy desk chair in his office.

Aside: This chair is actually beyond squeaky; it emits an almost blood-curdling yowl whenever the big guy moves a muscle. Back in the day, when it was merely squeaky, I dubbed it Lynette, after Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, who gained fame in the ‘70s for trying to assassinate then-president Gerald Ford. This took place in Sacramento, where Fromme was apparently defending the redwoods against capitalist oppression. [The redwoods and the capitalists appear to be at a standoff.] Fromme did seem to start something, however, because a mere 17 days later, and a mere 87.5 miles away, Sara Jane Moore pulled a gun on Ford outside the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. This was a day after she was picked up and released on an illegal weapons charge. Duh. The police reportedly felt she posed no threat to the President. Hah. Moore, unlike Fromme, actually fired a shot, and oblivious to the plight of the redwoods, seemed only to sympathize with Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army. (Yes, I am old.) Okay class, close your books and take out a sheet of paper—we’re going to have a short quiz. Not. Aaaaand back to our story.

Now that the chair’s vocalization has been amplified to the yowling/howling level, I just call it the hungry hyena. Now that’s a sound you don’t want to wake up to, but I digress. Again. The Hub’s legs have atrophied in the year and a half since his so-called retirement. He parts with his chair only to forage for snacks. Fortunately or unfortunately, this is a frequent occurrence; it keeps him from turning to stone. It also keeps him from losing weight—a story for another day.

So except for the times when he doesn’t want me to know that he’s in the pantry, plundering the walnuts, red licorice, raisins, peanut butter, pita chips, potato chips, corn chips, taco chips or chocolate chips, the King of Chips pads about the house looking for me. And regardless of what I’m doing, how focused I am on a task—be it reading, listening (NPR is my constant companion), writing, cleaning, cooking, stitching, or translating The Odyssey from the original Greek, when he finds me, he starts talking. Focus, lost. Concentration, gone. “Yes, Dear?”

This is a common trait among males. It stems from the presumption that anything they have to say will be far more important than whatever you were thinking, saying or doing. Not to male-bash here, we love the big lugs, but years of observation and experience bear this out. So the K of C touches base, expounds on his current theory of the day, slips in a quick stop by the fridge for a glob of hummus, and returns to the man-cave. Sometimes there is recognition of the infraction, as in, “I’m sorry—were you curing cancer?” but not often.

If we’re close to mealtime, he’ll ask, “Is it time to feed me yet?” If I’m leaving the house his lower lip trembles a bit until I let him know that I’ll be back in time to put food on the table. Whenever I leave town, he asks for a printed schedule of who’s coming over to feed him which meals. Fortunately, it hasn’t come to that. When it comes to food, his survival instincts are intact. As for me, he’s got me covered—it’s the doggone electronic ankle bracelet I can’t get used to.


  1. I had no idea you were a blogger-in-waiting (hoping no one else would die) or that you were an erma-honoree (more evidence of the hyphenatedness of your being). Wow! And again the universe continues to bear witness to your writing: Lynn "Squeaky Fromme" was released from prison today (I'm old too.) I look forward to reading more.

  2. Happy Saturday Sharefest!

    My husband has a constant interest in food, too! He'll call me while I'm busy at work just to ask me what's for dinner!