I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, we have been in a deep valley, and it has been cold and dark at times. But, I feel we are finally out of the pit and heading up the steep embankment towards level ground. It is not just that Mike has been showing signs (some almost microscopic but I’ll take them!) of physical, mental and spiritual improvement. I think I realized this in full when my beloved husband uttered these most sweet and sacred words, “Wanna make a bet?”
Having Mike home all the time has been nice. I love the family time we’ve been able to share. It is irreplaceable and could not have come in any other way. He is too responsible to take time off for more than absolutely necessary. He still struggles with the guilt that he is not at work clocking in the hours. I have to remind him that he is on leave and that he is supposed to be focusing on relaxing and YES, having fun. It is not a crime to have fun when it is intricately intertwined with the healing process. Being home more, he has noticed things. One observation is that I am on crack, i.e. my iPhone. Yes, sad but true, I have succumbed to the lowly tethers of my mobile smartphone after ranting on that I would NEVER be one of those sorry addicts. My response was that “I learned it from you! I learned it from watching you.” (Remember those anti-drug commercials or were you just coming out of diapers then?) Then came the debate about who is more of a dopehead, prompting his “Wanna make a bet?” We decided to start the iPhone Wars and check our usage at the end of each day. Loser (who had the most usage time) owed the winner that night’s massage. (This in itself could be another blog post about the lame massages my husband gives. I like a good rub, like it was meant to be, when the muscles are not killed by roughness but definitely touched by some significant pressure. Mike’s massages are like a light spring breeze. Did we leave the window open? No, that was his lame massage barely touching your skin and lasting a nanosecond.) Unfortunately, this game proved too stressful and had to be aborted for the sake of my husband’s health. Let’s just say that it was close and that the amounts of time were shameful for both of us.
This happened simultaneously with the debate about who is wiser. We decided the Wiser Wars would be played daily with Ethan asking us a question and keeping a tally of our correct answers. So far, guess who is winning? Yours truly, of course. Why am I boasting of a game of wisdom directed by a kindergartener? BECAUSE I AM WINNING AND MIKE IS NOT!
While driving to Indianapolis Friday, I asked Mike what the speed limit was because he usually drives every trip. I have been trying to do my wifely duty by driving more to give him a break, but I wasn’t sure on this particular stretch of the Chicago Skyway if I was just speeding or recklessly speeding. He told me he thought it was 55. I was pretty sure that it was 70 especially so I could justify my going 80. Again those words from him, “Wanna make a bet?” (If you haven’t noticed, that question is purely rhetorical.) We drove a few miles on and since I was driving I got to torture my family with what we listened to in the car. We were rightly hearing the soundtrack to the best musical of all time, Les Miserables, or more truthfully, hearing me butcher the soundtrack because it is mandated that I must sing along making the Beckett men truly “Les Miserables.” When we finally passed a speed limit sign reading the correct number 70, I sang out to the tune of Master of the House, “Look at that sign! I was right! It was 70 and not 55!” YES!!!
This return of competitive play may seem to you a need for couples therapy, but that is only because you subscribe to traditional notions of romance and love. Mike and I, however, have a love language that Chapman forgot to write about. The 6th love language is sarcasm and trash-talking. Having my beloved husband begin to write me sonnets in this forgotten language has melted my heart again. Knowing my love for Les Mis, he has to insist that it is inferior and writes Facebook comments about how “Carrie: the Musical” (based on Stephen King’s novel) might be the only musical below par in comparison. It (although obviously false and misguided) is music to my ears! Forget whispering sweet nothings, give me a witty joke that makes fun of me and I am swooning. Forget boxes of chocolates, trask talk me into a contest and I am on cloud 9. Some in the past who have called me Dr. Evil are now telling their therapists, “Oh, wow, she really did love me!” because this is how I’m wired. Over the past few months, Mike has been in no mood to whisper my sweet nothings to me. Even when in Orlando earlier this month, I couldn’t fully receive my box of chocolates when he only lasted 10 minutes on the tennis courts with me. But this week of trash talk and sarcasm has been a honeymoon for us. It’s as if to say in a creepy Poltergeist way, “He’s baaaack.” And I’m enjoying the romance so much that it is almost as nauseating as the other 5 languages. Think you’re not getting better, Mike? Wanna make a bet?