After spending the last ten days in pretty much this position, Desperate Hubby took it into his head on Sunday evening that he was going to return to the office yesterday.
Ten days down sounds like kind of a long time, but after the major surgery that DH had that is about half of the time the doctor thought he would be out of commission.
I was somewhat skeptical of DH’s return to work. In the past ten days he has only gotten dressed twice, each time in slip on gym shorts and a t-shirt when company was coming over, and he has not been out of his chair for more than half an hour at a stretch. The half hour stretch was a day this weekend when I took the kids grocery shopping and DH decided to get up and play his guitar for awhile. It took several hours to recover from that exertion.
I’m not saying I was not ready for him to return to work.
DH has been a model patient. He is unfailingly polite in his requests, and has been for the most part extremely good natured about his confinement. He has continued to have virtually no pain from his operation, which is almost unbelievable given statistics and history recited by his doctor and other friends in the medical field.
I do not mind caring for my husband, and truthfully I kind of enjoyed having him around full-time to pop out of my office at any moment I wished to go down the hall to tell him some fascinating piece of information I had seen on the internet, or plague him with titillating details about how I had changed my mind yet again about the manuscript I am trying to finish writing for a looming competition deadline.
But on Sunday evening DH committed a transgression.
I was tired. It had been a long day, and on top of all my regular household duties I was trying to do a few things that DH normally takes care of. In reality, the burden of completing household jobs is for the most part my realm of responsibility. DH is more than willing to help, but he works so much that he just isn’t around to do a lot of day-to-day chores, and then of course there is the little fact that I don’t have a job. I feel (don’t shoot me ladies) that since I have the luxury of spending the majority of my time either riding my horse or playing with my kids (usually both), the household duties belong to me. They are my job. And I’m good with that.
What is not my normal job is cleaning the garage. Or taking the garbage out to the dumpster. It’s not that I can’t do these duties, and I often do, but in my mind they are extra-credit duties. I know, I know, I am revealing some deep pathology here, but anyone who knows me very well knows that I am a closet credit-seeker. I am willing to do whatever I can to help most anyone, most anytime. I share my time and energy pretty happily when possible to make someone’s life easier. All I want is a little credit. Nothing formal or fancy; I don’t require a thank you card or even a kiss on the cheek, but a quick “good job” keeps me going. DH has recognized this about me in our nearly thirteen years together, and is normally quick to provide the kudos that keep me rolling from one load of laundry to the next.
But not Sunday night. I came in the house, eager to recount my accomplishments. I told inspiring tales of organizing the garage (which had never fully recovered from Batman’s party), how I weeded the front flower beds (OK, it took me all of ten minutes, but still) and that I had hauled three bags of garbage and a full can out to the dumpster that we hog (I mean share) with our neighbors Kay and Vernon.
Did DH say “OH thank you so much! That is awesome! I was wondering how I would clean that garage out on crutches!! And ALL the garbage. What a star!!”?
No. He said “Wow, you’re a goer,” then went back to reading his magazine.
I was hurt and mad (I told you there was pathology involved and I didn’t say I was proud of it). After I fed everyone dinner and made sure DH had a full jug of water beside his chair I went to bed.
Without saying goodnight. HA! That’ll show him.
I got up early yesterday morning to work on my writing project, waiting for DH to get up and say “How come you didn’t say goodnight last night? Is everything OK?”
But he didn’t. He just said “Good morning.” The nerve.
So that is why I was ready for him to go back to work.
To return to the original story, DH got up and took a mini-shower which he accomplishes by standing in the doorway of the shower stall in the master bath and sort of dunking his head under the stream of water. He got dressed and was ready for me to drive him to work.
I drove him the three minutes to our downtown office and he crutched it inside. Aren’t I a gem for standing back and taking photos instead of helping with the door?
He got settled in behind his desk, and I told him goodbye, snickering to his assistant as I left that I hoped he would let me get all the way home before he called me to come back and get him.
I went back home and went to work on my project. The house was pretty quiet with no one to run down the hallway and talk to every five minutes.
At noon I stopped working to go get the kids, so I called DH to see if he wanted me to come get him too. He said “Sure, I’ll come home for lunch”. He had been at his desk for three hours.
DH came in the house and ate lunch and sat with his foot elevated for half an hour. Then to my utter surprise he then got up and drove himself back to the office. Where he stayed until five o’clock.
When he got home at five he sat back down in his chair. He said his foot felt fine, but his body was tired from the exertion of being up all day. He fell asleep.
I was amazed and impressed. I forgot all about being mad because he did not thank me for doing his jobs.
That man is a goer.