HomeThe Well-Lived LifeIt Was a Private Conversation

I am having a conversation with my husband.  Right now.  I say to him, “You have too many projects going on and you are making me crazy.”

“What are you talking about?”  he spurts.  “We’ve got plenty of time to get everything done!”  He is near-preacher-like in his tone of confidence.

“You used to complain that you never got to lay in your hammock and do nothing. ‘I just want to do nothing’ you would say, over and over,  ‘And I never get to do nothing‘…but look at what you do!  Arghh!  We’ve got the cob oven, the cement floor, and the wall replacement–and all need to be finished yesterday because of your birthday party! It makes me crazy!”

“I know, I know!”  his voice rising with energy.  “I want to get to the point where I can just lay in the hammock—but I’ve just got too much to do!  I have to run around with my hair on fire!  It’s just the way I am!”

My husband is bald.

In eleven days, the esteemed Smoky Joe, handyman extraordinaire, will lumber up our driveway in his big two-tone truck.  He will smoke a cigarette he rolled from Bugler tobacco, drink a stout cup of coffee, then begin tearing down the western wall of our house.  There will be a huge mess in the house and yard.

In fifteen days, we will be throwing his fortieth birthday party.  And before that, we need to finish the cob oven so that we can cook the pizzas for his party.  Oh, and remember that whole demolition, tear-down, chaos everywhere, trash in the yard, wide open spaces in the wall part?  Yeah, so that’s all supposed to be done (and cleaned up?) before the party.

And never mind the whole cement floor thing. That’s at a pausing point, as we can stain and seal it after all this other rigmarole, but there’s still a layer of cement dust on everything and also on the nothing in between everything. I’ve cleaned up most of it at least once, but you have to clean it twice, maybe three times.

And apparently the date for the demolition could have been scheduled a bit differently.  Apparently when Smokey Joe’s right-hand, left-hand woman called to set the date, maybe we could have NOT picked the 23rd, but say, rather, the 30th.

Then he says to me,”All you need you to do is pick out the f*cking windows and the color of the floor.  That’s all I need you to do!  It’s not so tough!”  He says this, not crudely, but joyfully, a ringing happiness as he realizes that this is all I need to do.

They say that the things you love about your partner are later the things that make you crazy.  What they don’t say is that the love and the crazy go together.  It’s not a linear thing.  The longer you are with someone you love, the crazier you get, and the more in love.  Yes, I want to strangle my husband.  But, damn, I love him!  I love the fact that he’s got so much that he wants to accomplish.  I love that he always has a new idea.  I love that he knows how to solve a thousand problems, with ease, that would take me forever to figure out.  I love that he brings me coffee, in bed, every morning.  (Please note that I did not say that he never complains about it.  But really, it’s very rare.)  I love that he is dedicated to changing things up, making things better, people freer, his home happier.

I love that he’s bald.

Happy Birthday, my wonderful husband.  I love you!


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