14 May 2011


I always joked that Paul and I would have real issues when we retired and had to see each other every day. Though we grew up (mostly) in the same town, graduated from the same high school and hung out with the same friends, we did not begin dating until midway through college. We each went to school three hours from home, I directly west and Paul southwest; our schools were also three hours apart. We saw each other probably a weekend every month or two and then at home on school breaks when they aligned.

Right after we were engaged, I received a job offer in New Jersey, so we spent about a year and a half living in separate states. Paul joined me in New Jersey after the wedding and by that time my role had changed. While his job as a pilot required him to travel quite frequently, mine also had a great deal of travel involved and, at one point, I was commuting to work in Ohio for a week or two at a time and then returning to Jersey for whatever I had left of a weekend. We moved back to Ohio in late 2009 and things finally started to settle. In the last year, Paul made an effort to bid for schedules that would allow him to have weekends off so that we could actually see each other two to three days a week. It was nice. Now we see each other a lot.

We are continually learning things about one another and about marriage in general now that we spend so much time together. We have been without Internet for nearly a week. At first Paul was frustrated because a great deal of his work is accomplished at home over the Internet. After a day or so, he started to find other things to occupy his free time – like a book I was in the middle of reading. We are learning to share.

Paul was sick and since we now have a spare bedroom, he decided to sleep by himself the last few nights. That’s right, after less than two years of marriage and less than two months together, we have become the old married couple that sleeps in separate bedrooms. We are learning individualism.

When one of us wants attention from the other, we have no problem jumping on the other person, putting our head on the other person’s neck or poking the other person. We are learning the importance of quality time.

We found out this evening that we have each been e-mailing Paul’s mom the same thing for the last few days. We are learning communication.

We are also learning the games we tend to play when we each have downtime. I come from a long line of Solitaire players so, whether I have a deck in my hand or a game up on the computer, I will be occupied. Paul has also found time to play new games with his wedding ring, which was no big deal until his ring got lost in our recliner. After a few minutes, I think he was genuinely concerned. He picked up the chair from various angles and checked the rug underneath numerous times. He even got on the ground, on his back like a man going to work under a car and finally found where the ring was lodged and popped it out. Of course, I did nothing to help him.

I thought he was done playing wedding ring games until he approached me this morning as soon as I got out of the shower.

“Hey….I have a problem…”
“OK?” I responded.

He walked into the bedroom with the guilty face of a 4-year-old boy who knew he did something wrong and was about to tell his mother to seek forgiveness. “I don’t know what to do,” he said, partially frowning and holding out the draw string to his shorts, completely knotted, his wedding ring hanging on the end. I couldn’t help but laugh. And ask if he had learned his lesson.

Paul does a very good job of expressing his thanks when he comes home to an organized house, which I sincerely appreciate, and he is very grateful to have a wife who knows her way around a kitchen. “I don’t know what I would do if you couldn’t cook,” he has said on multiple occasions. I only hope that I showed as much thanks to Paul when he was doing the majority of the housework.

And, though I am no longer bringing an income into the household, he has decided to keep me around. You see, we have a rule in this house that gets implemented every time I mention puppies or babies: Nothing will be allowed in the house that does not pay for itself. Then why is there a lizard in my kitchen?

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